THE FOLLOWING UPDATE WAS ISSUED BY OUR PARENT ORGANIZATION, JEWISH FEDERATIONS OF NORTH AMERICA. TO HELP THE VICTIMS OF HURRICANE HARVEY, PLEASE GO TO JEWISHHEARTNJ.ORG/HARVEY
On Thursday, September 7, Jerry Silverman, President and CEO, Jewish Federations of North America, issued the following update on the damage in Houston caused by Hurricane Harvey and an update on Federation's response across the country.
The wreckage in Houston continues to reveal itself, and the realization that our community has been brutally shattered has become our new normal. Cleanup has begun in earnest in areas where it’s possible, but West Houston remains under water. More than 70% of the Jewish community lives in parts of the city that were badly flooded, and that includes nearly 12,000 Jewish elderly. The start of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is now less than two weeks away and flooded synagogues are scrambling to find places to hold services.
Raised and Allocated
Jewish Federation donations continue to come in. To date, Jewish Federations have raised nearly $7.8M for Hurricane Harvey relief. $1.6M was allocated to address the following priorities:
• Immediate cash grants for flood victims essential needs
• Extended day-camp programming to make up for delayed school opening
• Expanding capacity of Jewish Family Services to allow them to provide one-stop, comprehensive assistance
• Grants to individual Rabbis’ discretionary funds to meet specific congregational needs
• Funds to the Hebrew Free Loan Association that will match resources from Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco to create a new Hurricane Harvey loan pool
JFNA Continues to Organize Teams of Professionals to Aid Houston
JFNA is organizing its third team of national Federation professionals to assist the Houston Jewish Federation next week. We are also working with the Network of Jewish Services Agencies to enable them to provide national professional assistance to Houston’s Jewish Family Services agency for mental health counseling.
Houston Federation Flood Committee to Meet Again Next Week
At its next meeting, the Houston Federation Flood Committee will allocate additional funds as the requirements of the community become more apparent. They will also address further financial assistance needs that are designed to strengthen local agency capacity. The committee will also help flooded synagogues find temporary locations for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Updated Volunteer Information
Houston still needs volunteers! Those interested should call 800-820-5188 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
News Directly From Houston
Houston Jewish Herald-Voice
News about Houston from Other Jewish Communities
New Jersey Jewish News—Houston Federation launches rebuilding campaign
New York Jewish Week—Reaching out to Houston
Florida Jewish Journal—Boca, Delray groups join for hurricane relief
Florida Jewish Journal—Hurricane victims to benefit from temple’s ‘Bring a Buck’ campaign
Baltimore Jewish Times—How to Help Houston
New Jersey Jewish News—NJ Jews provide aid to Hurricane Harvey victims
Atlanta Jewish Times—Jewish Atlanta answers Harvey’s challenge