Our Federation is committed to the well-being of our community in times of crisis, including reaching out to offer our assistance to individuals and Jewish institutions affected by the devastating wildfires throughout our area. In that spirit, I want to thank you again for your generous donation to The Jewish Federation in support of the victims of the hurricanes this fall and provide you with an update on the work we have done, and continue to do, because of your timely act of compassion.
Immediately after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, our Federation sent Becky Sobelman-Stern, our Chief Program Officer, to help organize on-the-ground relief efforts, including coordination of national and international organizations. Just before Thanksgiving, she returned to lead a delegation of 20 L.A. Jewish community members as part of a national movement to provide hands-on assistance through service projects, including removing damaged dry wall and organizing supplies and food for those who are still displaced due to the flooding that has affected more than 2,000 Jewish homes. With your support, in partnership with Federations all across the country, more than $12 million has been invested to help the Houston community.
I am proud of our community’s response in the aftermath of the hurricanes and wanted to share how you are making a tangible difference:
Helping Victims & Families
Displaced and impacted families urgently needed temporary housing, food, clothing, and cleaning supplies. You connected individuals and families to resources that included financial aid, furniture vouchers, case management, counseling support, short- and long-term housing, as well as legal and financial planning.
Sustaining Jewish Life
Amid the mounting costs associated with rebuilding, families are struggling to maintain their connections to Jewish life in Houston. You are providing scholarships and membership subsidies for day schools, early childhood programs, synagogues, the JCC, Israel experiences, and summer camp. For the most impacted families, this support will need to extend beyond the first year of recovery.
Harvey’s impact on multiple Jewish institutions is a significant communal challenge. The heart of the Houston Jewish community has been damaged by catastrophic flooding at two of its largest synagogues, one of its day schools, the JCC, and its Jewish senior home. Several other Jewish organizations also suffered major damage. You are helping them get back to serving the local community.
It warms my heart to know that we have so many caring community members like you. In fact, nearly 1,000 people donated to our Federation in the aftermath of this fall’s unprecedented hurricanes to help meet both short- and long-term needs.
If you need assistance due to the wildfires or other help, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
With deep gratitude,
Julie B. Platt
Chair of the Board
P.S. Visit our website for more information about the work of The Jewish Federation or to make a donation.