Mobilizing American Jewish communities to lend skilled hands to assist American communities recover from natural disasters. When a natural disaster strikes local residents and community support networks often are devastated, overwhelmed and unable to adequately respond to the situation without outside assistance. Residents reach out for a helping hand to aid them in getting back on their feet and to begin rebuilding their homes and their communities. It is the moral and social responsibility of the Jewish community, just as any other American community, to extend a helping hand to these communities during their time of need.

 

Currently, most, if not all, of organizations that respond to disasters are faith-based organizations. As a member of the wider faith based community, the Jewish community should be a part of the disaster response effort. As members of a religious and ethical tradition that emphasizes helping the weakest in society it is our obligation to assist those impoverished and displaced by catastrophic disasters. The current lack of a visible organized presence from the Jewish community in responding to domestic disasters is a noticeable problem, that the JDRC will rectify by creating a Jewish organization that works alongside other faith-based aid organizations in order to help communities that have been affected by disaster.

 

The JDRC will work to mobilize American Jewish communities to travel to disaster sites and help American communities in their recovery efforts. Under the supervision of trained first-responders, volunteers will be able to provide relief for affected communities to help them on the road to recovery.

 

The JDRC will establish a standing corps (planned for the summer of 2011) that will be able to respond rapidly when a disaster strikes the mainland U.S. The Corps will be able to assess the needs of the community and will help find the best way to meet these needs. The corps will first perform necessary response work such as clearing trees, mucking houses, and laying the organizational groundwork and logistical support for untrained volunteers to arrive and help contribute significantly to the relief effort. The corps will also make arrangements for other, specifically Jewish, organizations and communities that wish to send volunteers to help the JDRC in its efforts to rebuild after a natural disaster.

 

The JDRC strives to bring skilled Jewish hands to disaster response, centered on the skills of the JDRC Corps members, who will bring their training and experience to most effectively help the affected communities recover and rebuild.