Helping Our Congregations Prepare for Hurricane Dorian

Inside Leadership

Helping Our Congregations Prepare for Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane as seen from overhead

As we watch the predictions and follow local authorities’ preparations for Hurricane Dorian, the URJ stands ready to assist congregations before, during, and after this expected storm.

Please stay in touch and share updates as you are able in the Hurricane Dorian group in the Tent. We have learned that by continually assessing the situation on the ground, we can determine – with your communication, of course – the best ways to rally the entire North American Reform Jewish network to support your congregation and local community.

This support could include: A list of congregations ready to accept visitors for Shabbat; encouraging the sending of gift cards so families can replace items (i.e. clothing, toiletries, and school supplies) damaged in the storm; or assistance with livestreaming services and widely distributing your congregational leadership messages (including emails) – and of course, your congregation’s individual 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 You can also send any specific questions about URJ hurricane response to that address.

As you prepare, here is a checklist of items to help you 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 assistance

These resources may also be helpful:

For ongoing updates, please follow the URJ on Facebook and Twitter and consult the Hurricane Dorian group in The Tent - and if you are not in an affected area but have localized support or help to offer, please also post in the Hurricane Dorian group in The Tent.

We pray for your safety, and that Dorian becomes merely a temporary inconvenience.

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

Published: 8/28/2019

Categories: Strengthening Congregations

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