web analytics
August 5, 2015 / 20 Av, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


HARD RAIN

Jewish Community Bears Impact of Hurricane Sandy

More than 930,000 families -- 90 percent of all island residents -- are without power after Hurricane Sandy, including an estimated 139,000 Jewish households.
By:
sandy

Photo Credit: YY

Less than a year into her job at North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, N.Y., Reform Rabbi Debbie Bravo sounded remarkably poised as she and her community face one of their most powerful challenges together: Hurricane Sandy.

Bravo’s land line was dead. When she picked up her cell phone Tuesday, she had just returned from the local police station.

“I have a child who takes medication that has to be refrigerated,” she said calmly.

According to figures released by The Long Island Power Authority on Tuesday, more than 930,000 families — 90 percent of all island residents — are without power after Hurricane Sandy wrought havoc Monday night across the northeastern United States. Among those 930,000 are an estimated 139,000 Jewish households.

Hurricane Sandy, which washed ashore Monday evening just south of Atlantic City, N.J., took dead aim at the most populous region of the country, home as well to the majority of the country’s Jews. In its wake, it left a trail of devastation that may take weeks to restore, if not longer.

“I went over to the synagogue a few hours ago, which is right next to a woodsy area,” Bravo said. “Ten plus trees are down, including a huge one down on the front law. Everyone’s saying this is a hundred times worse” than previous natural disasters that hit the island.

The greater New York area, home to the largest population of Jews in North America, took a harsh hit as severe winds and flooding toppled trees, triggered electrical fires and flooded public transportation systems. The result: mass evacuations of apartments and dormitories, widespread school closings and damaged homes and community institutions.

Early Tuesday afternoon, David Weissberg, executive director of the 120-year-old Isabella Freedman Retreat Center in Falls Village, Conn., posted a photo of a tree that literally sliced through the roof over the center’s main building.

“We’re looking in the short term how to work around that space and need to assess how long it will take to get that space repaired,” Weissberg said.

“It’s an amazingly precise cut,” he marveled. “It fell at an angle perfectly perpendicular to the building, which will hopefully make the repair an easier one.”

Jewish communal organizations, whose offices, landlines and in some cases e-mail servers were closed or down on Tuesday, largely set up shop remotely as they set out to formulate a response.

“The concerns of the Jewish Federations movement is focussed on both those in the Jewish community and non-Jewish community as we work with local Jewish federations as well as local, state and federal emergency management personnel to assess the damage and look forward to recovery,” said William Daroff, vice president of public policy and director of the Washington office of The Jewish Federations of North America.

Daroff noted that while watching the devastation unfold, social media was a source of comfort. “Compared to visuals from New York and the Long Island coast, having a support structure and literally thousands of friends acquired through Facebook and Twitter helped me feel less alone as my family sat shuttering with gusts of wind at 50 mph.”

The Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago set up a relief fund Monday night, with The Jewish Federations of North America and Union for Reform Judaism following suit the next afternoon.

For those without power on Long Island, finding alternative to landlines was critical.

“A lot of people are not getting cell phone service at home,” Bravo said. “For one congregant, the only time i could talk to her was when she left her house.”

As Bravo attempts to establish and maintain contact with the elderly and other congregants — including two with recent births — she also pondered the next moves for her synagogue’s two b’nai mizvah this weekend, which in all likelihood will be conducted without power.

“Truthfully in my mind, our options are try to use daylight,” she said.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

4 Responses to “Jewish Community Bears Impact of Hurricane Sandy”

  1. God bless all eaparty members.

  2. God bless all tea party members.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA).
Royce Submits Congressional Bill to ‘Disapprove’ IranDeal
Latest News Stories
U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA).

US Rep. Ed Royce introduces HJ Res. 64, a resolution of ‘disapproval’ to block implementation of IranDeal.

Anti-IranDeal banner in Crown Heights, Brooklyn reads 'Death to Israel, Death to the USA.'

Social activists in Crown Heights, Brooklyn pressure US Rep. Yvette Clarke (D) to vote against IranDeal.

US Secy of State John Kerry announcing nuclear agreement with Iran from Vienna.

The Israel Law Center has filed a motion in US court to block Washington from implementing Irandeal.

IDF soldiers training from the IDF Caracal battalion which is made up of male and female combat soldiers fighting side by side.

The Lions of Jordan have been joined by lionesses; together they will guard Israel’s Jordan Valley.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon jails a Jewish teen under administrative detention in connection with a church arson in June.

US President Barack Obama warns Jewish leaders Israel “will bear the brunt” if Congress rejects nuclear deal with Iran.

Yesterday’s count had four Congressional Democrats coming out against the Iran Nuclear Deal. But since yesterday, that number has nearly doubled. And, amazingly, the latest three are all Jewish members of Congress. That’s a surprise because in their effort to appear impartial, many Jews in public office bend over backwards to avoid the appearance that they are […]

The Senator said he would discuss gun control, or anything else, really, just not how he would vote on the Iran nuclear deal.

“Keep or Cheat,” under this deal Iran will attain nuclear weapons, Bibi warned.

Arabs threw 2 firebombs at bus #160 in Gush Etzion on Tuesday evening. No injuries or damage were reported, but the road was temporarily blocked by a wall of fire. In the Shomron, Arabs threw a firebomb at an unmanned pillbox, from a passing car.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Inbar Azrak, 27 who was wounded in Monday night’s firebomb attack in Beit Hanina. Azrak is being treated at the Hadassah Ein Kerem medical center in Jerusalem.

The worst heat wave to hit the Middle East in more than a decade has claimed its second victim in Israel.

The non-Jewish tourist tried to wave an Israeli flag when he was set upon by the Islamic mob.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon says he’s ready to present the new state budget to the cabinet Wednesday.

Minister Yuval Steinitz says “if he were American he would oppose the deal with Iran” and explains why.

A German neo-Nazi politician is accepted to the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.

More Articles from JTA

More than 20 cars and buildings in a Jewish community in north London were vandalized with swastikas. The Nazi symbol was drawn on approximately 27 cars in the Osbaldeston Road area of Stoke Newington on Sunday night, The Daily Mail reported. An unnamed 32-year-old man was arrested in connection with the vandalism Tuesday. The neighborhood […]

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called on the Jewish community to attend the funeral of an assassinated New York police officer. “The brave men and women of the NYPD risk their lives every day to protect us. We value them and stand with them,” Hikind, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement […]

“Move Jew” scrawled on a Philadelphia home and slurs written on a synagogue and 10 garages in Chicago.

The Nazis nearly destroyed the 17th synagogue.

Cuba has “the largest pool of untapped baseball talent in the world, and Major League Baseball may tap and leave Cuba dry.

Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson under a […]

A fundraising campaign started quietly by two first graders two years ago to help find a cure for a rare genetic disease just passed the $1 million mark.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-community-bears-impact-of-hurricane-sandy/2012/10/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: