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October 9, 2015 | 26th Tishrei 5776
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Midwest Floods

As of Friday, June 27, we've learned the following about the Union for Reform Judaism congregations in the affected areas:


  • Quincy, Temple B'nai Sholom: Members are spending most of their time sandbagging. In Quincy, the congregation and residential neighborhoods are on bluffs and are safe. Members living in Hanibal, MO, are for the most part away from the river.


  • Ames, Ames Jewish Congregation: The community has been spared flooding but the heavy rains caused a back up of water into the synagogue basement.
  • Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah: waters of the Cedar River which completely inundated the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods are receding; 4,000 families are out of their homes. In the temple community, at least 28 families have had homes or businesses that flooded and sustained considerable damage. Temple Judah providing two meals prepared in the Synagogue’s kitchen for relief workers
  • Davenport, Temple Emanuel: Some downtown flooding along with River Road in Bettendorf; flood walls protecting Rock Island and Moline, IL
  • Des Moines, Temple B'nai Jeshurun: Some flooding downtown; levee in the Bergland area did not hold but minimal impact on congregation
  • Iowa City, Agudas Achim Congregation Iowa River has crested, waters receding; widespread residential evacuations including homes of five (5) member families of the Synagogue (15-18 individuals); building--sandbagged last Friday--has remained dry


  • St. Charles, B'nai Torah: While there is flooding in St. Charles County, which is west of downtown St. Louis, the synagogue and its members are safe, according to President Jac Cohen.

In addition we've learned of:

  • Burlington, Temple Israel (Unaffiliated): downtown flooded but Synagogue and residential areas—on bluffs—high and dry
  • Waterloo: Sons of Jacob Synagogue (Conservative): Building damaged by toppling of large tree roots of which were compromised by excess water
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