JFNA Hurricane Harvey Update - September 7

From the Desk of Jerry Silverman - JFNA President and CEO


Dear Colleagues,
The wreckage in Houston continues to reveal itself, and the realization that our community has been brutally shattered has become our new normal.  Cleanup has begun in earnest in areas where it’s possible, but West Houston remains under water.   More than 70% of the Jewish community lives in parts of the city that were badly flooded, and that includes nearly 12,000 Jewish elderly. The start of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is now less than two weeks away and flooded synagogues are scrambling to find places to hold services.
Raised and Allocated
Jewish Federation donations continue to come in. To date, Jewish Federations have raised nearly $7.8M for Hurricane Harvey relief. $1.6M was allocated to address the following priorities:
•             Immediate cash grants for flood victims essential needs
•             Extended day-camp programming to make up for delayed school opening
•             Expanding capacity of Jewish Family Services to allow them to provide one-stop, comprehensive assistance
•             Grants to individual Rabbis’ discretionary funds to meet specific congregational needs
•             Funds to the Hebrew Free Loan Association that will match resources from Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco to create a new Hurricane Harvey loan pool
JFNA Continues to Organize Teams of Professionals to Aid Houston
JFNA is organizing its third team of national Federation professionals to assist the Houston Jewish Federation next week. We are also working with the Network of Jewish Services Agencies to enable them to provide national professional assistance to Houston’s Jewish Family Services agency for mental health counseling.
Houston Federation Flood Committee to Meet Again Next Week
At its next meeting, the Houston Federation Flood Committee will allocate additional funds as the requirements of the community become more apparent. They will also address further financial assistance needs that are designed to strengthen local agency capacity. The committee will also help flooded synagogues find temporary locations for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Updated Volunteer Information
Houston still needs volunteers! Those interested should call 800-820-5188 or email [allhands@houstonjewish.org]allhands@houstonjewish.org 
News Directly From Houston
News about Houston from Other Jewish Communities
New York Jewish Week—Reaching out to Houston
Baltimore Jewish Times—How to Help Houston
Jerry Silverman


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