Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Texas as they face the epic devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey.The storm that unleashed approximately 27 trillion gallons — or a record 51 inches — of rain on Texas and Louisiana left 50 people dead (a figure that is expected to increase), thousands of residents displaced and billions of dollars’ worth of property destroyed.
While hatred and evil were on display a mere few weeks ago in Charlottesville, the best of humanity has shown itself during the response to Harvey. From the brothers who drove from Dallas to participate in multiple dangerous rescue efforts to the human chains spontaneously created for saving others to the local Pizza Hut that delivered pizzas by boat to people in need of food, selfless acts of courage have abounded during the tragedy in Texas.
For those still seeking a way to help the victims of Harvey, we have compiled the following list of Jewish organizations engaged in Harvey relief efforts:
- The Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston is accepting donations for hurricane relief and is also working with Jewish Family Servieces of Houston to collect and distribute e-gift cards to people in need.
- The Jewish Federations of North America have established a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
- Agudath Israel of America has created a disaster relief fund to support Jewish families in the Houston area in need of food and clothing, as well as provisions for the High Holidays.
- IsraAid is an Israeli organization that has provided disaster relief to people all over the world. The organization has sent a team to Houston and is collecting donations to support the team in its efforts “to provide emergency relief, psychosocial support, and debris removal assistance,” according to the group’s website.
- B’nai B’rith International is accepting donations for the victims of Hurricane Harvey through the B’nai B’rith Disaster Relief Fund.
- NECHAMA: Jewish Response to Disaster is an organization that mobilizes volunteers to provide support to victims of natural disasters throughout the United States. NECHAMA is planning for a long-term deployment to Texas and is seeking donations as well as volunteers for this effort.
- The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) has established the URJ’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Among the relief activities supported by this fund is the work of the URJ Greene Family Camp. In partnership with other local organizations, the camp is running the Hurricane Harvey Houston Day Camp to provide childcare and meals for children whose parents are dealing with flood clean-up and other issues. The URJ Greene Family Camp in Bruceville, Texas, has also opened its facilities to families in need of temporary shelter. In addition, the URJ website lists Houston-area synagogues that people can contact directly to determine their specific needs.
- The Orthodox Union has established a webpage soliciting donations for the Jewish community in Houston, as well as commitments to recite Tehillim (Psalms). People can also volunteer through this page to go to flood-ravaged areas to help the Orthodox community on the ground.