Monday, October 4, 2010

Judaica in Haiti

Yes, there is a God. And mitzvot are serving to level the playing field, encourage investment and job creation in Haiti, our neighbor just next door.

And miracles and odd serendipitous events in unexpected places - as is this writer's presence and investment and involvement in Haiti since 2001. The Jewish (and Israeli) investment in Haiti may not have a long, glorious history, but it may have a future. Many speakers on the podium with Bill Clinton last week in New York seem to have been either Israeli, Jewish, or married to Israelis - and doing good things, good business sorts of things, in Haiti, with Haiti and for Haiti.

No, Not "to Haiti," - with Haiti. For example, Adam Goldstein was speaking for the cruise lines and Maryse Kedar speaking for ProDev schools. There were others, financiers, techie speaker, business moguls...

What's with the Israel connection? American Jewish World Service has been and is in Haiti. I hope I will hear more about how funds are being spent. We sure could use some INVESTMENT and not charity dollars for the sweatshop boutik up on Mon Bouton! And, a couple of pigs and goats provide "work-study" scholarships for our mountain youth.

Some months back, Forward editor Jane Eisner, traveled to Haiti to investigate the devastation left by the January earthquake and to see how Jewish dollars for relief are being put to use. Here is a link to her article, and also a video chronicling what Jane saw on the trip, including the devastation that still remains and the refugee camps all over the island.

As you and I know, and others who read the blog, the earthquake devastation is just the tip of the iceberg in Haiti. And yet --- and here's an important caveat - lest we be overcome with the needs and the facts of human misery --- there are many strengths, resources, dispositions and skills to build on and develop.

Let's be thankful, try to be thankful, for these gifts and work with, invest in, and support Haitians to turn the tide.

Here is the link to the Jane's article and her video-

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