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October 7, 2015 | 24th Tishrei 5776
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Hurricane Wilma

11/7: Two weeks after Hurricane Wilma, all of the approximately 30 congregations that were impacted have had their power restored. Most of the congregations on both the east and west coasts of Florida sustained some kind of physical damage, such as landscaping or water leakage. Only two synagogues, Temples Beth El and Solel of Hollywood, sustained significant damage to their buildings, specifically their roofs.

10/29: From the leadership of Temple Beth Am, Miami: We have been fortunate in that we did not sustain any major structural damage to our campus. We did loose some landscaping. We are with out power and celebrating Shabbat in a tent.

10/28: Rabbi Jody Cohen, Director of the Union’s Southeast Council, reported that approximately 30 Reform congregations in the Southeast Council were directly impacted by Hurricane Wilma. Fortunately, it appears that no congregants suffered injuries as a result of the hurricane.


Several congregations and many congregations are still without power and/or potable water, but power is slowly returning to the region. A few synagogue buildings suffered some structural damage, most of which was related to roof damage and flooding. However, for most congregations in the hurricane’s path, damage was restricted to outdoor playgrounds and landscaping. More...

Imported Items

FaithfulFriend Center, Hialeah, FL, $5,000
Faithful Friend Center is a food pantry that distributes food in Hialeah, FL, near downtown Miami. Faithful Friend Center lost power following Hurricane Wilma, and without refrigeration, it lost all of the perishable food in its storage facility. The grant will help purchase perishable food to distribute to those in need.

Farm Share, South Miami Dade County, $10,000
Farm Share serves as a vital link between farmers with surplus produce and social service agencies that provide food to needy people. Farm Share works with farmers throughout the United States to recover nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables considered unsuitable for the retail market due to size or minor blemishes. In addition, Farm Share works with packers, workers, wholesalers and grocers to divert food that has been rejected in the retail sector due to minor imperfections. Farm Share then arranges deliveries to participating nonprofit organizations. All recovered produce is distributed to qualifying low-income families and charitable organizations feeding those in need -- at no charge.

Farm Share’s headquarters was hit particularly hard by the Hurricane Wilma. Two of their industrial sized coolers which are critical to storing perishable food were seriously damaged. The grant would allow Farm Share to repair or replace both coolers and provide much needed services to those impacted by Hurricane Wilma.

United Jewish Communities of Broward County, $10,000
In the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma, the United Jewish Community of Broward County (UJCBC), which helps coordinate local community efforts to assist victims of disasters throughout the world, is now pitching in much closer to home. It is providing emergency relief to hundreds following hurricane Wilma, including providing temporary shelter, food and clean water. It has also served as a temporary headquarters for local social service organizations whose offices were damaged by the hurricane.


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