New York, February 6, 2023 — The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is partnering with the Jewish Community of Turkey to respond to the devastating earthquakes that struck southern Turkey, causing widespread destruction and resulting in a skyrocketing death toll. The organization will provide immediate relief – which may include temporary shelter, portable heating and winter items like thermal clothes, food and medical support, including medical equipment – and has already deployed its disaster relief expert and Turkey representative to assess these emerging needs and those arising at local hospitals. JDC has responded to various earthquakes in Turkey over the years, including in the Diyarbakir region which is close to the epicenter of the earthquakes. Support JDC’s efforts in Turkey here.
“We mourn the tragic loss of life in Turkey and send our prayers to the Turkish people who are facing loss and destruction yet again. We’ll move quickly together with the Turkish Jewish community and other partners to get aid to those most impacted by the earthquake, including local Jewish communities, knowing that the harsh winter season makes this aid all the more critical to people enduring the cold, homelessness, hunger, injury, and despair,” said JDC CEO Ariel Zwang. “This work is the ultimate expression of JDC’s timeless dedication to arevut, mutual responsibility, and tikkun olam, repair of a broken world.”
JDC’s work in Turkey includes its longstanding support and cooperation with the 15,000-person local Jewish community, who have led disaster response efforts aiding their neighbors for many decades. JDC has also responded to numerous earthquakes in Turkey, deploying emergency relief and long-term development projects reaching thousands of people through food and medical aid, rebuilding of infrastructure like schools and hospitals, and disaster preparedness.
JDC’s disaster relief programs are funded by special appeals of the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors to JDC. JDC relief activities are coordinated with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Israeli relief efforts, and the United Nations, as well as local and international partners.
JDC, which leads the Jewish community response to disaster and international development crisis worldwide, has most recently responded to the 2022 flooding in Pakistan, 2021 earthquake in Haiti, the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa and Asia as well as natural disasters in Mozambique, the Bahamas, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Mexico. JDC also leads the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief (JCDR), made up of 49 mostly North American Jewish organizations who address disasters and development challenges worldwide.