Today is September 19, 2018 -
Hurricane Harvey decimated Houston this past August. As floodwaters filled lower levels, residents climbed to second floors bringing whatever they could carry. Most then had to be rescued from the upper floors. People lost power and all of their remaining first-floor belongings.
The first floor of the JCC has been reduced to the cinderblock after 10 feet of water filled the property. The force of the water knocked out all of the glass windows and doors. Synagogues were decimated.
Our community very generously supported relief efforts when the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) mobilized. Together with other communities, we provided $20m of emergency funding to help meet the most critical needs. Sadly, I learned last week, at least another $20m is needed.
I was in Houston last week for the annual conference of Jewish Federations’ executive directors of our similar city-size. I met with members of the Houston Jewish community to hear their horrific stories and learn of their current challenges. I visited the JCC to see how they are rebuilding. I spent a morning working at a food bank, which has never been more needed.
JFNA is now hosting a “Houston Fly-In” for March 19-20. Participants will have an opportunity to work at the same food bank and then have 24 hours of visiting, learning, and engaging. While there are no specific costs for the fly-in aside from your own transportation and accommodations, you will be asked for a meaningful donation for relief efforts. I can tell you that you will not leave untouched and, if you are philanthropically inclined, you will be thrilled to donate when asked.
If the fly-in interests you, please let me know. If you do not have the time but want to support the effort, please click here for JFNA’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, or send a payment to us and we will be happy to forward it on your behalf.