Bemidji Storm Cleanup Recap

On July 3rd, the city of Bemidji, MN was hit by a powerful storm that knocked down thousands of trees by the 80+ mph winds, damaging many homes and destroying large portions of forest. As time went by, there still remained several households in need of assistance and county 9-1-1 Supervisor and Emergency Management Director Beryl Wernberg made a request to NECHAMA for help.

On September 12th, a small team from NECHAMA traveled up to Bemidji, MN and got to work. Our team was able to successfully clear hazardous free-standing and downed trees from five homes in the area. By the end of response trip they had felled 19 trees and cut up another 62, helping residents accomplish what they were not able to do on their own.

Area Resident and NECHAMA client Barbara S. had this to say about our work:

"I paid a tree crew $700 to remove three trees immediately after the storm, but could not afford to spend more to finish the rest. As a widow on Social Security, this [NECHAMA’s help] is a major saving for me. It certainly carries out the meaning of your name, which I learned means ‘comfort’ in Hebrew. Thank you so much for making that comfort available to me."

Thank you to those who gave to help support our ongoing efforts within the state of Minnesota and throughout the rest of the country. Without you, we would not be able to bring comfort to the countless residents affected by natural disasters every year.

NECHAMA T-shirt Design Contest

Submit a design by Nov 5th for your chance to win an iPod Shuffle!

Fall Fashion Week may have wrapped up in New York City but we are getting out our hippest new threads here at the NECHAMA world headquarters in Minneapolis. Just in time for the annual trend-making season of autumn, we are announcing a design contest for the back of our popular T-shirts that are worn by volunteers on disaster deployments and A-listers on Fifth Avenue (…we wish).

Front and back of our current shirt. (model: Starbuck Ballner)

Calling all the creative design and “fashionista” NECHAMA supporters out there, we want YOU to help create the next layout of our volunteer t-shirts which will be worn and seen at every future NECHAMA disaster deployment across the country from the Mid-West to the Gulf Coast.

The current T-shirt front with the NECHAMA Star of David logo will remain the same. The t-shirt color and lettering will remain their respective blue (#0038A8) and white(#FFFFFF) with the current font type. On the back of the t-shirt we want you to include:

  • The word "VOLUNTEER" -in caps
  • The NECHAMA website, ""
  • NECHAMA in Hebrew, written as "נחמה"

Feel free to use your creativity for any other elements that you see fit.

The deadline for submissions is November 5th at midnight Central Standard Time. Please attach a copy of your design in ".jpg" format at 72dpi and send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with "T-Shirt Design" in the subject line.

The winning designer(s) will be announced and displayed in our December newsletter and awarded a T-shirt in their size of choice. Submissions may be used in their entirety or a single element may be used from multiple entries to create a hybrid new T-shirt design. If there are a variety of design elements used from multiple entries, each designer will be entered to win the GRAND PRIZE, a brand new iPod Shuffle. Otherwise, the winning designer will receive the Grand Prize in addition to the prestige and gloating rights that come along with it.

Download T-Shirt Template

Dreidel Dash 5K/10K

Come Run or Walk with Our Team!

NECHAMA is proud to announce its sponsorship and participation in the 5th Annual St. Paul JCC Dreidel Dash. On Sunday, December 9th at 12:30pm, NECHAMA staff members invite you to join them for a 5k/10k walk or run through the Highland Park neighborhood with hundreds of other runners from dozens of Twin Cities Jewish organizations.

Training Fun Runs

NECHAMA is fielding a team of staff members and we welcome all our volunteers and supporters who are interested in some fun group training. Our staff will host a running group every Monday at 6:30pm beginning October 8th until December 3rd at the popular Lake Calhoun bike/exercise trail in Uptown Minneapolis. We will meet at the life guard stand at the 32nd Street beach to stretch and warm up and then we plan on covering 3 miles (or once around the lake trail) each Monday. All experience levels are welcome, these Monday night runs are a non-competitive event.

Runners of all backgrounds are welcome to join NECHAMA Executive Director and avid running fan Bill Driscoll Jr. and other staff members to prepare for the Dreidel Dash. "This event is a great opportunity for our enthusiastic supporters to bond with the local Jewish community and train for the demanding clean-up work our volunteers do across the country for disaster survivors," says Driscoll.

Race Info

To register to run, visit:

And remember to mention that you are running (dashing) for NECHAMA when prompted.

NECHAMA t-shirts will be provided for all runners, walkers or volunteers that participate in the Dash as part of the NECHAMA team. Transportation is also provided to and from the JCC on the day of the event. Our NECHAMA van will depart NECHAMA headquarters in Eden Prairie on December 9th at 10:45AM and return at 4:30PM. To reserve your spot on the NECHAMA running team, to RSVP a seat in the van to the St. Paul JCC, or for any other Dreidel Dash inquiries, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with "Dreidel Dash" in the subject line.

Post Dash Bash

After the race, participants, spectators, family and friends are encouraged to fellowship at the free "Post-Dash Bash" hosted at the JCC featuring family activities, Hanukah treats, a Major League Dreidel Spinagogue, and a special holiday concert.

Not interested in running but would still like to help out? For information on volunteering with the JCC for this festive family event: Contact Tracey Agranoff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 651-255-4730.

See you out there!