Jewish/Israeli Tsunami relief efforts have been extensive and exemplary, but largely unacknowledged in the media. For details, go to:

Chabad of Thailand is deeply involved in the relief work. An edited e-mail on the subject from their Executive Director, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Kantor follows.

Chabad of Thailand
10200 Thailand

December 28, 2004

Dear Chaverim,

I write to you in the midst of the mounting humanitarian disaster effecting Southeast Asia.

As the only Jewish service agency in the country dealing with this catastrophe, our offices and staff in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Ko Samui have put everything else aside, working 24/7 to assist those in need and comfort.

Rabbi Nehemya Wilhelm was dispatched to the scene of the tragedy in Phuket to aid in the rescue efforts where he is making the rounds of the hospitals, identifying bodies, arranging medical help and transportation for survivors, connecting survivors with each other, and helping the Israeli government in coping with this terrible ordeal.

Thailands three Chabad Houses, staffed by six full time Rabbis and twelve Rabbinical trainees, were immediately converted into crisis centers where dazed survivors are:

receiving medical help, free meals, funds for new clothing, placing free international phone calls (and same for internet use) to their loved ones to inform them of their whereabouts, and are being helped in their efforts to locate their friends as yet unaccounted for.

Chabad volunteers are standing by at the local hospitals to visit the injured and provide them with kosher food and any other help needed.

Chabad staff is providing counseling to the survivors who are in a state of emotional trauma.

Chabad staff has already fielded several thousand phone calls from Israel, trying to help families locate their relatives.

Chabad has been instrumental in notifying thousands of Israelis in Thailand who have not been affected by the quake to contact their families back home.

As the initial efforts of search and rescue wind down over the next week, the grim work of identifying bodies and counseling bereaved families will unfortunately keep the Chabad staff fully occupied for the foreseeable future. We are also expecting the stream of survivors of this natural disaster appearing at our doors in Bangkok to increase, placing the burden on us to clothe, feed and accommodate them as they slowly try to make their way home.

If you would like more information please refer to


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