Below is a comprehensive update of the URJ Hurricane Relief
Efforts to date.
General: The Union
for Reform Judaism's Hurricane
Relief Fund has now collected nearly $515,000 for Hurricane Sandy relief
and has disbursed more than $155,000.
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
The URJ started working with JVOAD - Jewish Voluntary
Organizations Active in Disasters to maximize resources and ensure that
relief efforts are not being duplicated.
The URJ is grateful for several large donations: a
$100,000 anonymous grant, $18,000 from the National Association of
Temple Administration, $10,000 each
from the Benjamin Slome Charitable Foundation, Congregation Emanu-El of
the City of New York, The Bill and Kirith Prady Foundation, and an
General Relief: $488,346
West End Temple: $14,281
Allocations: The URJ allocates funds in three stages: immediate, mid-term and long-term recovery.
Funds will be disbursed slowly to ensure that those severely impacted will
receive the long-term support they need.
$7,500 was sent to North Shore
Synagogue in Syosset, Long Island, to provide three meals a day to
$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.
$25,000 was sent to West End Temple in
Neponsit, Queens for organizational assistance in their rebuilding process over the
The remaining $17,500 was allocated to
congregations with families who are displaced or whose homes were severely
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.
Youth Scholarship Fund:This fund helps
youth remain connected with their Jewish community at a time when their
belongings and physical structure may be damaged or lost by removing financial barriers that could keep displaced
youth from their communities when they need it most.The
Women of Reform Judaism contributed $10,000 to this fund.
West End Temple: West End Temple suffered significant damage from
Hurricane Sandy. The URJ has been collecting funds on behalf of West End Temple
until they have electricity and their online system is functional.
than $14,000 has been designated for West End Temple in Neponsit, 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.
of Reform Judaism's Reform on Campus grantees donated $500 in the form of
Target gift cards to West End Temple.
Congregations take action: Reform congregations all
over North America are doing their part to help. If your congregation is doing something special to help
victims of Hurricane Sandy, please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Temple Oheb Shalom
in Baltimore, MD has dispatched six trucks
filled with food, clothing, personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, pet
supplies, and more to Staten Island, Freeport, Tom's River, Upper Nyack
Temple Shalom in Naples, FL, is coordinating with Temple Sinai
in Massapequa, NY, to sponsor a Shabbat
dinner for all the congregation's families.
Beth Elohim has coordinated hundreds
of volunteers to deliver food, clothing, personal hygiene items, cleaning
supplies and more to residents in affected areas and at evacuation
shelters. Yesterday, volunteers successfully aided in the evacuation of 40
elderly residents in high rise buildings without heat or power just before
the latest storm hit the Northeast. They are hiring a part-time staff
member to coordinate their volunteer efforts.
Reform Temple is collecting gift
card donations for Lowes, Home Depot, Target, and Kmart to help local
residents suffering in the wake of the storm.
Moses Montefiore Congregation in
Bloomington, IL, cooked, packaged and froze complete meals for families.
Eight boxes of food was shipped overnight to Temple Am
Echad in Lynbrook, NY, and was distributed to families in need.
Temple Sinai of Roslyn
opened its doors to the local communities to "Re-charge at Temple
Sinai", the temple organized a holiday event for costumed children
anxious for candy and some semblance of normalcy on Halloween. And when
the temples nursery school opened, far in advance of public schools in
the area, nursery school childrens siblings and
other family members were welcomed. They also held a donation drive on
Veterans Day with over 50 volunteers and donations from local businesses.
The staff at the
URJ's New York City office has collected more than 163 pounds of food and
supplies and have volunteered with Nechama to help out in hard-hit areas.