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August 27, 2010     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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PAGE 10A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 27, 2010 Sometimes, even a catas- trophe brings with it apositive message. Though the death toll in the recent floods in India reached 185. with 400 others still missing, more than 200. Israelis who had been hiking and trapped by the floods chose not to take a flight that Would have evacuated them from the disaster zone. Instead. they stayed to help with the rehabilitation and relief efforts. Matan Golan. 28. from Jerusalem, orchestrated the volunteer effort in the make- shift hospital set up in the town Of Leh. "Itwas a spontaneous move organized by a number of Is- raeli travelers who connected with other tourists and set up the field hospital," he said. "l think everyone would have done what we did. This is how we were raised. I don't think anyone else who had come here and seen the disaster would have said to himself, 'I'm not connecting to this.' and just gone home." While Israelis made up half of all the foreign volunteers, Golan's training is owed to more than just his nation- ality. Currently a first year medical student, Golan. who served in a special ops unit in the IDF, is one of the best instructors in Hugey Sayarut/ Green Horizons, the Zionist and environmental youth de- velopment program in Israel that fosters independence, initiative, leadership, respon- sibility, companionship, car- ing, and involvement in the community through outdoor activities. Funded in part by Jewish National Fund (JNF), Hugey Sayarut/Green Horizons has provided informal educa- tional programming to 20,000 Israeli children over the past 30 years. Through weekly activities and monthly out- door trips led by professional guides, participants build self-confidence, indepen- dence, leadership skills and an appreciation for the natu- ral beauty of tfieir country. The transformative program serves as a way of grooming better citizens and the future leadership of Israel. Graduates have gone on to become top- xanked officials in the IDF and some of the country's most successful executives and business people. Green Horizons operates in more than 30 cities, towns and communities across Israel. JNF is helping to expand the program's reach into disadvantaged communities. including Negev develop- ment towns, to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to participate. "Golan's upbringing, edu- cation and years in Green Horizons gave him the know- how to survive in a situation such as the floods in India. as well as p 'ovide help to others around him," said Lavi Zamir. Green Horizon's director."It is heartwarming to see that even during his vacation, when he was disconnected from his natural surroundings, he decided to forgo his own personal comfort and safety and help the less fortunate." The assistance from the Israeli travelers did not just take the form of physical aid; some donated money to the locals and even gave them their clothing. One girl saw the distress that people were in and decided to donate all but the clothes on her back. In addition to the fatalities. another one thousand people lost all of their belongings in the floods and were left with- out a roof over their heads. They Were transferred to gov- ernment emergency shelters after the massive amounts of water destroyed everything in its path, including road. electricity, and communica- tion infrastructures. Hugey SayarutlGreen Ho- rizons serves as a way of grooming the future leader- Ship of Israel. NEWYORKInresponseto the recentfloodingin Pakistan, where the United Nations is reporting that 1,200 people have died and 14 million are in dire need of urgent assistance, American Jewish World Service has opened an emergency flood relieffundto receive donations. The money AJWS collects will support the relief work of its existing grantee partners in Pakistan. The flooding is the worst Pakistan has seen since 1929 and is concentrated in the Khyber PakhtunkhwaProvince (formerly known as North West Frontier Province), the same region that was devastated by a massive earthquake in 2005. Because roads, bridges and communication lines have suffered severe damage, the government is having difficulty meeting the population's needs. AJWS's grantee partners have assessed needs in the affected areas and are already mobiliz- ing to provide support for vic- tims of the flooding. They are distributing food packets and essential medicines to those who are stranded, erecting temporaryshelters, facilitating access to clean water in relief camps and working with gov- ernment and local authorities to expedite larger-scale efforts. "As in any disaster, the poor are disproportionally affected," said Ruth Messinger, AJWS president. "With government unable to respond to many of their needs, it is crucial that organizations work through established networks to get re- sources into the right hands so the impact can be maximized. This has always been our ap- proach to disaster response and remains so in Pakistan." AJWS has been providing emergency support in Pakistan since the 2005 earthquake and currently has five grantee partners in the country. Funds raised will enable AJWS's grantee partners to distribute Aid-Bags to affected families in the worst-hit areas. These Aid- Bags contain essentials: food, water, pots, pans, and other necessities that will sustain these families for a week to 10 days. AJWS's grantee partners will also be disti'ibuting clothes and scarves to women who lost their belongings in the floods and who, as a result, have been forced to remain indoors to consequences. According to an initial assessment, U.N. officials reportthat3.2 millionhectares of standing crops have been damaged or lost in the prov- inces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab alone. At least 200,000 head of livestock have been lost and many more will die withoutproper feed and vet- erinary support. AJWS will be working with its partners over the coming months to assess and respond to the long-term needs ofaffectedcommunities. With additional funding, AJWS will expand*its initial response effort to support relief and rehabilitation, with the aim of assisting local communities in the reconstruction of their physical surroundings and cre- ating economic opportunities. To ensure the safety andwell- being of its partners, AJWS does not list its Pakistan grantees on its website or publicize them by name. Donations can be made at www.ajws.org/pakistane- mergency or by check made out to American Jewish World Service. All checks should in- clude "Pakistan Flood Relief" avoidharassmentandviolence, in the memo line and should The totality of the flood's be sent to American Jewish , devastationremainsunknown, World Service, 45 West 36th but Pakistan is sure to expe- Street, 11th floor, New York, rience profound long-term NY 10018-7904. For 29 years, TooJay's Gourmet Dell has specialized in holiday traditions. So whether you~e got a houseful this Rosh Hashanah, or you will be dining with us, let TooJay's take care of the details. From our family to yours, we wish you a happy and healthy New Year. Holida L _pecials Wednesday, September 8d;h & Thursday, September 9~h Brisket, Plat, t, er or Roast, ed Half Chioken $1b.9,~ Baked Tilapia w/Pot, at, o 5t, ufl=ing & Emerald 5auoe $19.95 Roasted Cornish Game Hen $19.95 Filled wi~h traditional cornbread stuffing and a hint of sweet apricot Grilled London-Droll $19.95 Tender sliced choice sirloin grilled to your liking All entree~ inoluch~: Glass of Kosher Wine, Matzo Ball Soup, Gefitte Fish or Chopped Liver Potato Pancake and Carrot Tzirnmes Choir.e of Pee~ee Fresh Fruit ~3alad, Honey Almond or Sponge Cake Macaroons or Mini Black & Whites, Coffee or Tea Horace Murray, U.S. Army Pakistanis sit on the floor of a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter during an evacua- tion mission from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, Aug. 4. Evacuation missions are being conducted as part of the disaster relief efforts to assist Pakistanis in flood-stricken regions of the nation. In response to the mas- sive floods spreading across Pakistan, the Joint Dis- t ibution Committee is collecting donations for its emergency Pakistan relief fund. Equipped with exten- sive disaster relief expertise. including humanitarian and development work after the 2005 and 2008 earthquakes in Pakistan, JDC is working closely with its partners to assess the most pressing needs in the affected areas. "By harnessing our vast experience in international disaster relief and tapping our network of partners on the ground to assess the most pressing needs. JDC will quickly respond to those affected by the floods in Pakistan," said JDC CEO Steven Schwager. "Guided by the principle of tikkun olam, we'll help ensure that the most vulnerable are reached." JDC, which provides life- saving food, clothing, medi- cine, and other necessities in more than 70 countries around the globe, has imple- mented similar relief efforts in places like Haiti, countries in South Asia in the wake of Indian Ocean Tsunami, and in Myanmar after Cyclone Nargis. One hundred percent of funds collected will be directed to relief efforts. Pal~istani flood victims who will be helped by will join the ranks of tens of thousands of their fellow citizens whom JDC has reached with humanitarian assistance following natural disasters in Pakistan within the past five years. Following the October 2005 earthquake that caused more than 73.000 deaths in northern Pakistan, JDC provided immediate relief and assisted school-aged children in 10 villages of the hard-hit Baramuila district in Kashmir. And in collabo- ration with the International Blue Crescent and the Devel- opment Foundation of Tur- key, JDC was able to get vital assistance to some 30.000 people, mostly in hard-to reach villages with difficult access roads and scattered mountainside homes at elevations of between 6,000 and 8,000 feet. In Sarbala, where infra- structure including the local schools, medical clinic, and mosquewefe destroyed, JDC and its partners' "Village in the Sky" initiative success- fully reopened the boys' and girls' schools, built two play- grounds, and much more. Three years later, JDC re- . sponded to the October 2008 earthquake in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province with immediate emergency relief for af- fected families, including the distribution of food and non-food items such as water purification tablets, warm blankets and clothing, and- hygiene products. "Once again," say JDC staff, "acting on our nearly century-long commitment to help victims of the world's most devastating natural and manmade disasters, our hearts and our hands are go- ing out to Pakistani people suffering the devastating effects of the worst floods to hit the region since 1929." JDC is closely coordinat- ingwith the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and In- teraction in Washington D.C. Make a contribution on- line at www.JDC.org, by phone at 212-687-6200, or by check payable to JDC- Pakistan Flood Relief, P.O. Box 530, 132 East 43rd St., New York, NY 10017.