IsraAID Greeting Syrian refugees on a Greek beach..
(photo credit: MICKEY NOAM-ALON / ISRAAID)
Buried deep within the lower reaches of Beit Hatfutsot–Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv, near the end of a maze of basement corridors, are the small but very busy offices of an extraordinary Israeli organization that you have most likely never heard of. The offices are cramped and bare-boned, with minimal furniture and virtually no decorations. When you visit these offices – if you can find them in the basement’s winding labyrinth – you will conclude that this organization is spending its money elsewhere, for other things.Indeed, it is. The organization is IsraAID, and since 2001 it has been responding to disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, disease epidemics and refugee crises around the world – as well as staying after the disasters to provide long-term aid projects that save people’s lives. In the past several weeks, for example, IsraAID has sent teams of staff and volunteers to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston; Hurricane Irma in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Commonwealth of Dominica; an earthquake in Mexico, a mudslide in Sierra Leone, and a typhoon in Nepal, all the while conducting long-term social development projects in 14 countries in Africa, Asia, Central America, the Pacific and the Caribbean.