NECHAMA, rooted in the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, provides comfort and hope to communities by engaging volunteers in disaster recovery work.

Tikkun Olam

“Tikkun olam” (Hebrew for “world repair”) has come to connote social action and the pursuit of social justice. The phrase has origins in classical rabbinic literature and in Lurianic kabbalah, a major strand of Jewish mysticism originating with the work of the 16th-century kabbalist Isaac Luria. For NECHAMA, we engage in Tikkun Olam through direct service and action, assisting storm-affected families and providing opportunities for hundreds of volunteers.

Our History

NECHAMA – Jewish Response to Disaster, is the only Jewish organization to offer sustained direct services in the US following the onset of a hurricane, tornado, flood, or other natural disaster. Steve Lear of Minneapolis founded the organization following the Great Flood of 1993 when both the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers flooded over a period of 7 months, leading to 32 deaths, and over $15 billion in damage. Lear donated funds to the recovery but wished to do more, so he recruited three friends, a truck, some tools, and headed south to Iowa.

That first trip was the beginning of an organization now known as NECHAMA (nechama means “to comfort” in Hebrew). NECHAMA’s programs are direct and effective ways for communities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. Our programs aim to provide direct disaster assistance, training, and other support so that affected individuals, families, and small businesses can respond more effectively, saving precious time and money. NECHAMA is inclusive, welcoming volunteers of all faiths and providing assistance to disaster survivors regardless of religious affiliation. Our work provides disaster survivors with critical comfort and hope.

Our Staff

Leadership & Administration

David E. Kaplan

Executive Director


(952) 255-6822

Kristine Seabloom

Finance Director


(952) 255-6813


Angela Satcher

Development Director



Shannon McNamara

Development Coordinator


(763) 732-0610


Dorothy Maples

Operations Director


(952) 255-6809

Mariana Micheli

Operations Manager


(952) 255-6815

Kim Clark

Operations Coordinator


(952) 255-6819

Luke Vancleave

Logistics Coordinator


(952) 255-6817

Abi Mason

Operations Intern


Our Board

  • Seth Gardner – President
    Chicago, IL
  • Rabbi Matt RosenbergImmediate Past President
    Sacramento, CA
  • Steve KleinglassSecretary
    Venice, FL
  • Liz Farrell – Treasurer
    St. Paul, MN
  • Tracy Figueroa
    New York, NY
  • Elie Lowenfeld
    New York, NY
  • Stephen Matloff
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Beau Shapiro
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Jeremy Wolf
    Los Angeles, CA

Our Financials

NECHAMA is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All contributions are tax deductible.

Tax ID # 411998750

© 2017 NECHAMA - Jewish Response to Disaster, Registered 501(c)3

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