Jewish Groups Aid in California Wildfire Recovery Efforts: You Can Help Too

CaliWildfire NASA

Jewish Groups Established Funds to Aid Fire Recovery

In light of California’s devastating wildfires over the past week, which evacuated up to a million people, Jewish organizations are establishing funds to help assist survivors repair their lives.

You can help.

Make a Donation: 4 Ways to Help

UJC WildfireRelief

1. The United Jewish Federation of San Diego County has established the Jewish Community Disaster Fund to provide assistance for Jewish families and communal structures hurt or suffering from the fires. Click here to donate.

2. The United Jewish Communities have set up a Western Wildfire Relief Fund to help all survivors of the fire. The funds will aid first responders and help social service organizations deal with the immediate and longer term ramifications of the crisis. Click here to donate.

3. The Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, in coordination with the UJC, has added donation information on their website for the Southern California Fire Response 2007. The Federation will partner with Jewish Family and Children’s Services to coordinate their response to help all of the fire’s survivors. Click here to donate.

4. Hillel is updating their site regularly on the state on the fire’s effects to the Jewish and non-Jewish community. Hillel students are organizing volunteer efforts for displace families as well as locating local synagogues for families whose homes have been destroyed. Funds will go to support these efforts. Click here to donate.

One hundred percent of donations will go to those in need in San Diego and Los Angeles. No overhead will be deducted.

NOTE: I am updating this post with giving options as soon as I receive them. Expect more in the days to come.

Lives Affected

It is hard for me to think of any one group when the fire destroyed so many lives, but I will note the JTA’s Jewish numbers for your reference:

  • San Diego, the hardest hit, has a Jewish population of 100,000
  • 14 fires ravaged the San Diego area
  • La Jolla’s Lawrence Family Jewish community center was evacuated
  • 40 synagogues in San Diego were in fire zones, likely exposed to significant damage; 2 were fully evacuated
  • The Los Angeles Jewish community, estimated at 550,000, as well as those in Orange County are thought to be safe from harm’s way. No damage has been reported from their 37 synagogues or three day schools

My Heart Goes Out
My heart goes out to everyone exposed to this inferno. It is hard for me to contemplate the reality of such heat or light and its impact on people’s lives. Likewise, I was in Israel when Katrina happened. I will continue reading the news and listening to my friends’ experiences.

Photographs To Help Us Understand

These 10 photographs helped me understand more than any what it is like in Southern California right now.


Wall of Flames– Photo by Wally Skalij, October 24th: East Grade Road, Palomar Mountain


Birds’ Eye View– Photo by “jwlchr:” near Foothill Ranch


Neighborhood Scene– Photo by”Cesar:” Portola Hills


Primordial Flames– Photo by Jim McVeigh, October 23rd: Otay Lake, east of Chula Vista (this is how I imagine the end of the dinosaur era to have looked)


Smoke Swept– Photo by S. Stockley: Highway 18 near Lake Arrowhead (friends have told me the greatest side affect of the fire is how difficult breathing has become with all the ash in the air)


Heavy Air– Photo by “Kathy:” Sierra exit I-15


Malibu Beach– Photo by Matt Doolin, October 21st


Demon From the Hills– Photo by “Ashlie:” taken from Redland, CA


Encroaching Flames– Photo by “Mitchellson,” October 23rd: Camp Pendleton


9/11 Memories– Photo by Trevor Lillis: Santa Rosa Valley

Parting Words

One woman’s advice on what to do in a disaster situation. We all seem more vulnerable now.

“Collect your precious snapshots. Make a copy of everything on your computer. Bring extra checks. Refill your prescriptions and bring them. Make a copy of your address book on your computer. Get a cell phone if you don’t have one– this is most important. (I’m from New Orleans and evacuated from Katrina.) G-D bless you all.” ~ Ann Olivier on the LA Times’ wildfire message boards

Photo Credit

Title photograph sourced from a NASA satellite.

To see more photos, go to the LA Times’ homepage and scroll down to their photography section. Most of the photos above are from readers (I provided their names as they identified themselves, hence some nicknames).


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6 Responses to Jewish Groups Aid in California Wildfire Recovery Efforts: You Can Help Too

  1. Cool site, love the info.

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  4. Trevor Lillis says:

    you changed my photo from BLACK FOG to 9/11 memories
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    Trevor LIllis

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    Jewish Groups Aid in California Wildfire Recovery Efforts: You Can Help Too | The New Jew

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