NECHAMA - Jewish Response to Disaster

Rating: 4.97 stars   119 reviews

Issues: Disaster Aid, Human Services

Location: 4330 Cedar Lake Rd. S St. Louis Park MN 55416 USA

Mission: NECHAMA - Jewish Response to Disaster is a 501(c)(3) volunteer organization providing clean-up and recovery assistance to homes and businesses affected by natural disaster. Guided by the Jewish value of tikkun olam, repairing the world, performing good acts, and helping the stranger, NECHAMA offers a helping hand in the spirit of goodwill and creating mutual respect and understanding among people.
Target demographics: Disaster Survivors
Geographic areas served: General United States / Long Island, NY
Programs: We are currently serving the Long Island, NY area with repair and rebuild services in response to Hurricane Sandy.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

2 people found this review helpful

I first met NECHAMA: The Jewish Response to Disaster in September 2005 immediately after Hurricane Katrina decimated the Mississippi Gulf Coast and, by overwhelming the poorly constructed levees, New Orleans. I was serving as lead staff for the United Jewish Communities (now Jewish Federations of North America) Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Mitigation Committee. In that role, I was responsible to help coordinate the resources of all Jewish non-profit organizations as the Jewish community responded with money and hands-on resources to the immediate and long-tern needs of victims in the disaster zones and in evacuee host communities. NECHAMA immediately deployed two full trucks/teams to the outskirts of New Orleans and UJC helped support its efforts with several grants. NECHAMA drew hundreds/perhaps thousands of volunteers to its work sites over an extended stay in the region and helped gutt and prepare for rebuilding hundreds of homes in the region. In August 2006, my wife and two sons joined me for a week's deployment with NECHAMA where we worked alogside volunteers from several states in three different homes that week. In one case, the homeowner, an African American lay church leader, told us that in the entire year since Katrina hit, the only people who reached out to help him clean his home were the volunteers provided by NECHAMA. In subsequent years, I spent some time visiting work crews deployed in Atlanta and helped facilitate arrangements for NECHAMA deployments in upstate New York and Nashville. This is an organization which, with very limited financial and human resources, provides immeasurable benefits to victims in their darkest moments after a disaster strikes. Its volunteer and professional leadership is selfless and totally committed to the Jewish tradition of "Tikkun Olam", healing the world. In light of all the good it has done and continues to do, NECHAMA should be recognized for its efforts as a world-class volunteer, non-government organization.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am an AmeriCorps NCCC team leader who served with Nechama in Detroit mucking and gutting basements from the August 2014 flood. Nechama showed my team the ropes in those basements and guided is through a successful disaster project. They were professional, courteous, thorough and a lot of fun to be around. I would happily work with this organization again, and look forward to seeing them in the future.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Margie and I joined the NECHAMA disaster relief effort in Livonia, AR earlier this year following a devastating tornado. It was our first experience with a hands-on disaster relief effort. We were so very impressed with Dan and Mark that want to create a group who will be ready to respond to a NECHAMA led effort in the Mid-South. For those in the Memphis area, please come by Temple Israel on Sunday, December 7, 2014. We will have an information and sign-up table there between 8:30AM - 1:30PM.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am an AmeriCorps NCCC team leader and I had the opportunity to serve alongside NECHAMA during the Detroit Flooding of 2014. We were mucking and gutting homes, which I had never done. The people of NECHAMA were the most helpful and positive people I have ever served with. They were extremely knowledgeable and willing to let everyone learn on their own. They made my time in Detroit fun and meaningful. If you ever have the chance to serve alongside any of the NECHAMA staff or volunteers I highly suggest you do so.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Dan and Mark are truly making a difference in the world. In environments of tremendous hardship and tragedy they make helping out a fun and meaningful experience. I can't wait to link up with them again in the near future to continue assisting the less fortunate.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered with NECHAMA several times over the past two years and each experience has been exceeding any and all expectations. The organization is a well oiled machine when it comes to dealing with any disaster. They are organized, fun, willing to go to any length to help others and welcome all volunteers with open arms individually and as a whole. Each time I have volunteered they have provided me with housing, food, and enough work to make my time worth it and with the ability to see the impact made. I would quit my job and just tag along with this organization volunteering everywhere if money didn't rule the world. But alas, I would recommend this organization to anyone looking to volunteer and cannot wait for my next opportunity to serve with them.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I just got off of serving 5 weeks with NECHAMA through AmeriCorps NCCC and couldn't have hoped for a better experience. The people of NECHAMA are the greatest and truly care about every volunteer as well as every person/family they provide services to. Even though they are a Jewish disaster group, they do not discriminate against anyone and they help anybody in need, no matter their denomination. I had the best experience and would work with them again in a heartbeat.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Try to get their name out more so more people are aware of this organization.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I worked with NECHAMA in January of 2014 to assist with Superstorm Sandy disaster relief in New York. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with them and gained a lot from the experience. The days were well planned and organized and we were able to get a lot of things done in a short amount of time. I felt that I was able to build friendships with the staff as well as the homeowners that we interacted with and this is an aspect of service that is unique or hard to come by. Overall, NECHAMA works as a very efficient organization and has projects that every volunteer can contribute to.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I spent about 7 months with Nechama in NY working on their Hurricane Sandy recovery project. Never in my life have I met a harder working, more passionate group of people. The staff and volunteers at Nechama genuinely love the work they do and the impact they have on the communities they serve goes way beyond the countless physical hours they put in. If you are looking for a well organized, efficient and inspiring nonprofit to volunteer with I highly recommend Nechama.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My family and I traveled from Chicago to NY to help NECHAMA repair homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy. We stayed with NECHAMA's tireless volunteers in an old Army Barracks, shared meals, and worked along side them each day cleaning, repairing, sanding and painting various homes. These folks were so well organized, worked extremely hard, all living on a food budget of several dollars a day (the power of group grocery shopping and cooking). We were inspired by their positive spirit, enduring work ethic, tradesman like expertise, and incredible efficiencies. We received far more via learning and inspiration than we gave in labor and dollars. It was truly one of the most rewarding experiences of our collective lives. Thanks NECHAMA! The Roth Family

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