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Jewish Groups Launch Relief Effort for Maui as the Island’s Jews Are Among the Evacuated

By 08/13/2023 10:50 AMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


Following the destruction brought on by wildfires that have so far claimed the lives of more than 50 people, Jewish organizations in Hawaii and the United States are starting relief operations.

The hamlet of Lahaina on the island of Maui, which Hawaii’s Jewish governor, Josh Green, and the state’s Jewish senator, Brian Schatz, visited on Thursday, has been virtually destroyed by flames. Green stated in a statement that “what we saw today was probably the biggest natural disaster in Hawaii state history.”

Hawaiians living well outside the fire zone have been affected by the fires. The Jewish Congregation of Maui and its grounds are safe, the nondenominational synagogue said on its website with gratitude and humility. However, due to the flames’ destruction, many people in our community have lost their homes, businesses, and even a loved one.
According to experts, changes to Hawaii’s agriculture have given fuel to the state’s wildfires, while rising heat and less rain brought on by climate change have left Hawaii more susceptible to them.

The state is the location of the second youth-led climate change lawsuit in the US. It was filed against the state’s transportation department by 14 teenagers, the majority of whom are Native Hawaiians, and a trial date was set just days before the fires broke out.

Two synagogues—the Jewish Congregation of Maui, which was outside the evacuation zone, and Chabad of Maui, which was—serve the island’s 2,000–3,000 Jewish residents. Congregants are among those evacuated, the rabbis of both synagogues told eJewishPhilanthropy and the Forward.

The Chabad leader, Mendy Krasnjansky, informed the Forward that volunteers were prepared to go to the synagogue and rescue Torah scrolls if necessary.

In order to provide toiletries, first-aid kits, non-perishable foods, baby supplies, and other items to the evacuees, the Jewish Federations of North America established the Hawaii Wildfire Fund on Thursday. Support is required not only in Maui but also in Honolulu, where Jewish community organizations will be working to assist individuals in need, according to Alisa.


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bobby bracros

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