In the immediate wake of a natural disaster – like a monsoon or an earthquake – the Jewish community often jumps into action, mobilizing resources and expertise to support relief efforts. But as many practitioners know, there are ongoing crises facing vulnerable communities that need addressing in the longer term. How can we build upon our community’s commitment to disaster response – to not only respond to emergencies, but help prevent disasters by fostering resilience?
Paul Anticoni serves as Chief Executive of World Jewish Relief, the British Jewish community’s humanitarian aid agency. Paul trained as an agriculturist and forester, spending 5 years, initially as a volunteer, living in the Horn of Africa and further years in Bosnia and Cambodia. Caught up in conflict and complex disasters his focus switched from trees to people and he spent a further 12 years managing the British Red Cross’s international disaster response capabilities, operational in many of the most challenging contexts worldwide. He joined World Jewish Relief as Chief Executive in 2006 and has grown its profile and capability significantly.
Rabbi Micha Odenheimer is the founder and director of Tevel b’Tzedek. Born in Berkeley, California Micha received his B.A. from Yale University, and holds rabbinic ordination. He immigrated to Israel and has been working in social activism in Israeli society, and has lectured and written extensively on Judaism and social justice. A prolific journalist, Micha has reported on international issues from around the world including Somalia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Burma, Haiti, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia, In 1998, the Joint Distribution Committee granted Micha the “Boris Smolar Prize,” based on his work covering of Ethiopian Jewry. Micha also founded the Israeli Association for Ethiopian Jewry and in 2011 Micha received the Klegg Prize from Hebrew University.
Mandie Winston is the Global Director for JDC’s work in Disaster Relief and International Development. She has been involved in high-impact development work for the past two decades including projects in Israel, the UK, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Russia, Ethiopia, India with a focus on community development and service. Mandie launched JDC’s Nepal Earthquake Relief in April 2015, Philippines Typhoon Relief in November 2013 and the Haiti Earthquake Relief ground efforts in January 2010 that to date have served almost 1.5 million people. Today, she leads the team responsible for Tikkun Olam Ventures (TOV) a development fund that deploys Israeli agtech to tackle poverty of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia. Mandie holds an MSc in International Relations, specializing in development economics.