I am the CEO of NECHAMA – Jewish Response to Disaster. NECHAMA is the only national Jewish organization that offers sustained direct response and recovery services within the United States. NECHAMA responds to damage caused by hurricanes, tornados, floods, and other natural disasters. This message is not a fundraising pitch. I am looking for folks to serve as local volunteer coordinators for NECHAMA. The role that I am laying out is mission critical, but I don’t anticipate that it will take much of your time. Here is the sign-up form.

Some information about NECHAMA: Rooted and guided by Jewish values, NECHAMA has three overarching priorities: humanizing Jews and representing Jewish ideals in communities shattered by disaster; providing a platform for volunteers to explore their identities and purpose; and spreading hope and offering tangible support to people and communities in desperate need of assistance. 

Founded and still based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, NECHAMA has deployed to more than 30 states and has responded to well over 200 disasters around the country. Staffed by a small team of professionals, NECHAMA relies on hundreds of volunteers to assist with mucking and gutting flood-ridden homes, engaging in brush and debris removal in the aftermath of tornadoes, distributing food in the midst of a storm, or providing long-term recovery by rebuilding homes. Over the years we have attracted thousands of Jewish volunteers who have provided hundreds of thousands of hours of service helping the most vulnerable community members. We engage in this work not because those we directly help are Jewish (most are not) but because of our Jewish values, including the value of Tikkun Olam (repair of the world). Concurrently, through the avenue of providing disaster relief, we help build Jewish Engagement and Combat Antisemitism. Please review our website to learn more.  

This is where you come in. I am seeking networkers/connectors at local Jewish institutions who in the immediate aftermath of a disaster can help NECHAMA reach out to potential volunteers and increase our capacity to respond and bring comfort to those who need it the most. 

You would not need to do anything right now. NECHAMA would reach out to you in two situations: 

  1. When NECHAMA responds to a disaster that is within a reasonable driving distance of your community, and we are seeking local volunteers.
  2. There is a huge disaster (think Hurricane Katrina, Harvey or Sandy). and we are seeking delegations of volunteers from around the country who might want to fly in and join us in providing relief and recovery. 

If either scenario were to occur, we would ask you to mobilize your networks (e.g. board members, committees/committee members, organization-wide membership, professional connections, and personal networks) to amplify our message and recruit volunteers.

Is this something for which you would be willing to share your expertise? If so, please fill out this volunteer coordinator form. If you are not the right person for this role, please pass this message along to others at your agency or in your community who might be, whether they are professionals or volunteer leaders. We are seeking accomplished networkers such as yourself! 

Forecasts for this summer’s storm season are grim, but we remain hopeful for a mild season. With your help, we can be ready at a moment’s notice should a disaster strike your area.

Please reach out to me at [email protected] if you have any questions. 

With deep gratitude,

Stephan Kline, CEO
NECHAMA – Jewish Response to Disaster
[email protected]
(703) 915-6002