The URJ's Congregational Network Staff has been reaching out to all
congregations affected by the storm and advising congregational leaders
on how to best help individual congregants and continue providing
services to congregants. The URJ
has allocated $42,500 to support Reform congregations, of that, $25,000
was sent to Congregation Beth Elohim
in Brooklyn, NY, to support their relief efforts as they have become a
primary coordination point for hurricane relief. The remaining $17,500 was allocated to
congregations with families who are displaced or whose homes were severely damaged.
More than $11,000 has been designated for West End Temple
NY, which suffered significant damage from Hurricane Sandy. The URJ will
be collecting funds on behalf of West End Temple until they have
electricity and their online system is functional. Approximately $10,000
was allocated toward the Scholarships for Youth Impacted by Sandy,
which aims to remove some of the financial barriers that might keep
displaced teens from attending Reform Movement events when they need
Prayer books damaged by Hurricane Sandy at West End Temple in Neponsit, NY
The URJ also sent $25,000 to New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG),
which provides free civil legal services to New Yorkers who cannot
afford a private attorney. NYLAG has been helping victims with FEMA
applications, public benefits, housing issues, insurance and other
immediate legal needs.
Reform congregations all over North America are doing their part to help. Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard, IL sent more than 300 pounds of toiletries and personal items for children to Temple Shalom in Aberdeen, NJ. Stephen Wise Free Synagogue
in Manhattan has donated 2,500 cans of soup, hundreds of pounds of
cleaning supplies, and collected more than $29,000 to aid those in need.
Last weekend, hundreds of congregants delivered goods to residents in
Coney Island, the Far Rockaways, and Massapequa, NY. If your
congregation wants to help, please make specific arrangements and verify
needs in advance to avoid duplicating efforts or sending goods that are
not needed. Please contact Isaac Nuell with any questions.
This is our third update about the Reform Movement's response to the
devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy. To learn more or to read previous
updates, visit the URJ's Hurricane Relief