Australian Wildfires Jewish Relief Update

The Jewish community across Australia has been working with local authorities and relief organizations offering incredible philanthropic support to the communities affected by the Victorian bushfires, which are still burning. 

Australian Jewish Funders' Victorian Jewish Bushfire Relief Fund has raised over $1.6 million in only three weeks, and is continuing to collect funds for this important cause. A great challenge faced at this time is ensuring funds raised are distributed in the most practical and efficient way, helping those in need as quickly as possible.

Although recent cooler conditions and rain have brought some respite in the outbreak of wildfires, more than 50 fires are still burning in the states of New South Wales and Victoria.

The crisis has already burned through 11 million hectares of land killing over 1 billion animals, destroying thousands of homes and killing at least 33 people, including three volunteer firefighters from California.

With the prospect of up to 1.000 Victorian children going back to school for the new school year over the next two weeks without school clothes, computer and backpacks, there is an urgent need for assistance.

Funding from the Victorian Jewish Bushfire Appeal, initially $1 million will enable St Vincent’s to ensure in the short term all children impacted by the fires will be looked after for all of their school needs. By extension, this will also take the financial pressures from the parents, who have many other issues to deal with. Additional funding options are being investigated by the newly established Allocation Group led by Carol Schwartz AO, Elana Rubin and Jennifer Huppert.

It’s highly probable there will be a continuing need to financially support people in the affected bushfire areas and therefore tax-deductible donations can still be made thanks to the incredible support and partnership with Jewish Funders Network. Please contact Nan Rossein  if you would like to support our efforts. Funds can also be distributed on your behalf to Australian charities that are registered with DGR1 status with the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC) via the Victorian Jewish Bushfire Relief Fund, please specify the organization when connecting with Nan.

Tracie Olcha is CEO of Australian Jewish Funders.

(Photo credit: 80 Trading 24/Wikimedia Commons)