UPDATE: Help for the Victims of Hurricane Harvey

September 5, 2017 | Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

Less than a week after Hurricane Harvey struck, Houston and surrounding areas are in a state of devastation, with years of recovery ahead. Our hearts go out to all of those affected, including the families who lost loved ones in the hurricane and its aftermath.

We are extraordinarily grateful and proud of the response of our community. There have already been hundreds of donations for tens of thousands of dollars, all of which will be supporting relief and recovery efforts.

The Houston Jewish Community, the majority of whom live in the flood zone, have been hit especially hard by the storm.

While we do not yet know the full extent of the damage, we know that many Jewish institutions have flooded and sustained damage. Seventy-one percent of the Jewish community – including nearly 12,000 elderly members – live in areas that have seen massive flooding.

Major problems already surfaced to address:

Schechter School Building Wiped Out – The major Conservative synagogue, which also houses the Schechter day school, is a total loss. They are scrambling to find a place to relocate the school to open.

JCC Pre-School Badly Damaged – The JCC pre-school is in a similar situation and they are working to find an alternative place to open in a week.

Day Camps – Schools are not opening this week so there is a desire to extend the day camps that are operating now so kids have a place to be and parents can do what they need to do.

Home Damage Assessment – We do not yet have a count on how many homes in the Jewish community were flooded. There are some distinctively Jewish neighborhoods that were very hard hit. There is one Orthodox synagogue where 90% of the congregants have been flooded out.

Funds will be deployed directly to the Jewish community to address immediate relief needs – emergency cash grants to assist families who have been displaced and need temporary housing, food, shelter and other basic needs. When the scope of the damage and needs have been assessed, we will broaden our focus to include aiding individuals and families who require short-term or longer-term assistance with housing; helping local Jewish institutions resume operations; and mobilizing and supporting volunteers who are coming into Houston to help.

Thank you to the many who have responded for your heartfelt generosity. Others may do so by clicking here.

We want to wish our community Shabbat Shalom, keeping all those now struggling amidst this tragic disaster in our hearts.

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