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Called to Action: Ways to Support Afghanistan and Haiti

This week, we watched with grief and deep distress as devastating global crises unfolded. We see the news of thousands of Afghans desperately attempting to board international evacuation flights out of Kabul, as the Taliban rapidly overtook the country’s capital city this past weekend amidst the withdrawal of U.S. military forces. In Haiti, a catastrophic earthquake on August 14 left hundreds of people dead, and thousands more injured and homeless. 

While we continue to pray for the health and safety of our international neighbors, we also believe that we are called as Jews to respond and take action in the face of injustice and suffering. Here are a few ways you can help support those affected in Afghanistan and Haiti.

Sunday, August 15 near the epicenter in Les Cayes, Haiti. Photos are copyright of Nadia Todres (BJ community member).

Afghanistan

Read HIAS’s statement on the Afghanistan Crisis and join their call to action by signing this petition telling President Biden that the U.S. must evacuate Afghans who are facing imminent danger. This includes not only Afghans and their families who were affiliated with the U.S. mission, but also human rights advocates (especially women and girls), journalists, and religious and ethnic minorities. HIAS is regularly updating their “How You Can Help” page with additional opportunities for volunteering. You can also find ways to donate to HIAS here.

The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), a nonprofit based in New York, provides legal resources and support for Afghan refugees seeking to enter the U.S. You can donate to IRAP here.

IRAP is also seeking to mobilize communities to help as many U.S. allies and vulnerable Afghans get to safety as quickly as possible. Mobilize your own community with a peer-to-peer fundraiser to support advocacy and legal assistance for forcibly displaced people in Afghanistan

The Refugee Employment Partnership (REP), a program co-sponsored by B’nai Jeshurun and Rutgers Presbyterian Church, is seeking connections to employers who might join the network of organizations they work with to place clients seeking work. Learn more about how to get connected with REP here.

Ruth’s Refuge and Hearts & Homes for Refugees are two organizations working locally to support Afghan families resettling in New York and New Jersey, and looking for volunteers to help with apartment set-ups and other work. Find out more about Ruth’s Refuge and volunteer opportunities here or by email. Find out more about Hearts & Homes and volunteer opportunities here.

 

Haiti

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is collecting donations to help distribute aid to its local, on-the-ground partners that are providing emergency food, shelter, and medical attention. You can donate to AJWS here.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is mobilizing to provide emergency medical equipment and other assistance to those wounded in the recent 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti, killing more than 1,300 and injuring thousands more. You can donate to JDC here

Hope for Haiti has been working for over 30 years to reduce poverty in Haiti. They are operating an infirmary to help provide wound care and other essential services like clean water to members of the community, as well as providing emergency response kits. You can donate to Hope for Haiti here

Health Equity International is helping evacuate patients from the earthquake zone to St. Boniface Hospital, the only facility in the region with significant surgical and emergency capacity to care for the high volume of patients. They are also providing critical medications and resources to hospitals in cities hit hardest by the earthquake. You can donate to Health Equity International and St. Boniface Hospital here.

 

If you are interested in receiving ongoing action opportunities from BJ (related to immigration, disaster response, and many other Social Action/Social Justice issue areas), you can sign up for our Action Alert email list.

Written By Kiana Davis

Kiana Davis is the Social Action/Social Justice manager at BJ. She previously worked at the Safety Net Project of the Urban Justice Center as a Policy Analyst and Public Benefits Advocate, and at t...

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