JCA and the floods

February 7, 2011 Agencies
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Sydney’s Jewish Communal Appeal’s CEO expresses his thoughts as life starts to return to normal for those affected by the Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi.from Ian Sandler….

Ian Sandler

The past few weeks have been traumatic for any Australian based in the Queensland area, and harrowing for those of us who followed the nightmare through the constant and comprehensive news coverage. Glued to our screens late into the night on Wednesday as we awaited the arrival of Cyclone Yasi and then breathing a collective sigh of relief on Thursday morning when we knew it was down-graded from a Category 5 to a Category 3 made me realise how at one I felt with the people of Australia. Crisis tends to do that.

I found it overwhelming, the outpouring of support for our neighbours in Queensland – music concerts, baking workshops and a fundraising drive from JewishAid, a not for profit organisation, that channelled money to the general Queensland community as well as a portion specifically allocated to the aboriginal community affected by the floods earlier this year. And this was just the overt Jewish side of the response. Many members of our community donated to the Premiers Flood Appeal, even though they have no connection to Queensland other than that Noosa is situated near its border with New South Wales and Surfers Paradise is where their children want to holiday. JCA were also quietly instrumental in assisting the Queensland Jewish community with their fundraising appeal by providing the back office support they needed.

In an age where our community is sometimes seen to be very insular – taking care of its own as a priority – these initiatives to reach out and be part of a greater community, an Australian community, tears down the barriers that are seen to sometimes be self-created and exclusive.

I have previously discussed our young adult community and how they are metamorphasizing and demanding that their philanthropic causes embrace more than just one area of the community in which they live. While the Jewish Communal Appeal is a New South Wales based fundraiser for the Jewish community, clearly the values of our donors, supporters, members of our community, embrace the entire concept of Tikkun Olam – as NSW Jews we should hold our heads high and embrace others as well as our own. As a Jew it makes me proud to carry these inherent values to the greater world.

So, does it take a cyclone to unite a nation? Perhaps in some situations, but I think that the Jews of New South Wales, you, our community are already part of a global movement to help others less fortunate than yourselves.

So, from the desk of the CEO,  here’s hoping that floods, cyclones and other weather disasters are now a thing of the past for our Queensland compatriots.

Comments

3 Responses to “JCA and the floods”
  1. Dear AusMe,

    The JCA played a very direct, important, and appreciated role in the first weeks of our communal appeal here. Ian Sandler modestly referred to ‘back office support’ in his story. This support equated to the recording of more than 300 individual donations and the issuing of receipts for each one. The QJCS does not have the capacity to manage such a workload and greatly appreciates the support offered by the JCA.

    Thank you JCA

    Scott Leonard
    Honorary Treasurer
    Queensland Jewish Community Services

  2. JCA says:

    The JCA is the planner, facilitator and fundraiser for the NSW Jewish Community. The model is unique to NSW and as it works as well as it does, we are often called upon to consult and advise other communities. If you had read the article properly what Ian Sandler was saying was that the Queensland Floods generated a real spirit of Tikkun Olam – something not only to be commented on by a rabbi or the communal bodies you mentioned. The editor of JWire saw the merit in the JCA weekly blog post and published. As community organisations we support each other, and that in itself lends the website its communal credibility. As a Jewish Australian you too should have felt a sense of pride that your community stepped up and made a difference not only to the Jewish community in Queensland but to the community as a whole.

  3. AusMe says:

    Who cares what the CEO of the JCA has to say about a subject that has nothing to do with him. Is he a representative of the Jewish community that anyone cares what he has to say about Jews in Queensland? He is not a rabbi and is not a spokesperson for the ECAJ or the QLD Jewish Board of Deputies. The JCA is a fundraising body only, and is limited to NSW.

    In fact, this sounds like a weekly email from the JCA that jwire has lazily republished as a news item.

    Cummon jwire, this is lazy journalism and does nothing to lift your site’s credibility.

    Let’s see if you have the guts to publish this.

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