AJC (American Jewish Committee) is partnering with IsraAID, the Israeli humanitarian relief organization, to provide urgent emergency assistance to Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory devastated by Hurricane Maria.

IsraAID often is one of the first non-governmental groups to reach the site of a disaster, no matter the distance from Israel, and provide urgently needed assistance. In Puerto Rico, with AJC assistance, they are providing essential emergency relief including water, food, and hygiene items as well as psychosocial trauma support.

“Our tradition commands us to help those who are in need, and the people of Puerto Rico are in a desperate situation,” said Dina Siegel Vann, Director of AJC’s Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs. “In this Jewish New Year period of introspection and renewal, we are committed to the recovery and rebuilding of Puerto Rico.”

Aiding Puerto Rico is the latest in a long series of cooperative arrangements between AJC and IsraAID to help alleviate humanitarian crises and disasters around the world.

AJC, through BILLA, maintains close, cooperative relations with Puerto Rican communities across the U.S. In November 2010, American Jewish and Puerto Rican leaders visited the island together on a trip co-sponsored by AJC, the National Puerto Rican Coalition, the Hispanic Federation, and the Jewish community in Puerto Rico.

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