We are all horrified by the destruction we see in the Houston area, as Hurricane Harvey continues to cause widespread devastation. We have been following updates from colleagues and congregations in the area, and it is clear that it will take many years to recover. Many of us are searching for ways to offer assistance, both to our Jewish brothers and sisters and to the community at large. Our Torah portion this week tells us that if we see that our friend, or even our enemy, has lost something of value or is waylaid on their journey, we have an obligation to assist. We will, unfortunately, have an opportunity to live those values in the coming weeks.
The most effective thing most civilians can do over the next few days, until the situation has stabilized, is to give money to relief organizations that can make a difference on the ground in an efficient way given the damage to infrastructure.
To donate to our sister congregations
assisting with relief efforts
To donate to Nechama which is one of the first Jewish organizations bringing volunteers to help in affected areas.
United Synagogue has a disaster fund that helps congregations rebuild after a disaster. Donations can be made to them by
As the situation unfolds, needs will change. As roads and airports re-open we will be in a better position to send supplies and/or volunteers. We may also have the opportunity to provide short or long-term assistance to refugees who make their way to shelters in different cities.
May God give them strength in their time of struggle
Ron Abrahams Rabbi Randall Konigsburg Cantor Sarah Bolts
Our colleague and friend, Rabbi Menachem Creditor, has composed a prayer that I find meaningful as I seek God's presence in the face of suffering: