Now entering its sixth year, the conflict in Syria continues to take a drastic toll on the lives of the Syrian people. Hundreds of thousands have been killed, millions -- reports of over 10 million -- displaced.
In Aleppo the reports of crimes against humanity have taken the suffering to a new level.
We have a long history of humanitarian activity aiding both Jews and non-Jews during times of crisis, and our Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is a proud partner of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief (JCDR), which have been delivering humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees and displaced people since 2013.
As fighting has intensified over the past two years, our support has helped partners on the ground provide water, food, shelter, hygiene and other types of assistance, including:
- International convoys that reached hundreds of thousands of people in besieged locations
- Tens of thousands of dollars' worth of medical supplies and assistance
- Daycare and educational services for children
- Expert staff that manages resettlement claims for refugee children with severe medical conditions due to abuse, torture or mutilation
- Advocating for refugees in neighboring countries
- Setting up a community daycare center for vulnerable women and children
The JCDR has been aiding Syrian refugees in Syria; displaced persons have been aided in Jordan, Greece, Hungary, Turkey, Serbia, Austria and Israel. You might be interested in this article on how a small initiative became an important lifeline for Syrian refugees.
This past week Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced the government's intent to increase the number of wounded civilians from Aleppo receiving medical treatment by Israeli hospitals and clinics.
JDC has also been instrumental in creating the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA), which is the United States' leading interfaith response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Its mission is to mobilize global support to alleviate the Syrian humanitarian crisis, heighten awareness of its growing dangers, and advance future stability in the region. Comprised of more than 70 participating organizations, MFA is enlisting the moral authority of religious and civil society leaders to address the ongoing suffering of Syria's war victims.
The JDC and the JCDR are able to provide immediate response because of the ongoing support from Jewish Federation annual campaigns, including that of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. The organizations are operational 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, providing services, liaising with local officials, and providing services to Jews and non-Jews in need. When an urgent situation grows into a crisis, they are uniquely poised to represent the Jewish community in responding.
At times of crisis, additional funds are always needed. You can support the efforts of the JCDR and JDC by sending a contribution through the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.