I am 23 years old, and while I may have lost no financial assets in the hurricane, it is still easy to relay the message of the damage that has occurred to fellow Jews.
A few guys went back home to Far Rockaway, to help victims, for the first time since before the storm. The situation is something out of a movie, except it is real – and there seems to be no end.
In the few short hours we were helping, we witnessed parents literally crying for warm food, and a recently bar mitzvah boy sobbing as we took away his recently destroyed collection of brand new seforim. This is nearly a week after the storm!!
People have no cars as they were destroyed during the hurricane. The houses are flooded from basement to first floor destroying everything and leaving a toxic smell in its path. I was in many people’s homes where sand clogged the pipes and septic water was swept throughout their homes. Half the people are staying home because they are scared of looting, and the other half are leaving because they are scared of the type of people looting. People are freezing, hungry, in despair, and it seems no one in surrounding communities has a clue.
The only factor affecting communities are the long gas lines and ensuring their workers can be at work each day. I have lost no assets but it was very disappointing for me to hear a rabbi this week on Shabbos make no mention of any suffering occurring at this time.
It is very inspiring as there are a tremendous amount of organizations and individuals offering homes, food, and clothes, but it is not even close to the amount of help that should and needs to be done.
People have no idea how bad the situation is.
Shul doors left open just hoping someone will clean it out. A trailer truck of shaimos came from less than 30 homes. From what I hear towns such a s Seagate and Bell Harbor are much worse off. This is not New Orleans; this is right in our backyard!
This poorly written letter is solely meant to spark your interest just enough to research a little into the catastrophe that has occurred in the Jewish community. I’m not sure if it will take a YouTube music video from someone famous or just community leaders in surrounding neighborhoods to help make this message more real.
Ask around how you can help on a financial level and definitely with the cleaning efforts, from the little we saw it was heart breaking.
HOW YOU CAN HELP THE HURRICANE VICTIMS
Many people are looking to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, and many different organizations have been assisting them. The following is a list of some of organizations where you can donate and assist your brothers in need.
1) New York’s leading Jewish Chesed groups have agreed to create an emergency fund to support local victims of Hurricane Sandy. The Emergency Sandy Chesed Fund will be managed by Chevra Hatzalah with the support of the following organizations: Hatzalah groups, Shomrim, Misaskim, Chaveirim, Met Council, Yad Ephraim and neighborhood Jewish Community Councils. It was formed at a meeting called by Councilman David G. Greenfield. All proceeds of the Emergency Sandy Chesed Fund will go directly to victims and victim services. No donations will be used for administration or overhead.
The community is encouraged to donate generously via this website: www.EmergencyChesedFund.com.
2) There are countless families in the Five Towns, Far Rockaway, Bayswater and Long Islandthat are totally wiped out, having suffered crippling losses, losing homes, cars, clothing, everything. They are literally left with only the proverbial clothing on their backs and are in a shocking situation. Hundreds of others have been severely impacted.
To assist our community in this time of desperation, the Achiezer organization has begun a campaign, chaired by distinguished baalei batim to allow those of us who are fortunate enough not to be suffering from the after effects of the hurricane, a once-in-a-lifetime direct pikuach nefesh opportunity. The trustees listed below will oversee the funds raised in this campaign to insure that every penny goes directly into the hands of those who have lost so much due to the devastating hurricane. A special accounting of every dollar will be available at the end of this campaign. Any monetary assistance, big or small, will help to alleviate the overwhelming need of our friends, neighbors and brothers. You can donate by clicking HERE.
3) In the community of Sea Gate, the devastation is real, the damage is more than just physical. Families have lost everything. ”The only thing left is the shirt on my back”, is no longer a saying, it’s real.
A fund to assist the local community has been set up and is being administered by Harav Pinchos Meisels, the Dayan of Seagate. You can donate by visiting the website for the Sea Gate Hurricane Emergency Fund.
PLEASE EMAIL THIS STORY TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE.
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