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By Rhonda J. Prepes, P. Eng

As of  February 2 over $42, 957 has been donated through the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg for the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. Additionally, the Federation has donated $1,000 from its own funds.

"We are very concerned about the devastation that has affected millions of lives in Haiti," said Ben Cohen, President of the Federation.

"Our community has once again demonstrated our mission of Tikkun Olam. I cannot thank Winnipeggers enough for their outpouring of support."

The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg is continuing to accept donations. Donations can be made as follows:

·       Online at

·       By phone at (204) 477-7428

·       In person to Federation offices at the Asper Jewish Community Campus

·       By mail to: Jewish Federation of Winnipeg C300-123 Doncaster Street  Winnipeg, MB  R3N 2B2


International efforts to help Haiti have been under way, since the devastating 7.0 earthquake, the worst in 200 years, struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital on January 12.

Haiti - a country where 80% of its nine million citizens live in poverty- is the western hemisphere’s poorest and most disease infested country.

Waldman, Communications Coordinator for the Federation, has noted that in the past, Winnipeggers have been outstandingly generous when moved by a world disaster.

A December 2009 news release from the Fraser Institute in Vancouver, one of Canada’s leading economic think tanks, declared Manitoba to be Canada’s most generous province for the 10th year in a row. Their annual report on generosity shows Manitoba has the highest percentage of tax filers among all provinces who donate to registered charities (27.3%).

“The JFW and the Winnipeg Jewish community are dedicated to the concept of Tikkun Olam - repairing the world. We feel a sense of responsibility for the repair and upkeep not just of the Jewish community, but of the global community at large. Manitobans have consistently topped the rest of Canadians in terms of charitable giving and I am sure that we will again in Haiti’s time of need”, says Waldman.

In the aftermath of the crisis, The Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the world’s largest Jewish humanitarian assistance organization, announced that it would receive funds from the Federations of North America on a non-sectarian basis for relief efforts. The JDC brings together the experience, expertise, and additional resources of North American Jewish organizations to assist victims of natural or man-made disasters. JDC and its partners worldwide have implemented similar relief efforts in disaster-stricken regions in the past. Now and in the months to come, JDC will provide both immediate relief as well as long-term assistance to help the Haitian people rebuild their lives and their community.

Most, if not all, Federations across North America will be coordinating with the JDC in an effort to raise money for the relief fund, including Winnipeg’s Jewish Federation.

On January 15 the Israeli army sent off two aircraft carrying a 220 member medical team and supplies to Haiti to establish a field hospital. The team comprises 40 doctors, 44 nurses as well as technical personnel. One third of the team is made up of army reservists. The field hospital will be capable of treating up to one thousand patients a day.


Rhonda Prepes is an engineer, educator, mother and aspiring writer in Winnipeg.

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