The Jewish community of India, together with American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is responding to the destructive floods in Kerala, providing food and clothing to hundreds of families hard-hit by the disaster. With a presence in India since 1950, JDC and its partners in the Jewish community will provide the aid through the All-India Disaster Mitigation Agency, its longstanding partner, and will continue to raise funds and monitor needs for future support given the extent of the flooding, which has killed hundreds of people and displaced hundreds of thousands. To support JDC’s disaster relief efforts,

“As we join with our neighbors in mourning the loss of life in Kerala, we are also acutely aware of the critical importance of the support we are providing to survivors facing an uncertain future. Drawing from our previous experiences responding to these kinds of disasters in India, and throughout the region, we are focused on meeting immediate needs, rebuilding more sustainably for future disasters, and upholding the Jewish value for life, especially in the face of such terrible loss,” said Elijah Jacob, Executive Director of JDC’s India office, and Dr. Nathan Aston, Chair of the Indian Jewish community’s Indian Joint Trust.

As news of the rains, flooding and landslides grew, JDC’s India team coordinated with the local Jewish community, which is made up of of 4,500 people, and other NGO partners to devise a response to the devastation. JDC’s India team — which works today with the Indian Jewish community to care for its neediest, provide Jewish cultural and educational opportunities, and support vulnerable populations in distress, like the poor in urban slums — took a lead role in JDC’s responses to the Nepal earthquake and Indian Ocean Tsunami.

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. In the last year, JDC and its partners have responded to disasters and crises in Guatemala, Indonesia, Mexico, the Caribbean, Sri Lanka, and East Africa and has continued its post-disaster development work in Nepal, Philippines, and Haiti. JDC also provides ongoing humanitarian aid to refugees in Europe and the Middle East.

JDC relief activities are coordinated with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, the Israeli government, Interaction, and the United Nations, as well as local and international partners.