As we watched Hurricane Harvey wreak devastation across Houston and the Gulf Coast, the sight of tens of thousands of Americans seeking shelter from the storm has been heartbreaking. Even as the downpour has thankfully subsided, it will take months if not longer for the region to recover from this disaster.
As a former resident of Houston for over a decade, Harvey has impacted me on a very personal level. I know the landscape of the city. I am familiar with the freeways and roads that are now flooded. Neighborhoods where my children would go for playdates are currently impassable.
The Houston Jewish community has been hit very hard. Three major synagogues – Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox – have all suffered significant damage. The Jewish Federation and the Jewish Community Center have also been flooded. I have been in each of these Jewish communal buildings countless times.
Friends of mine are flooded out of their homes. Hurricane Harvey inundated their houses, making them uninhabitable.
People are managing the best that they can. Neighbors are helping neighbors, citizens are volunteering in extraordinary numbers to aid those in need.
In the Jewish community, rabbis and communal leaders are making every effort to reach out to offer spiritual support and material assistance.
We can do our part to help. On Sunday September 17, TBT will hold a pasta dinner to raise funds for the Houston Jewish community. For those who want to take action now, you can contribute online to the Jewish Federation in Houston. I know that my friend, Lee Wunsch, who is the federation’s CEO, will use every dollar for good.
Kol Yisrael Aravim Zeh Ba’Zeh – we Jews are responsible for one another.
We can assist in the rebuilding of the Jewish community in Houston by giving generously here.