Emergency Response to Sonoma and Napa Valley Wildfires

    The email below was written by Mark Gurvis, the Executive Vice President of the Jewish Federations of North America. JFNA is the Birmingham Jewish Federation’s national organization.
    Once again we find ourselves facing significant natural disaster and devastation, this time in Sonoma and Napa Valley in California.
    More than 2,000 homes have been destroyed throughout these areas, and as you likely know, URJ’s Camp Newman has been largely destroyed.
    The Bay Area Jewish Federations (the Jewish Federation of the East Bay and the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties) are in full emergency response mode, working with each other and their partners — Jewish Family Services, synagogues, and others — to assist individuals and families who have evacuated, or more tragically have lost their homes.
    Because so many people are still being evacuated from areas under threat of fire, it is too soon to know the scope of damage affecting the Jewish community.
    The two Federations have opened up a joint emergency fund — North Bay Wildfire Emergency Fund. Rather than open a separate national fund, JFNA encourages Federations and individual donors to make their contributions or point their own messaging and sites to this fund.
    Here is a link to their most updated information on the situation: www.jewishfed.org/WildfireResources.
    As part of our prayers during the holiday of Shemini Atzeret, which we celebrated over the weekend, we pray for rain.  After weeks of seeing the horrendous impact of rain in so many places, we see that for Northern California, now would indeed be a very good time.

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