Union for Progressive Judaism Co-Presidents David Knoll and Brian Samuel have urged the UPJ community to “dig deep” to provide support to those who have been devastated by the bushfires, especially those who have lost family members, and they expressed deepest gratitude to the fire fighters who have put their own lives at risk to save lives and property.
Normally Australians enjoy a relaxing summer break following a hard year of work, but this year unprecedented tragedy has struck, with bushfires raging in most states, leading to tragic loss of life and millions of dollars of damage to property.
Our hearts and prayers go out to those who have been devastated by the fires, especially those who have lost family members. We express our deepest gratitude to the fire fighters who have put their own lives at risk to save lives and property.
UPJ congregations have been organizing donations of clothing, furniture and appliances to those who lost homes and property, including a Go Fund Me Appeal for an Emanuel Synagogue member family who lost their home and all possessions in Conjola Park.
The UPJ is urging our Jewish community to dig deep and assist those affected during these troubled times.
To help, visit: http://upj.org.au to link to appeals being run by Australian Jewish communities.
Here’s some organizations you can also help:
Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery is raising money to fund recovery programs and emergency assistance in affected communities. Donations also go toward disaster preparation, protection and volunteer training.
The Salvation Army is also delivering support to communities affected by the fires, with emergency service teams responding to loss of life and property.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) notes on its site that just five percent of the koala population remains. This number will likely plummet once recovery of the bushfires is underway. The WWF is working to save Australian wildlife and restore land for future habitats.
RSPCA NSW is also working to help animals endangered by the fires, including pets and livestock.
Vets Beyond Borders is delivering life-saving medical care to animals affected by the Australia bushfires.
Firefighters are risking their lives to try and put out these flames — many are unpaid volunteers who greatly benefit from our support. Consider a donation to the Country Fire Authority (CFA) in Victoria and the NSW Rural Fire Service in New South Wales.