Earlier this week, after touring the Jewish communities around Far Rockaway and Woodmere in New York we met hundreds of families that are literally homeless, having escaped only with the proverbial clothing on their backs.
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“We are at a loss for words,” was our reaction after touring the Jewish communities around Far Rockaway and Woodmere in New York. Hundreds of families are literally homeless, having escaped only with the proverbial clothing on their backs.
Furniture, wedding albums and baby blankets are piled outside homes for the garbage heap. There is devastation everywhere. We toured two of the thousands of ravaged homes, both looking beautiful on the outside, but inside the water level reached into the first floor of the house, after completely flooding the basement. Each house was being gutted to the studs, to remove mold, and all the furniture was gone.
Hurricane Sandy was a catastrophic, havoc-wreaking nightmare that left behind wreckage, destruction, and loss of life. The storm surges and powerful winds ravaged entire neighborhoods, ripped down trees, devastated homes and flooded shuls.
If you were fortunate to have escaped the storm unharmed or with minimal damage, it may be difficult to relate to the predicament that is facing our fellow Jews. I myself have visited and spoken to families that are facing tremendous financial and emotional heartache. One young man tearfully recounted how the hurricane had left his office, equipment, and files in ruins.
Try to picture what your reaction would be. Fearful that you’d be unable to feed your family, both right now and in the future... so anxious as to where and how to start anew?
Our fellow Jews are in dire need of immediate help, and through the OU’s Hurricane Relief Fund, your contribution will be given directly to those who need it the most right now. Using our synagogue network, we will channel the dollars raised in this campaign to the discretionary funds of the local rabbis. They know which families need it the most; they are the ones on the ground and they will ensure that your contribution does the utmost good.
Please give to the Hurricane Relief Fund. 100 percent of the proceeds from this fund will go directly to those in need.
While those who are suffering are extremely unfortunate, they are fortunate to belong to a kind-hearted, compassionate, and generous community that can help them. We can make their financial burden a bit more bearable and offer them some immediate relief and hope for the future. Let’s show those who have lost so much they are not alone... that we care. In the merit of your sympathy and compassion, I pray that you and your loved ones should always be on the giving end of such charity.
Dr. Simcha Katz
Rabbi Steven Weil
Executive Vice President
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