More than six months after the fires, blackened debris can still be seen all over the fire zone. (Photo/Rob Gloster)
More than six months after the fires, blackened debris can still be seen all over the fire zone. (Photo/Rob Gloster)

S.F. and East Bay federations raise $1.1 million for North Bay fire recovery

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The S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation and the Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay announced that they jointly raised more than $1,135,000 to support wildfire recovery efforts in the North Bay.

Those fires, which scorched nearly 250,000 acres in Sonoma and Napa Counties, claimed 44 lives and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, including URJ Camp Newman near Santa Rosa. In response, the federations created the North Bay Wildfire Emergency Fund, which brought in more than $780,000 in contributions.

Some $646,000 was granted as emergency funding for short-term crisis relief and support for mid-term recovery. Grants to Jewish community organizations, such as Jewish Family and Children’s Services, the Jewish Free Clinic, local synagogues and Chabad organizations, helped support social services and spiritual care.

Other grants addressed the impact of the fires on individuals, families and service providers. Grantees included IsraAID, the JCC of Sonoma County and the Overnight Jewish Camp Fund, which will make scholarships available for the 2018 camp season, enabling campers from Sonoma and Napa Counties to attend any Jewish overnight in Northern California.

Another $355,000 in donor directed grants to Jewish and non-sectarian organizations in the North Bay have been granted to organizations such as the Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief Fund and Tipping Point Community.

“The full impact of this tragedy is still being absorbed,” said Howard Zack, chair of the federations’ North Bay Wildfire Relief and Recovery Task Force. “We have seen remarkable resiliency in the Jewish community, and at the same time, we know that physical and emotional rebuilding will take many years.”