IDF heads to Philippines to help storm survivors

Israeli and Jewish groups have joined on ground rescue teams in the Philippines (Photo: DVIDSHUB)

Israeli and Jewish groups have joined on ground rescue teams in the Philippines (Photo: DVIDSHUB)

Israeli rescue forces and Jewish aid groups have been dispatched to the Philippines to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

The storm swept through the eastern seaboard of the Philippines, before heading west and hitting six central Philippine islands. At least 10,000 people are believed to have been killed.

The JC understands that at least one American Jewish family – including three children, one of whom was one born last Saturday – lost their home in the southern province of Bohol.

The family is now travelling north to Manila where they will be rehoused by Chabad in the Philippines.

A Chabad spokesperson said: “They were affected by the recent October earthquake as well as the typhoon. Their house is broken, but they are healthy. We are working on assisting the father in relocation. They’ll now be closer to Chabad.” At least 600 Jews are based in Manila.

Paul Rosenberg, the president of the Jewish Association of the Philippines, said the synagogue and community in the capital were safe: “We were spared from the terrible situation in the middle islands”.

He added: “We have been told via a source from Israel that there are several missing Jews.

“If there are any Jews or Israelis affected, we would of course assist them as we always do whenever Jews need help in the Philippines.”

The Israel Defence Forces and IsraAID sent delegations to the Philippines last weekend to assess the situation and assist local NGOs and UN agencies.

British charity World Jewish Relief and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee have launched emergency fundraising appeals for survivors.

Last updated: 5:49pm, November 12 2013