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2017-10-06 digital edition
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October 6, 2017  RSS feed
World News

Text: T T T

NY Federation, Miami WIZO send planes with aid to Puerto Rico; one returns with New Yorker in time for his son’s wedding

(JTA) – UJA-Federation of New York have delivered a planeload of humanitarian supplies to the JCC in Puerto Rico and returned a stranded retired New York firefighter in time for his son’s wedding.

Meanwhile, the Florida chapter of WIZO, the Women’s International Zionist Organization, also chartered a plane loaded with food, rations and basic necessities collected largely by the Hispanic Jewish community of Miami to send to Puerto Rico.

“It was very important for us to show our solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico,” Goldy Retchkiman, deputy director of WIZO Florida, said in a statement. “As Hispanics, we have ties that commit us to help as much as we are able to alleviate this terrible situation, and what is happening on the island is a tragedy that we could not brush aside.”

The New York effort was spearheaded by the firefighters in the city of Yonkers, who collected the supplies that arrived in Puerto Rico on Oct. 1 in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The supplies were packed by the Afya Foundation for distribution by the Puerto Rico JCC to Jews and non-Jews, according to UJA.

UJA leaders including President Jeffrey Schoenfeld, CEO Eric Goldstein and Executive Vice President Mark Medin accompanied the flight and met in Puerto Rico with a Chabad rabbi, Mendel Zarchi, and Jeff Berezdivin, president of the JCC in San Juan.

“We are scraping the bottom, running out of supplies – food, water, medications, diapers,” Zarchi told UJA. “People here need everything. This will benefit the Jewish and broader community – so many are in desperate need right now. We cannot thank you enough. May we all be sealed in the book of life.”

The plane returned to New York carrying retired firefighter, Jose Carabello, who had been in Puerto Rico caring for his hospitalized father when the hurricane hit. He returned to serve as the best man for his son, who also is a Yonkers firefighter.

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