BENEFITING: AMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE INC
Hi. My name is Phoebe Zucker. This year I am turning 12, which is the year I become a Bat Mitzvah. Along with the many privileges that come with turning this age, it also comes with many responsibilities. As Jews one of our main responsibilities is Tikun Olam, to fix the world.
Last November a massive typhoon, Typhoon Haiyan, struck the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest tropical cyclone in history to make landfall. It had sustained wind speeds of 195mph and gusts of over 235mph! It was the deadliest typhoon to hit the Philippines with over 6,000 people killed. Millions more were left with the devastation being left homeless.
In short, Typhoon Haiyan was a monster.
Reading about the typhoon with my mother, I saw that the JDC, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, was involved in assisting victims of the Philippines. The JDC has also partnered with the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) to set up field hospitals and provide medical equipment, supplies, and assistance, especially for infants.
I was very curious to see a bit of the Philippine history. Like most of us I started by looking at what the Jewish community was like there. I was shocked to learn about the Philippines opening their doors to Jewish refugees during the Holocaust saving over 1,300. I was even more surprised to learn that the Philippines voted for the creation of the State of Israel in 1947 making them one of only 33 nations who had the courage to stand for what was right. It also gave the Philippines the honor of being the only Asian nation to vote in favor of a Jewish Homeland.
For my Bat Miztvah, I want to help raise money for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
I can't imagine how terrifying it must have been to see such destructive natural power. What could be more tragic than having not only so many friends and relatives perish, but your entire surroundings annihilated all around you? Nothing was left as it was. Everything was destroyed.
I feel it is so important to show that the Jewish people, despite our very small numbers in the world, can still have a tremendous impact on the lives of others in faraway places. It helps to connect us to the rest of the world. Hashem says that we should be charitable not just to ourselves, but to everyone that needs it. I feel that it is important to show that we reach out to all those who suffer.
WHOSOEVER PRESERVES A SINGLE SOUL..., SCRIPTURE ASCRIBES [MERIT] TO HIM AS THOUGH HE HAD PRESERVED A COMPLETE WORLD." [Sanhedrin 37a]