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Department of State

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Lt. Governor and Secretary of State

New Jersey-Israel Commission Members Donate Over Three Tons of Humanitarian Food Aid to Turkish Earthquake Victims

Following the devastating earthquake in Türkiye and Syria, the New Jersey-Israel Commission applauds its members for donating emergency food relief to support Turkish victims in their time of need.


TRENTON, NJ – Following the devastating earthquake in Türkiye and Syria leaving over 50,000 killed, tens of thousands of other casualties, and over 1.5 million people homeless, New Jersey-Israel Commission Members stepped up immediately to support those in need. Through the support of Commission Members, 3.6 tons of humanitarian food aid have been sent to Türkiye through an emergency cargo effort with coordination from the Consulate General of Türkiye in New York.

The New Jersey-Israel Commission stands in solidarity with those affected by this terrible and historic tragedy, especially in light of the close connectivity between the region and communities within the State of New Jersey. As humanitarian aid efforts continue across the state and around the world, the Commission remains dedicated, both at home and abroad, to extending a hand of friendship and support to those in need.

Commission Members Nathan Herzog and Abe Halberstam generously donated from their New Jersey-based food companies, including 5,800 pounds of assorted nonperishable kosher foods from Kayco and 1,400 pounds of self-heating kosher meals from Labriute Meals, respectively. Additionally, they assisted with the necessary logistics to ensure supplies arrived on time for deployment to Türkiye. The supplies are being delivered to Türkiye through a cargo ship which set sail from New Jersey carrying humanitarian aid.

“I applaud the New Jersey-Israel Commission for its generous donations and support to those who have been affected by the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Türkiye and Syria during this difficult time, and we are committed to providing all necessary support and assistance as they begin to rebuild and recover.”

“In times of crisis our state will always lead by example,” said New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “I commend the Members of the New Jersey-Israel Commission for making this mission a priority and standing shoulder to shoulder with those in need during this emergency of global proportions.”

“I extend my gratitude on behalf of the Consulate General of Türkiye to the New Jersey-Israel Commission for offering their solidarity and donations in the face of the devastating earthquakes which took place in Türkiye on the 6th of February 2023,” said Consul General Reyhan Özgür, Consulate General of Türkiye in New York. “The sentiments of the Jewish Community in New York and New Jersey have been a source of strength and solace for us.”

“I applaud our Commission Members who took it upon themselves to lead during this painful situation,” said Karin Elkis, Co-Chair of the New Jersey-Israel Commission. “Lending a hand is in the spirit of who we are as a Commission and our hearts go out to everyone affected.”

“As the United States, Israel and countries around the world support Türkiye, our Commission Members are proudly participating from New Jersey,” said Mark S. Levenson, Co-Chair of the New Jersey-Israel Commission. “I am glad to see us making a difference and doing our part of the international response on the ground.”

“As the tragedy of this earthquake unfolded in Türkiye and Syria it was immediately understood we needed to act, not just watch it on television,” said Andew H Gross, Executive Director of the New Jersey-Israel Commission. “The efforts by our Commission Members today are part of a commitment we share to making the world a better place and supporting our neighbors.”

About the New Jersey-Israel Commission
The New Jersey-Israel Commission was established in 1989 to implement the goals of the New Jersey-Israel Sister State Agreement and is under the administration of New Jersey Department of State. The Commission promotes the development of trade, culture and educational exchanges; encourages the development of capital investment and joint business ventures; and fosters a spirit of cooperation between the citizens of the State of Israel and the State of New Jersey.


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