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 Sunday, September 10, Jerry Silverman, President and CEO, Jewish Federations of North America, released the following update regarding the government of Israel's decision to allocate $1 million to Houston relief efforts.
Today, on behalf of The Jewish Federations of North America, Richard Sandler, Chair of the Board of Trustees, thanked Israel for allocating $1 million to help the Jewish community of Houston recover from the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey.
"As frontline advocates for maintaining and strengthening the bonds that tie Jewish communities together we are overwhelmed with gratitude. This allocation will go a long way to support the rebuilding of Houston's Jewish community," he said. "We appreciate Israel's Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett for bringing this appropriations forward and we thank the Government of Israel -- and the people of Israel -- for their generosity and support."
Lee Wunsch, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston said:
"On August 25, 2017 a hurricane of unprecedented proportions overwhelmed the City of Houston and its dynamic and robust Jewish community. Hurricane Harvey brought catastrophic damage to hundreds of Jewish families and multiple Jewish community institutions. The homes of more than 1,000 Jews were damaged or destroyed; many of those families are displaced from their homes for likely 8-12 months. Several of our largest Jewish institutions were heavily damaged and cannot reopen until remediation and rehabilitation is completed. No other Jewish community in the United States has witnessed such widespread devastation."
"We deeply appreciate the support of the state of Israel during this difficult time--in particular Diaspora Minister Naftali Bennett for putting this forward. The unprecedented decision to support Jews in the Diaspora marks a historic change in our relationship with Israel. It is a profound confirmation of the Talmudic injunction: Kol Yisrael Aravim Ze La Ze - all Jews are responsible one for the other. The extraordinary financial support will help accelerate the recovery process and help make our Jewish community whole and vibrant again."