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.

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

Kristine Seabloom



(507) 222-9009


Dorothy Maples

Operations Director


(952) 255-6809

Our Board

  • Stephen Matloff President
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Liz Farrell – Secretary/Treasurer
    St. Paul, MN
  • Seth Gardner – Immediate Past President
    Chicago, IL
  • Rabbi Matt Rosenberg
    Sacramento, CA
  • Tracy Figueroa
    New York, NY
  • Elie Lowenfeld
    New York, NY
  • Rabbi Beau Shapiro
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Jeremy Wolf
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Wendy Morris
    Minneapolis, MN
  • Kyle Smith
    Nicholasville, KY

Our Financials

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

Tax ID # 41-1998750

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

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