Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life is committed to the concept of tzedek (social justice) and will endeavor to help all those who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina. As the world's largest Jewish campus organization, we are uniquely capable of welcoming displaced college students to new campuses, to create support groups for these students, parents and alumni in their new communities, to raise relief funds on campuses and to provide a cadre of young volunteers. Hillel is committed to the welfare of students at affected campuses and to ensuring the continuity of Hillel of New Orleans which provides ongoing support to all students.
Working in consultation with the United Jewish Communities and the Jewish Federation of New Orleans, Hillel has undertaken the following efforts:
Raising Funds: Hillel is encouraging college students around the world to raise money for hurricane relief. Hillel will combine all funds and provide it as a gift from the Jewish campus community to those in need. Funds raised by Hillel will be used for direct relief to affected communities, for the restoration of Hillel of New Orleans and to assist students in participating in relief efforts.
Make an online donation or send it to:
Katrina Relief, Weinberg Tzedek Hillel
Charles and Lynn Schusterman International Center
Rochelle and Arthur Belfer Building
800 Eighth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Helping Students Stay Connected: The Hillel Foundation of New Orleans has launched a temporary Web site to help students from area universities stay connected to one another and Hillel professionals during the fall semester. The site contains a message board, local news, a form to search for missing persons and information on how to help with relief efforts. Students can also stay in touch by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcoming Students to Campus: Hillel, with its international network of professionals, is uniquely capable of welcoming displaced students to college campuses. Hillel professionals are now working with their universities to help Jewish and non-Jewish students adjust to their campuses. Hillel is also helping young people to find short-term alternatives to schools in the Gulf region. If you know students who have been affected by the disaster, send their names to Jeff Rubin.
Creating Local Support Groups: Hillel is creating support groups in communities across North America to help Jewish and non-Jewish students, parents and alumni discuss their circumstances and to plan for the future. To find or create a support group in your community, contact Paige Nathan at email@example.com.
Study in Israel: Hillel has worked with the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Israeli government and Israeli universities to enable any qualified student, Jewish or non-Jewish, to attend an Israeli university with a tuition waiver and travel subsidy. Learn more or contact Rachel Brown at 212-339-6903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteer Opportunities: Hillel's is mobilizing college students to volunteer in affected areas. Students are encouraged to volunteer with refugees in Houston at present. Hillel will create volunteer opportunities for students during winter and spring breaks. For more information, contact Michelle Lackie. For immediate (short-term) volunteer opportunities, visit the following sites:
- Union for Reform Judaism's Jacob's Ladder project needs help with a staging and distribution center for relief supplies in Utica, Miss. Contact email@example.com or 212-650-4070 (limited space).
- Rice University is tracking volunteer opportunities in Houston.
- www.volunteercenter.us also lists volunteer needs in the Houston area.
If you are looking to send a group now, please send a paragraph, including the number of students, the type of work they willing to do, timing and contact information, to Michelle Lackie to be shared with UJC Disaster Relief Team. Please note: Larger coordinating organizations have asked people not to go to Houston and that they have current efforts under control. Please think carefully about when and how your students can be most effective.
Locating the Displaced: Hillel is working with the United Jewish Communities to help locate members of the Jewish community displaced by the hurricane. Individuals should send their names to Adam Bronstone at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jews from other affected Gulf Coast communities should contact Richard Klein at email@example.com. Displaced students should also contact firstname.lastname@example.org.