This week, JCRC was privileged to host Yotam Polizer and Talya Feldman from the Israeli-based NGO IsraAID. IsraAID currently provides disaster relief in 19 countries around the globe. They are often the first on the ground after natural disasters occur – such as the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014, the typhoon in Japan in 2015, the earthquake in Nepal in 2015, and even right here at home in the United States providing relief in Baton Rouge, Louisiana after the devastating floods in 2016.

One of IsraAID’s recent focuses has been assisting with the refugee crisis in Europe. You can learn more about IsraAID’s work on the refugee crisis by watching this short film: The Island of Tears

JCRC coordinated IsraAID’s Indiana Tour with the CRC in South Bend. During their trip in Indiana, they spoke to an interfaith audience in South Bend, on campus at the University of Notre Dame, to a classroom of 40 emergency management students at IUPUI, to a group of 50 students at Indiana University (Bloomington), and to the Jewish community in West Lafayette. One of the most exciting aspects of their presentation was the potential opportunity they offered students to apply for their summer internship program. These expense-paid internships will allow students to work in the field in a variety of different countries where IsraAID currently operates. For more information on IsraAid’s internship program, contact Talya Feldman (, IsraAID’s director of US Operations.

Yotam and Talya captivated all of the audiences they spoke in front of in Indiana. Their work demonstrates that crises present opportunities for different faith and ethnic communities to work together to solve them while building bridges between one another.

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