Justice, Religion

CHaBaD leads Haiti Relief Operation

Against the backdrop of its own moral and economic scandals, The Lubavitcher Hasidim are among those Jewish groups aiding the people of Haiti with important and professional aid. The presence of those loyal to the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe seems underneath, or perhaps above, the Jewish media’s radar.
Chabad.org writes:

Jan 17, 2010 1:10 PM
Rabbi Shimon Pelman, the director of Chabad-Lubavitch of the Dominican Republic who crossed the border into neighboring Haiti on Friday, described the contrasts as day and night.
With hours to go until the onset of Shabbat, the rabbi counseled earthquake survivors in the devastated capital of Port-au-Prince and was briefed on efforts undertaken by United Nations troops and aid workers in the city.
Pelman, who in conjunction with Chabad of the Caribbean has set up a relief fund and Web page to keep people abreast of developments, said that those who were lucky enough to survive the Jan. 12 quake were in desperate need of food, water and medicine…
After the close of Shabbat Saturday night, he and his wife Michal Pelman, and two rabbinical students who were dispatched from New York to help during the tragedy, prepared boxes of hot meals and sent them with an Israeli convoy travelling across rugged terrain to a field hospital in Port-au-Prince. The rabbi also arranged for a local bakery to prepare bread for foreign military forces in Haiti, including an Israeli delegation that numbers in excess of 220 personnel and is comprised of K-9 search-and-rescue units, a medical team and support staff.
Sunday morning, the rabbi was working the phones to secure warehouses to support the effort.
He said that his journey to Haiti on Friday was sobering. What he saw among the lucky survivors who managed to obtain shelter at a tent set up outside the half-destroyed U.N. headquarters, he explained, was heartbreaking.
“People are waiting for something to happen,” he said. “They have no food, no water, no medicine.”

9 thoughts on “CHaBaD leads Haiti Relief Operation

  1. I have friends who also met through Habad. How? In Venice, the Sukkah was full to overflowing. The women were asked to sit at an extension of the table that extended out of the Sukkah as they were not obligated to fulfill the Mitzvah. My friend was irked and sat with the women. His wife to be sat just across from him. Thus Habad was responsible for the Shiduch.

  2. Chabad are known to exaggerate the importance of their work; making hot meals and “securing warehouses” for bread for the relief forces is (1) hardly “leading” anything and (2) useless in the general scheme of things.
    SOmetimes the best thing to do is to butt out and let real people work.

  3. and critics are known to exaggerate the uselessness of their efforts. can’t we put aside such feelings at least in the face of catastrophic devastation?

  4. With all due respect to Amit,I believe the article was referring to providing hot meals for the Israeli soldiers-certainly not “useless”.Providing counselling for survivors of such a horrendous event is certainly beneficial.I think all those involved are due immense credit for their efforts, and are to be commended.

  5. And nonconstructively criticizing someone who’s doing what they can, Amit, is the opposite of leadership or usefulness.
    Offering meals, prayers, and emotional support is pretty much what Chabad does. They do it very well. If they’re already active in the DR and there are heaps of Israelis and Jews working their butts off in Haiti right now then that sounds like a very important role to fill.

  6. Siviyo, you said it very well. Amit, please don’t spew filth and negativity here. Give them credit for doing something that other jewish organisations (other than zaka) are not, regardless if the reporting is exaggerated or not, they are there on the scene providing physical and emotional aid in a catastrophic hell, and we are sitting here all comfortably, ’nuff said.

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