Jewish groups respond to oil spill crisis

Jewish groups respond to oil spill crisis

The now infamous oil spill off the Gulf Coast has led to relief efforts sponsored by Jewish organizations.
The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and Jewish Funds for Justice are two organizations that have led the way in helping to restore the beauty of the area.
Both organizations are up front about encouraging donations by putting links on how to give money at the top of their Web site home pages. The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans said all donations they receive will benefit communities especially impacted by the disaster.
“Our purpose is to build and sustain a vibrant Jewish Community in the greater New Orleans area,” according to the federation’s mission statement.
To do this, the federation is also looking for volunteers interested in giving time as well as money. Through various organizations, the federation offers certification training in safety and the safety of the wildlife, which it believes is critical for potential volunteers.
Jewish Funds for Justice has a similar goal. It, too, is raising money for areas impacted by the oil spill and has reopened its Gulf Coast Disaster Recovery Fund, which JFJ established to raise money for people affected by Hurricane Katrina.
“We are acting on our obligations to help create a vibrant Jewish community committed to chesed — acts of loving kindness,” JFJ said in a statement.
Unlike the federation in New Orleans, the JFJ effort is national in scope. Since its foundation in 1984, the JFJ has helped more than 500 groups fighting poverty in America. On their Web site the JFJ said they are committed to standing with Gulf Coast residents during this time of personal and professional devastation.
Representatives from both organizations were unable to comment before press time.

(Brandt Gelman can be reached at