The Federation’s North Bay Wildfire Emergency Fund Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Federation’s North Bay Wildfire Emergency Fund will support the immediate and long-term needs of individuals and Jewish community organizations directly impacted by the North Bay wildfires. Recognizing a “new normal” in California, the Federation will work through trusted relationships with Jewish and non-sectarian partners to identify needs as they evolve related to each wildfire event.

What type of assistance will be provided?

Direct grants to organizations and synagogues will assist in meeting the basic needs of individuals, mitigate financial losses caused by fires on Jewish community organizations, and support emergency preparedness of the community.

While our focus is on healing and restoring the Jewish community, we will consider opportunities for impact in the broader community as well. Long-term recovery support has included emergency preparedness consultation, training, and supplies (such as generators); scholarship assistance for individuals; and home rebuilding to address the growing housing crisis in Sonoma County.

We will make future decisions on fund distribution with significant insights from community members and partners.

Will there be an administrative charge?

No. 100% of the funds raised will be deployed in the fire-ravaged regions. The Federation will absorb all administrative costs for handling and processing donations.

How has the funding been disbursed thus far?

Following the 2017 and 2018 Northern California Wildfires, over $1,000,000 in emergency grants have been disbursed among sixteen organizations and synagogues serving Sonoma, Napa, and Butte Counties:

  • Chabad Jewish Center of Sonoma County
  • Chabad of Napa Valley
  • Chabad Jewish Center of Petaluma
  • Chabad Jewish Center of Chico
  • Congregation Shomrei Torah (Santa Rosa)
  • Congregation Beth Ami (Santa Rosa)
  • Congregation Ner Shalom (Cotati)
  • Congregation Shir Shalom (Sonoma)
  • Habitat for Humanity, Sonoma County
  • IsraAID
  • Jewish Community Center, Sonoma County
  • Jewish Community Free Clinic
  • Jewish Community High School of the Bay
  • Jewish Family and Children's Services
  • Tipping Point Community
  • URJ Camp Newman

How have these funds helped North Bay communities?

The impact of these grants has included:

  • More than 580 individuals received counseling and case management (JFCS), 75 families received direct financial assistance (cash and vouchers for rental assistance), and hundreds received gift cards for groceries and basic supplies
  • Over 800 individuals received medical care and behavioral health support (from the Jewish Community Free Clinic)
  • 1,500 people received help navigating insurance claims through five community workshops
  • 92 children received scholarships for overnight camp, day camp, preschool, Jewish high school, and Israel experiences
  • 175 volunteers participated in hands-on rebuilding with Habitat for Humanity, with grants to support rebuilding homes in the fire-ravaged region
  • Hundreds of people benefitted from trauma recovery programs, communal gatherings at synagogues, and a community-wide emergency preparedness fair
  • 14 synagogues and organizations are currently receiving coaching and consultation to develop Emergency Operations Plans tailored to their organization’s specific needs