Source: Jewish Disaster Response Corps
After an initial emergency recovery, areas affected by natural disasters often fall out of the public spotlight, even when they still require significant recovery work. Recognizing that serious and effective volunteering opportunities interest large numbers of young Jews, Jewish Disaster Response Corps (JDRC) closes the gap between the Jewish community and the need for volunteer domestic disaster relief. JDRC brings multiple groups of volunteers to affected communities over extended periods of time. Participants work with local rebuilding organizations during the day and spend their evenings and Shabbat engaging in reflection, Jewish learning, and interactions with the local community.
The JDRC model often brings groups of Jews to areas with small or isolated Jewish populations, showing communities recovering from disasters that the Jewish community cares about their futures.
JDRC participants also frequently volunteer alongside non-Jews, allowing for moments of authentic, cross-cultural value-sharing and learning opportunities. In addition to rebuilding after the tornado in Oklahoma, JDRC currently works with New York Says Thank You to rebuild 200 first responders’ homes destroyed in Hurricane Sandy, demonstrating that communities near and far require serious and sustained disaster relief efforts.