Helping Our Congregations Prepare for Tropical Storm Barry

Inside Leadership

Helping Our Congregations Prepare for Tropical Storm Barry

Hurricane as seen from overhead

As we watch the predictions and follow preparations for Tropical Storm (as of now) Barry, the URJ stands ready to assist congregations before, during, and after this expected storm.

Our primary message right now is for congregations in the predicted path of the storm to please stay in touch and share updates, as you are able, in the Tropical Storm Barry Response Group in The Tent. We have learned that by continually assessing the situation on the ground, we can determine the best ways to rally the entire North American Reform Jewish network to support our congregations and local community.

This support might include: A list of congregations ready to accept visitors for Shabbat, encouraging the sending of gift cards so families can purchase new items like clothing, toiletries, and school supplies that were damaged in floods, or assistance with livestreaming of services and sharing congregational leadership messages (including emails) out widely. Of course, the needs might be altogether different.

Members of the URJ staff and our local lay and professional leadership will be reaching out to the most likely affected areas for brief check-ins and status updates. Please send your up-to-date name, congregation name, and cell phone number now to DisasterResponse@urj.org. Specific questions about URJ hurricane response may also be sent to that address.

This checklist of items can help craft messages to your congregation:

  • How to get in touch with congregational clergy, professionals or lay leaders (provide email address, phone, and/or social media)
  • Local, municipal help lines or reporting (provide phone number or web address)
  • Encourage check-ins (either via email, phone, or social media)
  • How volunteers can reach out to offer help

These links to resources may also be helpful:

If you are not in an affected area and you are able to host people this Shabbat or have other help to offer, please post in the Tropical Storm Barry Response Group in The Tent

For ongoing updates, please follow the URJ on Facebook and Twitter and consult the #TropicalStormBarry topic tag in The Tent.

For those potentially in harm's way, we pray for your safety, and that Barry becomes nothing more than a temporary inconvenience. Shabbat shalom.

Have something to say about this post? Join the conversation in The Tent, the communications and collaboration platform for congregational leaders of the Reform Movement. You can also tweet us or tell us how you feel on Facebook.

Amy Asin is the URJ’s Vice President and Director of Strengthening Congregations. She is a past president of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, CA, and a former board member of URJ Camp Newman. Asin holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and spent 15 years consulting to Fortune 500 businesses with Booz, Allen & Hamilton.

Amy Asin

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