Photo Credit: Amy Styer
Western Houston is still flooded, days after Tropical Storm Harvey dumped five days' of rain and wind on the city.

The government of Israel is donating $1 million in emergency aid to the Jewish community in Houston, Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett announced Monday.

The funds are to be used to repair and rebuild schools, synagogues and a community damaged by the storm and flooding due to Tropical Storm Harvey. At least 47 people died as a result of the storm, which began as a Category 4 hurricane, and which caused more than $160 billion in damage to the city.

Unloading supplies for relief to Hurricane Harvey victims at Chabad Center in Houston, TX

“The city of Houston was hurt badly last week, and the Jewish community, 70 percent of which lived in the flooded neighborhoods, was hit hard,” said Bennett. “Schools and synagogues were flooded and can’t be used. The old-age home and JCC were damaged, and hundreds of families will remain homeless.

“From talks we’ve had over the past week with the heads of the community and Israel’s Consul General we learned the damage is vast, and the rehabilitation will take years. “For years, the Jewish communities stood by Israel when it needed their help; now it is our turn to stand by Houston’s Jewish community.”

Chabad in Houston has been working overtime to get relief supplies to Harvey victims while keeping themselves and their volunteers safe as well.

Approximately 60,000 Jews live in Houston. Some of the neighborhoods are still dangerously flooded, according to reader Amy Styer, who said in an internet interview Monday that West Houston is still under water.

After Tropical Storm Harvey left a trail of destruction in its wake, store shelves are still empty in numerous parts of Houston, including those selling kosher food.

“I was there Friday and almost got stuck,” she said. “But cleanup has begun in the [Jewish] neighborhood of Meyerland.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.


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