Editor’s Note: The Union for Reform Judaism, a longtime Nothing But Nets partner, recently stepped up to help kick off our latest appeal for nets in the Horn of Africa. They’ve made an incredibly generous pledge of $20,000 — that’s 2,000 life-saving nets for refugee families! Please enjoy this guest blog post from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. (Originally published here)
Today begins the holiday of Jewish holiday Sukkot, which we celebrate by building a sukkah, or temporary dwelling, that serves as a means to commemorate the Israelites’ journey through the desert as they awaited entry into the Promised Land. Through the sukkah we better understand the vulnerability of living within frail walls and under a porous roof. Yet while we are able to take down these structures after seven days, many around the world involuntary live in their own “sukkot” everyday – in tented refugee camps.
Recognizing this, four years ago on Sukkot, the Reform Jewish Movement launched a partnership with the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign, with a pledge to raise $500,000 for the purchase and distribution of malaria-preventing bed nets. Bed nets are a simple, life-saving solution that can curb the spread of malaria by up to 90 percent. A net costs just $10 to purchase, deliver, and educate the recipient on its proper use. Through this campaign, we’re reversing the trends of global poverty, one net at a time, one family at a time.
Our community responded to this call to action wholeheartedly – raising funds through basketball tournaments, bake sales, holiday programs, ping-pong tournaments and many other inspiring fundraisers. The Reform Jewish Movement exceeded our original goal and has raised over $675,000 for Nothing But Nets.
Yet, our work is not done. Today, a large-scale drought and famine in East Africa is affecting over 13 million people — especially those living in refugee camps. Malaria is one of the leading causes of death among refugees, making net distribution crucial. Nothing But Nets stepped forward, acting quickly to launch an emergency appeal to send 150,000 life-saving bed nets to protect refugee families living in the Horn of Africa — Ethiopia and Kenya. The Reform Jewish Movement is proud to help launch this initiative with a special campaign gift of $20,000. We invite you to join us in supporting Nothing But Nets and assist refugee families in the Horn of Africa by sending a net and saving a life.