North Bay Wildfire Resources and Information

As wildfires continue to burn across Sonoma and Napa counties, our hearts and prayers are going out to all who have been affected by this tragedy.

Our Federation responds quickly and effectively, working with our trusted on-the-ground partners to raise funds and deploy help in the wake of major disasters. Many of the needs of our community and organizations on the ground are still being assessed. We appreciate the outpouring of support, and ask the community for patience during this initial period.

We have been in close contact with our partners in the region and can share the following information. We will continue to update this post as more news develops.



We have received confirmation that as of Tuesday night, all the local synagogues (Congregation Shomrei Torah – Santa Rosa, Chabad Jewish Center of Petaluma – Petaluma, B’nai Israel Jewish Center – Petaluma, Congregation Shir Shalom – Sonoma, Congregation Ner Shalom – Cotati, Sonoma County Chabad Jewish Center – Santa Rosa, Congregation Beth Ami – Santa Rosa, Congregation Beth Shalom – Napa, and Chabad of Napa Valley – Napa) are still standing and unharmed, as is the JCC of Sonoma County.

Congregation Shomrei Torah is acting as a hub for the community, with 21 Jewish families who have lost their homes sheltering there for the time being. Local synagogues from Marin such as Congregation Rodef Sholom have been bringing food, and served lunch on Tuesday to a crowd of about 25 people. Congregation Kol Shofar will be providing lunch on Wednesday, Rodef Sholom on Thursday, and Congregation Emanu-El on Friday.

IsraAid, along with our colleagues Rabbi Marvin Goodman and Carol Appel (Jewish Concierge of Sonoma County), are on-site at Shomrei Torah to provide assistance ranging from meals, to supplies, to grief counseling.

Additionally, representatives from Sonoma County Chabad Jewish Center and Chabad Jewish Center of Petaluma have been out in the community, visiting emergency centers and providing support, as well as meals courtesy of Oakland Kosher.

UPDATE 10/18 10:38 AM PST: We are maintaining contact with all of the rabbis in the area to “network weave” resources, and be sure they are receiving support that they need. IsraAID has been our primary partner on the ground, coordinating support services, volunteers, food, and resources. Jewish Family and Children's Services is taking the lead on direct client/individual support.

UPDATE 10/27 2:28 PM PST: On Friday, October 20, in partnership with the Jewish Federation and The Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay, we hosted a webinar on the Jewish community impact and response to the North Bay wildfires. Click to read more and view a recording of the webinar.


In partnership with Camp Newman and the City of Sonoma, Shomrei Torah is hosting a kids day camp due to school closures from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Wednesday, October 11, through Friday, October 13. Teachers from the unified school district, licensed therapists, Camp Newman staff, and other spiritual leaders are joining together to offer a fun and therapeutic camp experience for the community.

UPDATE 10/16 6:13 PM PST: The Shomrei Torah Day Camp will continue to be open Monday, October 16, through Friday, October 20, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, with lunch for the community daily at noon. This is free and open to the public; adults are also welcome to stay all day. Additional support resources available onsite as well. 


Tragically, we learned on Monday that a majority of the buildings at URJ Camp Newman have been destroyed; thankfully the staff safely evacuated with the Torah scrolls earlier in the day before the fire reached the camp. Updates can be found on the camp's website and as they assess the physical damage, please consider making a direct donation.

Camp Newman has also let us know that it will be running C-Dubb Smash on October 20-22 at Congregation Rodef Sholom, who has graciously opened their doors to the NFTY community. (It also still plans to run the three other NFTY CWR regional events as well.) C-Dubb weekend will be a time for NFTY teens to meet, reconnect, build Jewish identities, and share wonderful memories, new and old.

For media coverage about Camp Newman, visit SF Gate, J The Jewish News of Northern California article #1, and J The Jewish News of Northern California article #2.

UPDATE 10/12 9:22 AM PST: Many congregations are planning gatherings for the Camp Newman community to sing, pray and reflect, and to provide comfort and hope. Check this page for a list of events that will be continually updated. A few events have also been listed at the bottom of this post.

UPDATE 10/18 1:46 PM PST: Read the most recent article on Camp Newman from J The Jewish News of Northern California.


For information on evacuation centers, shelter information, a map of counties affected, and more, visit the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) incident overview website.

UPDATE 10:27 2:43 PM PST: The Bay Area Jewish Healing Center been sending clergy and bodyworkers up to the region, holding healing services, providing liturgy on dealing with loss (below), and supporting local clergy behind the scenes, including at Beth Ami – in addition to being available to all who need grief support. For services, contact Gail Kolthoff, or call 415.750.4197.

UPDATE 10/18 11:45 AM PST: Hebrew Free Loan is offering the following resources to help local Jewish community members recover and rebuild their lives. If you have any questions or would like more information, contact Marina Levy, Loan Administrator, at 415.546.9902 ext. 104 or

UPDATE 10/12 9:37 AM PST: The Sonoma County offices of Jewish Family and Children’s Services have reopened and they are offering an array of support services. If you are in need of assistance, call 707.303.1500, or visit them at 1360 North Dutton Avenue, Suite C in Santa Rosa or Shomrei Torah.

UPDATE 10/17 12:50 PM PST: JFCS' staff of case managers and clinicians have been trained in emergency response and are ready to deliver services quickly and efficiently. They offer short-term food, shelter, and counseling, and long-term recovery support to the community in Sonoma County. Additional resources from JFCS include:

  • Computer Access: Visit the JFCS office to access computers and phones so you can communicate with insurance companies and others to help get your life back in order.
  • Transportation: Receive rides to conduct errands from our caring volunteers. Registration required but all fees waived for disaster related services.
  • How to Talk to Your Children About Disasters: Here are some tips from JFCS' Parents Place. Read "5 Ways You Can Help Your Kids Feel Safe in an Unsafe World."

UPDATE 10/27 2:33 PM: In addition to the above, JFCS is helping with trauma support and counseling, short-term loans, gift cards, transportation for errands, computer and phone access, and expert technical assistance and advocacy with filing of insurance and FEMA claims. View the JFCS Emergency Assistance in Sonoma County page, or attend a free recovery and insurance workshop

Congregation Ner Shalom has received countless offerings from their community members. To facilitate easier matching of needs and offers, they have created a Google spreadsheet where you can identify what you need (housing, food, clothes, assistance, pet care), or you can list what you have to offer. Sort of like a college ride board. This is an editable document – be careful not to delete anything others have written.

UPDATE 10/11 5:35 PM PST: Shalom Bayit offers confidential peer counseling, support, information, referrals, and advocacy to Jewish women who have experienced abuse in the home. If you know battered women who need to be re-housed (especially shelter residents from Santa Rosa YWCA, Napa NEWS shelter, etc), please contact them at 866.SHALOM.7 (742.5667) or 510.845.SAFE (7233).

UPDATE 10/16 5:39 PM PST: The Osher Marin JCC is offering free one-day passes to fire victims and evacuees. All are welcome to use the fitness center, pool, showers, and more.

UPDATE 10/17 1:02 PM PST: Senior Day Services have now moved from the JCC of Sonoma County to Congregation Shomrei Torah. They have promised a quiet room for adults. You can play games with the camp kids if you wish. Lunch will be served at no charge.

UPDATE 10/27 2:37 PM PST: The Jewish Community Free Clinic continues to provide no-cost primary medical care and an array of health services to uninsured individuals, serving the most vulnerable, marginalized populations in Sonoma County.


The community response, especially in the wake of confirmation of the destruction of Camp Newman, has been overwhelming. No one individual or organization should feel alone in solving these challenges.

Donations can be made to the Federation’s North Bay Wildfire Emergency Fund. As we evaluate the damage with our community partners in the region, rest assured that all donations will reach those most in need. Your generosity will enable a robust and effective response both immediately and throughout the long recovery process.

As information on volunteer opportunities becomes available, we will continue to add in more and update this post.

The JCC East Bay is collecting donation supplies to bring to shelters and evacuation points in North Bay this week. If you have items you wish to be donated, you may bring them to the Berkeley Branch, located at 1414 Walnut Street in Berkeley, by 5:30 pm on Thursday, October 12. Ideas for supplies include gallons or flats of water, personal hygiene items (deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste, feminine products), clothes in all sizes (undergarments, too), canned or dry foods, cat/dog food, etc. Anything helps for those who may have lost everything.

UPDATE 10/11 4:16 PM PST: The JCC East Bay is fully stocked on clothing, but could manage more water gallons, toiletries, pet products, and nonperishable foods.

Airbnb also has a disaster relief program – find shelters, or sign up your home.

UPDATE 10/11 5:26 PM PST: The Peninsula Jewish Community Center is coordinating collection of both donation items and gift cards. Donation items can be brought to Classroom AB at the PJCC at 800 Foster City Boulevard in Foster City by 8:00 am on Friday, October 13. Gift cards can be dropped off at the Welcome Desk through Friday, October 20. These will either be mailed to Shomrei Torah, or sent with someone going up to the congregation later this month, and distibuted through all of the Synagogues and organizations in the impacted areas.

UPDATE 10/13 8:20 AM PST: The PJCC has reached capacity for donated supplies. All contributed items will be taken to the South San Francisco Police Department for distribution. If you would still like to give, please consider donating a Target Gift Card.

UPDATE 10/12 9:05 AM PST: Starting Monday, October 16, Tehiyah Day School will accept donations for its 'From Kids, For Kids" campaign, coordinated with Congregation Shomrei Torah in Santa Rosa and Jewish Family and Children's Services. Please bring your books, loveys, games, and other items children of all ages can use, and they will be delivered to those families affected by the North Bay fires.

UPDATE 10/12 11:35 AM PST: JFCS East Bay has complied a few suggestions for how you can reach out and help (including more drop off points for donations in the East Bay), as well as prepare yourselves in the event of a local emergency.

UPDATE 10/12 8:39 PM PST: Jewish Family and Children's Services (JFCS) is hosting a Virtual Food Drive. You can help by donating a 'virtual' bag of groceries or restaurant gift card. Each donation received through this virtual event will go toward purchasing restaurant gift cards and grocery bags with basic items for those in need.

UPDATE 10/13 8:26 AM PST: The Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto is also accepting donations of gift cards. Please bring any Visa, Target, Walmart, or similar gift cards you'd like to donate to the collection box located at the Customer Service Desk, located at 3921 Fabian Way in Palo Alto, this week. They will be delivered to families in need on Saturday morning.

UPDATE 10/13 8:34 AM PST: The Osher Marin JCC is also collecting donations of gift cards which will be distributed through synagogues and organizations like JFCS and others on the ground. Donations can be brought to the Front Desk, located at 200 North San Pedro Road in San Rafael.

UPDATE 10/17 3:28 PM PST: JFCS is helping to match evacuees with available housing. If you can house evacuees, please sign up by filling out this form and a JFCS staff person will contact you to follow up.

UPDATE 10/27 2:36 PM PSTCollections by JCCs and synagogues have resulted in upwards of $10,000 in gift cards which are being distributed through Jewish and non-sectarian organizations throughout the region. This includes new partners such as The Schoolbox Project, a nonprofit providing mobile, trauma-informed education, art, and play to children displaced by crisis.


Marin County is asking people interested in volunteering to register via the CVNL Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership online portal, and you can also sign up online with the Red Cross.

SHARE Sonoma County is matching those in need with temporary housing. To volunteer, contact, or call 707.765.8488, ext. 126.

SF Hillel is coordinating volunteer efforts among students. SF State students who want to volunteer can reach out to Emily to learn of opportunities. Students from USF and UC Hastings who want to help can reach out to Naomi.

UPDATE 10/17 12:55 PM PST: JFCS expects to have an increased need for volunteers in the coming days and weeks to help victims in many different ways. They are currently in need of volunteer drivers. Contact Barbara Tobin to sign up for upcoming Volunteer Driver Training set for Wednesday, Octotber 18, at 10:30 am.

UPDATE 11/1 3:33 PST: Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa has an immediate and pressing need for volunteers to help run the city's last remaining evacuation shelter set up to help people displaced by the fires. To volunteer, please contact Jennifer at, or call her at 707.800.2695.

  • Front Desk Assistance: You will check people in, triage questions, register people and more. We have four-hour shifts available around the clock.
  • Snack Delivery: You will oversee and hand out snacks from 7:00 - 10:00 pm.
  • Shelter Monitor: You will make rounds at the shelter to see what people might need. We have three, around-the-clock shifts: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, 4:00 pm - midnight, and midnight - 8:00 am.


Thursday, October 12: Just Dance Simchat Torah Celebration, North Peninsula Chabad and special guests Rabbi Mendel and Altie Wolvosky of Chabad of Sonoma, 7:00 pm (San Mateo)

Friday, October 13: Camp Newman Pop-Up Shabbat, Congregation Rodef Shalom, 5:45 pm (San Rafael)

Friday, October 13: Solidarity Shabbat, Congregation Shomrei Torah, 6:15 pm (Santa Rosa)

Saturday, October 14: Sing for Camp Newman with Noam Katz and Friends, Congregation Emanu-El, 6:30 pm (San Francisco)

Saturday, October 14: Healing Service, Congregation Beth Ami, 6:30 (Santa Rosa)

Tuesday, October 17: Sonoma County Jewish Film Festival Opening Night – Fanny's Journey, JCC of Sonoma County, 1:00 pm and 7:30 pm (Sebastopol)

Friday, October 20:  Shabbat Dinner of Comfort & Unity, Sonoma County Chabad Jewish Center, 5:00 pm (Santa Rosa)

Sunday, October 29: Works of Heart Art Show Opening, Jewish Community Free Clinic, 3:00 - 6:00 pm (Santa Rosa)

Wednesday, November 1: Free Recovery and Insurance Workshop on navigating the structure and dwelling part of your insurance claim, Jewish Family and Children's Services, 6:00 pm (Santa Rosa)

Thursday, November 9: Band Together Bay Area concert, 6:00 pm (San Francisco)

Sunday, November 12: Works of Heart Artist Panel and Dinner, Jewish Community Free Clinic, 4:30 - 7:30 pm (Santa Rosa)

Wednesday, November 15: Free Recovery and Insurance Workshop on navigating the contents/personal property part of your claim, Jewish Family and Children's Services, 6:00 pm (Santa Rosa)


A Devastating, Yet Uplifting Experience, by Roxanne Cohen (the Federation) and Stephanie Levin (Peninsula Jewish Community Center)

A Healing Shabbat in Santa Rosa, by Danit Trau and Jason Harris

If you have information on additional resources or volunteer opportunities, please contact Elisa Gollub.

Categories: Community


October 10, 2017


Nora Smith