September 22, 2008
Hurricanes and the Jews in Cuba
June Safran is a perfect example of a good person. Based in Berkeley, California, June, as head of the Cuba-America Jewish Mission (http://www.cajm.org/), has dedicated a good part of her life to improving the lives of the remaining Jews living in Cuba (as well as those who have made aliyah from Cuba). For years she has traveled on her own or with groups, introducing them to this small and yet vital community. She and the many volunteers who work with her have encouraged and fostered a return to Judaism, both culturally and religiously.
This afternoon’s emails included one from June which shared information about the very serious effects of both Hurricanes Gustave and Ike which were the greatest natural disasters in the history of the island. No aspect of life in Cuba has been untouched–hundreds of thousands of homes destroyed, infrastructure ripped asunder, and the country’s agriculture (critical to both those living on the island and for export) nearly completely destroyed. June shared that there will be critical food shortages for many months to come.
Could we help? With June’s extensive network, one of her volunteers would be traveling to Cuba in a few weeks and could facilitate some type of food relief. This was something we felt we had to do-Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh L’Zeh-every Jew is responsible for every other. A check is going out today.