Hurricane Harvey, the category 4 storm that bombarded the Gulf Coast on Saturday with home-ripping winds and extensive damage, continues to dump rain in large areas of central Texas. Despite difficult conditions emergency officials are working to assess the damage that has already left hundreds of thousands of people without power or access to food and water and shut down municipal services, highways, schools and community institutions.
Here’s a message we just received yesterday from a leader in the Houston Jewish community:
“We need all the help in Houston as possible. This flood is unprecedented and the third flood in 18 months!
Donations are most needed here as some people have lost everything, including their homes and contents. Our Shul [synagogue] is done! 6-8 feet in the sanctuary and ground level and 18 inches in the raised social hall. Where will we Daven [pray] for YomTov [the coming Jewish high holidays]? This will be a sad New Year's for all Jews in Houston!
G-d help us please!”
Those powerful words from someone who is suffering at this very moment is a stark reminder of one of our heritage’s most enduring precepts: kol Yisrael areivim zeh la zeh: all of Israel - all the Jewish People - are responsible, one for another.
We must do our part – now, today. The umbrella organization for all 220+ Jewish federations, the Jewish Federations of North America, has set up an easy way to donate. Simply click here and please give generously. All donations are tax-deductible.
JFNA's network of local and international partners enables them to respond quickly and effectively and fund urgently needed basics like food and medicine, as well as long-term needs like trauma counseling. This disaster is still very much unfolding, and it’s clear time will reveal much more loss of property, homes, personal belongings and all we hold so dear. Some of these loses will not be covered by insurance. We are fortunate that we all can make a contribution – and we know that the Jewish community would come to our assistance if we ever needed it here in Howard County.
We are about to start the Days of Awe when we are judged for our actions. Now let us all step forward so we can look back on the year during Yom Kippur and feel satisfied we all did what we could do.