Cocktails and Kimonos – An Evening for Japan

Since the initial shock, the last few weeks have allowed me to meditate on what is going on in Japan. By now, we are all aware that on March 11th, the northeastern coast of Japan was hit with an 8.9 magnitude earthquake, triggering a tsunami and resulting in incredible damages throughout the country.  To better understand the devastation, I sat myself down at the computer and started Googling away. I learned that:

  • 11620 (as of April 1st) people have died and over 17,000 still missing.
  • It’s been reported there are still 300,000 people living in shelters
  • 1 million people living in homes without water.
  • 14,000 buildings destroyed and 100,000 damaged.

To put things in perspective:

The entire student body at any major university in Canada is about 20,000 people, which is about the same as the combined number of deaths and missing persons in the Japan.

1 million people living in homes without water?  That’s equivalent to all of Ottawa, our capital city, living in these types of conditions.

Entire towns on the coast were obliterated by the wall of water that, in some locations, was taller than the two-story homes in its path. I asked my colleagues what they thought the costs in damages were and they guessed everywhere from 30 million to 5 billion. The World Bank has estimated the disasters caused upwards of $235 billion in rebuilding efforts. The net worth of Bill Gates, the second richest man in the world, is $56 billion dollars.  Only a fraction of the costs of needed to repair Japan. I could continue, but it’s pretty clear the degree of devastation Japan is dealing with.

It’s refreshing to know people working together to help Japan.   As humans, we need to extend a helping hand to our neighbours and friends. As you can tell, it is right now that Japan needs our support the most.

In an effort to bridge communities and show our support, we’re organizing a fundraiser concert called Cocktails & Kimonos: an evening for Japan. This evening will showcase Japanese arts & culture and will inform us of the current relief efforts on the ground in Japan.  The event in solidarity with Japan will take place on Tuesday, April 12th at 7:00 at the Plateau bar, Le Belmont (4483 boul. St-Laurent, corner Mt. Royal).  Please click here for our Facebook event page.

Coming out to Cocktails & Kimonos is a great way to support a nation in crisis and enjoy some beautiful, traditional Japanese culture with friends (or a great opportunity to meet new friends!). We look forward to seeing you on April 12th!

For more information contact Rebecca Berman at 514-345-2645 x. 3128 or

Submitted by guest blogger Erin Levine. Erin is an intern with the Young Adult  Outreach and Engagement Initiative working to support young people in their exploration of Jewish life as they define it.


Posted on April 1, 2011, in Arts and Culture, Community, Montreal, Team BIEC and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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