Italy’s Jewish community pledges aid to areas hit by earthquake
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Italy’s Jewish community pledges aid to areas hit by earthquake

In first step, Rome’s Jewish community sets up center for blood donation to help quake victims

Victims sit among the rubble of a house after a strong earthquake hit Amatrice, Italy, on August 24, 2016. (AFP  / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE)
Victims sit among the rubble of a house after a strong earthquake hit Amatrice, Italy, on August 24, 2016. (AFP / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE)

ROME – Italy’s Jewish community pledged aid to the areas of central Italy hit by a deadly earthquake early Wednesday morning.

Noemi Di Segni, the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, or UCEI, issued a statement saying Italy’s Jews expressed full solidarity with the victims of the quake and were also ready to mobilize “in a concrete and immediate way to confront the current state of emergency.”

As a first step, UCEI and the Rome Jewish Community set up a center where people can donate blood to aid quake victims. The initiative was organized in collaboration with the Jewish Medical Association and an association of Jewish blood donors.

The 6.2 magnitude temblor, followed by numerous aftershocks, devastated towns and villages and killed more than at least 38 people in a mountainous region about 85 miles northeast of Rome. There are no Jewish communities in the affected region.

Victims and rescuers walk among the rubble of houses after a strong earthquake hit Amatrice, Italy, August 24, 2016. (AFP/FILIPPO MONTEFORTE)
Victims and rescuers walk among the rubble of houses after a strong earthquake hit Amatrice, Italy, August 24, 2016. (AFP/FILIPPO MONTEFORTE)

After a deadly earthquake hit the town of L’Aquila in 2009, the Italian Jewish community launched an appeal to its members for aid and offered the services of the Jewish hospital in Rome and other health facilities.

Also on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent condolences to the people of Italy over the victims of the earthquake and wished a quick recovery for the injured.

He offered search and rescue assistance to his counterpart, Italian Prime Minister Mateo Renzi.

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