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Purim is rapidly approaching but news and pictures of the cataclysmic 8.9 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hit Japan brings to mind the haunting words of the Unetaneh Tokef far more readily than the lilting melodies of the Megillah or the joyousness associated with the month of Adar.

The Talmud reminds the Jewish people that we are "rachmanim b'nei rachmanim," a particularly compassionate people who are sensitive to the suffering of all. Surely, we will not sit idly by and ignore the terrible drama that is unfolding before our eyes. Thousands have already been confirmed dead and the final tally could reach well into the tens of thousands.

Contributing to the OU’s Earthquake Emergency Fund is not only a fulfillment of the Jewish mandate to emulate God’s merciful ways by caring for the needs of the most vulnerable, but also an opportunity to honor the memory of Japanese Consul General Chiune Sugihara and his wife Yokiko who risked their lives in 1940 in order to save more than 6,000 Jews from Lithuania by issuing travel visas. More than 40,000 descendants of the 6,000 “Sugihara Jews” are alive today as a result of this singular act of courage and conviction.

With your help, the Orthodox Union will respond to the need for assistance as the communities impacted by the devastation look to us for critical assistance. Whether in response to the Forest Fires of the Carmel, or the devastation that struck Haiti and Chile last year, the OU has always been able to count on the Jewish community to respond in times of need.

We urge you once again to please be generous.

Dr. Simcha Katz

Rabbi Steven Weil
Executive Vice President

To make an online donation, select a gift amount below and click the "Donate" button. To make a donation by mail, kindly send a check to the Orthodox Union - Earthquake, at 11 Broadway, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10004. The check should be made out to the Orthodox Union with "OU Earthquake Emergency Fund" listed on the memo line.

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