Foundation for Puerto Rico Expands Collaborations

Foundation for Puerto Rico Expands Collaborations

Foundation for Puerto Rico (FPR) traveled to New York and Florida to meet with collaborators and key stakeholders interested in and committed to supporting Puerto Rico’s immediate and long-term rebuilding efforts.

Last week, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and New York-based The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) hosted us at their offices, convening non-profit organizations, community leaders and individuals to learn more about the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. Both Jewish organizations have supported the relief missions around Puerto Rico since day one.

These meetings are part of an FPR tour of major U.S. cities to share Puerto Rico’s recovery plan and current needs.

  The Jewish Federations of North America Regional Director Ed Finkel and FPR President & COO Annie Mayol at the Federations’ headquarters in New York

The Jewish Federations of North America Regional Director Ed Finkel and FPR President & COO Annie Mayol at the Federations’ headquarters in New York

During the visits, FPR President Annie Mayol shared the recovery plans drafted by the government and the CDBG-DR Action Plan, based on current and long-term needs. She also talked about our Bottom Up Destination Recovery Initiative and our asset-based community development framework. We provided updated information on Puerto Rico’s efforts and announced the expansion of the resilience program, which will impact 24 communities, 300 small businesses and create 1,000 new jobs during the next two to three years.

On the other hand, JFNA Executive Vice President Mark Gurvis shared in his welcome remarks the values that drive their support of communities in distress.

In our Judaism, there is no higher value than ‘pikuach nefesh’ – the saving of lives. The opportunity to save lives overrides every other religious law or ritual obligation. Our tradition teaches that when you save one life, it is as if you have saved a whole world.
— Mark Gurvis, JFNA Executive Vice President

“In our Judaism, there is no higher value than ‘pikuach nefesh’ – the saving of lives. The opportunity to save lives overrides every other religious law or ritual obligation. Our tradition teaches that when you save one life, it is as if you have saved a whole world.”

“It has been a hard 14 months since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. Too many lives were lost because of inadequate resources and attention devoted in the aftermath. Too many lives have been disrupted by a recovery hampered by a lack of focus and will, and the failure to marshal the kind of partnership between public resources and philanthropy that is necessary to make a difference.”

“We have more lives to save, and we can also prevent the future loss of life that will certainly come if we fail to learn from this disaster and take the appropriate remedial steps. Imagine how many ‘worlds’ we can save if we unite and focus our efforts.”

 

  From left: Jacob Solomon, CEO and President Greater Miami Jewish Federation, FPR President & COO Annie Mayol, Chief Planning Officer at Greater Miami Jewish Federation Michelle Langdon, JFNA Regional Director Ed Finkel at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation offices.

From left: Jacob Solomon, CEO and President Greater Miami Jewish Federation, FPR President & COO Annie Mayol, Chief Planning Officer at Greater Miami Jewish Federation Michelle Langdon, JFNA Regional Director Ed Finkel at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation offices.

As part of our alliance, we will soon host IsraAID in our space at el Colaboratorio. IsraAID is an Israeli-based humanitarian aid agency that responds to emergency crises and engages in international developments around the world.

IsraAID seven days after Hurricane Maria struck the island, deployed a Spanish-speaking team of medical and psychosocial support professionals, as well as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) experts. Upon arrival, the team conducted a rapid assessment of key needs by visiting numerous shelters and meeting with local authorities, civil society organizations, the local Jewish community, and the local psychologist association.

Following the assessment, IsraAID prioritized and implemented the following emergency relief programs:

  • Distribution of water filters, food and other basic relief items for the most vulnerable communities on the island,

  • Emergency medical response, and

  • Mental and psychosocial support

As we look to rebuild a resilient and resistant Puerto Rico, we will continue to collaborate with the private, public and nonprofit sector to drive social and economic growth.

Join us in rebuilding our communities from the Bottom Up and help Puerto Rico thrive! Your generous contribution will support our future vision for Puerto Rico, which is dependent on new technologies, energy solutions and smart infrastructure. Thank you for working towards a better future for Puerto Rico.

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To support communities in Puerto Rico, make a gift here.

About Foundation for Puerto Rico

Foundation for Puerto Rico is a 501(c)3 and the leading NGO focused on driving Puerto Rico’s social and economic development focused on expanding its scope of impact for Puerto Rico’s long-term recovery and economic growth.