On March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit 80 miles off the coast of Japan, causing waves as high as 33 feet to hit Japan’s eastern coast, resulting in devastating destruction and flooding. More than 30,000 were killed and more than 250,000 were displaced.
A year later, the B’nai B’rith Disaster Relief Fund has allocated $25,000 for a project organized by IsraAID (the Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid) of which B’nai B’rith is a founding member, to document earthquake and tsunami survivor testimonies in Japan’s Miyagi prefecture.
The project’s goal is to collect testimony from 300 survivors and witnesses of the March 2011 Tsunami/Earthquake with the help of local volunteers. The testimonies—written, videos and photographs—would then be used to expand existing archives and museums throughout Japan, making the testimonies available for educational and commemorative use in Japan and worldwide.
In July 2011, B’nai B’rith funding went to another IsraAID program which provided basic relief supplies and children’s kits as well as post trauma training to teachers and local government officials who operate and head relief programs and facilities.
B’nai B’rith has been engaged in international disaster relief since 1865. The B’nai B’rith International Disaster Relief Fund has provided aid to populations affected by natural and man-made catastrophes around the world, through immediate, short-term and long-term relief, long after other first responders have left a disaster site.