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Natural disasters and shootings continue to harm and devastate. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who suffer and continue to suffer from the aftermath of these terrible disasters. Below is information to help with relief from recent fires, hurricanes and earthquakes in the United States and Mexico as well as to aid the victims of the recent gun violence in Las Vegas, Nevada and Sutherland, Texas.

To support the victims of the gun violence at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs massacre, click here for information on participating agencies.

To support the victims of gun violence at the Route 91 Concert in Las Vegas, Nevada, click here for information on participating agencies and the go fund page.

For those impacted by the fires in Northern California--Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties--here are links to reach out and help:

#NewmanStrong URJ Camp Newman: https://campnewman.org/support-newman/newmanstrong/
Redwood Empire Food Bank: http://refb.org/

Redwood Credit Union: North Bay Relief: http://www.redwoodcu.org/northbayfirerelief
For pets and their owners affected in the Northern California counties: https://www.marinhumane.org/get-help/north-bay-fires/

With Hurricane season continuing, and the devastating impacts from Texas to Florida to St. Thomas to Puerto Rico, the Jewish Federations of North America has established a dedicated fund to support communities in need.

All proceeds will go to those impacted by the hurricanes: 2017 Hurricane Relief Fund - The Jewish Federations of North America

General relief and direct aid:
One America Appeal: 
One Nation. One Appeal.

Americares, a health-focused humanitarian organization that responds to people affected by poverty or disaster with life-changing health programs, medicine and medical supplies and has responded to the devastating hurricanes from Hurricane Harvey one month ago, to Hurricane Maria's devastation in Puerto Rico. 

Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund - Provide Medicines & Hope to People in Crisis

The Hispanic Federation established a relief fund for both Puerto Rico and Mexico in response to Hurricane Maria's impact and the earthquakes in Mexico.
Hispanic Federation: UNIDOS

Greene Family Camp is sheltering those fleeing from Hurricane Harvey: https://greene.org/hurricaneharvey/

For further information on these agencies, click here.



For those families impacted by Hurricane(s) in recent months, below you will find a step by step process toward recovery. This list can be used to help develop projects as a council or community and to target and guide development of future projects to help those in need. This processes below would be different depending on family location, and relocation area of loved ones, but the steps necessary to healing are similar for all. The following excerpt was taken from the Houston area Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism: http://hcrj.org/category/all-rabbis-messages/



"Important Information on Flood Insurance Claims

August 28, 2017 by Justin Deutsch Leave a Comment


Thank you to our friends at Jewish Family Service for sharing this guide.

How is this flood different from all others floods?

A Guide from Jewish Family Service

During all the other floods, the water receded quickly.

With this flood, the water lingered, and there could be more to come.

During all the other floods, only a few neighborhoods flooded.

With this flood, a good part of the city is impacted.

During all the other floods, we didn’t know what to expect.

With this flood, we know, based on recent experience, that recovery will take time.

But we have confidence that our community is resilient.

We have noticed that with this flood, the preparation learned from previous experiences has allowed a greater since of calm and resolve.  The staff of JFS Houston is prepared to assist the community with resources and information.

Here are three steps to take:

1) Call 3-1-1 in order to register your home has flooded. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE PROCESS, and can affect eligibility for some assistance.

Let your insurance company know in writing that you have a claim. Get a response in writing that they have received your notice. THERE ARE CHANGES TO THE LAW STARTING SEPTEMBER 1 SO TAKE CARE OF THIS RIGHT AWAY.

Reassure yourself, your children and seniors that this difficulty will pass and everything will be all right. Contact JFS for direction and support. Take account of resources and support available as well as next steps.

2) When the waters recede:

Determine where you and your family will be able to stay during the next period of time. Can you stay on your 2nd floor? Do you have a neighbor or family member who can house you for a short period while you “regroup”?

Once all physical needs of your family are taken care of, photograph all the flooded areas of your house and flooded possessions before you begin the clean-up process. Account for important items and things that can be boxed up. Beware of people offering services that seem “too good to be true”. Any official volunteer group (such as All Hands, Nechama, UMCOR, Texas Baptist Men, Church of Latter-Day Saints) that is here to help, will have identification.

There is likely to be resources for assistance in “mucking out” flooded homes (removing carpet and sodden furniture and items.) Things that you should consider saving are photographs which cannot be replaced as they can be dried out and reproduced in some instances. Getting the carpet pulled out of the house is a priority.

3) Know your resources:

There will be cleaning and packing supplies available at the ERJCC as well as through the American Red Cross. JFS will have funds available for shopping for basic clothing and food should you need them. Often neighborhood groups will be organizing meals, assistance and spiritual succor at area places of faith. Contact a Disaster Case Manager at JFS as soon as conditions allow, who will be available to assist.

You will need to register with FEMA; report your flood to the city you live in (3-1-1 for Houston); call your insurance company and be sure to check the JFS website, www.jfshouston.org for these instructions and others. Keep a notebook with all the information you will need.

4) Understand the phases of recovery:

Relief: The initial phase after the water recedes. You will need to secure food, clothing, shelter. Your best resources will be organizations trained to supply relief, such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

Clean Up: Organizing resources to clean up the sodden items in your house. Email mzeringue@jfshouston.org, who can send you a resource guide.

Organization: Learn the processes of FEMA, flood insurance and city resources. There will no doubt be community gatherings and distribution of information.

Recovery: The weeks and months ahead will allow you to stabilize your situation, return to your typical schedule of school, work and social activities as the process of recovering continues. Your mental health and the mental health of your family survivors is as important to address as are the logistics of rebuilding. JFS encourages you to seek assistance in both areas by seeking counseling or joining a survivors group and identifying yourself as a family or individual needing case management to assist you with the long-term journey ahead of you. In addition, there will be online Facebook groups that can provide a sense of community and be a source of information.

Recovery takes time and reveals along the way the physical challenges of rebuilding and recovering. JFS will be there for you for the long term, in conjunction with our partners United Way, The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center.

As in the past, it will take many resources to help those who have flooded.

Here is how you can help:

  1. If you are able, please donate to the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Getting financial resources will be the greatest help: Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
  2. Purchase gift cards to grocery stores or large retailers like Target, Walmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, Lowes etc. Supply them to JFS, 4131 S. Braeswood Blvd, Houston, Tx 77025. If you want a donation receipt, include a list of the cards donated and their amounts, your name, address and email.
  3. If you know of a person who is living in a flooded home in unsafe conditions, encourage them to seek assistance or report that information to 311 and encourage that person to seek safe shelter.

We are here for anyone in SW Houston or the Jewish Community after a disaster, be it fire, flood, hurricane or tornado. Please call our main line: 713-667-9336 and ask for a Disaster Case Manager. JFS can provide:

  • Emergency Funding Assistance
  • Volunteers to help go through your home with you to sort what will be kept and what should be trashed.
  • Volunteers to help you pack
  • Contact info for non-profit agencies that may be able to help (muck & gut following water damage; cut down damaged trees; tarp roofs; kosher meals; clothing…)
  • Emotional support
  • Case Management to help you to recovery and rebuild

If you are outside of our area, we can connect you with other agencies that provide case management in your area."


Help from the State of Israel

The government of Israel is sending 1M dollars to help the Jewish community rebuild. (https://www.jta.org/2017/09/04/default/in-role-reversal-israeli-plan-would-send-1-million-in-aid-to-houston-jews-hit-by-flooding)

Dallas Jewish Community:

The Jewish community has mobilized through the Jewish Family Service (JFS), the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. It is raising and disbursing funds to help in the aftermath. Donations were taken down to Houston over the weekend, about 16,000 items. At this time, donations of funds are preferred to good and material donations.

JFS organized an online list of items, a volunteer Sign-up Genius, and an Amazon.com wish list that lists specific needs of families/evacuees.

We are mindful and want to encourage awareness that the Houston Jewish Community has been devastated -- severely impacted by this event. Congregations and Jewish institutions are assessing damage, doing abatement as well as offering support to the general community.




As the Houston area slowly, but surely, recovers from the impact of Hurricane Harvey, we ask you to consider a powerful option that will aid in recovery: Please consider a long-term donation to one, or more, of the following organizations (see the list below). Go to an organization's donation pages and consider making a gift that recurrs monthly, in any amount that is meaningful for you and your family. These ongoing donations will represent the love and care of our Temple Shalom family for the long-haul, as our friends and family members make their way back from this devastation, with all our help. Thank you. 


Hurricane Irma has impacted the Florida coast, electric-grid infrastructure and devastated communities. Resources to help are below. 


If you have comments or suggestions with respect to this guide, please email tikkunolam@templeshalomdallas.org


How are ways to help the Houston Jewish Community:


Jewish Family Service of Houston:




Jewish Federation of Greater Houston:


Jewish Federation disburses $145K to Houston rabbis for immediate relief after Harvey In order to provide immediate and tangible relief for the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston is pleased to announce that it has disbursed a total of $145,000 in discretionary funding to congregational and outreach rabbis across the community. With the help of grants from the Jewish Federations of North America, 29 Houston rabbis have each received a $5,000 check from the Houston Federation to use toward addressing the most urgent needs in their communities following the widespread flooding caused by the storm. “While we are still assessing the full and precise extent of the damage, we already know that Hurricane Harvey struck an unprecedented blow to Houston’s Jewish families and institutions, many of whom already suffered major floods in May 2015 and April 2016,” said Lee Wunsch, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston. “Given our goal to facilitate the rebuilding of this community as quickly as possible, we acknowledge that local rabbis have the deepest understanding of immediate needs on the ground and are the leaders who are best suited to put these funds to good use.” To contribute to the communal rebuilding effort, please visit www.houstonjewish.org/HurricaneHarveyReliefFund


Union of Reform Judaism (URJ) Relief campaign:




Individual synagogues in the Houston area have set up relief funds. This is only a partial listing.


Beth Israel, Houston requests that gift cards for supplies be sent to the congregation for distribution, and a relief fund has been set up



Congregation Emanu El collaborated with Greene Family Camp to host a day camp for children so that parents could go about the business of assessing their homes, or getting supplies; funds were requested in the form of Walmart gift cards, as well as donations to support the camp effort.



Temple Beth El, Missouri City’s members sustained damage to their homes during the hurricane:


Beth Jeshuran, the largest conservative synagogue in the country sustained overwhelming damage: Ways to help this community are described here: https://www.bethyeshurun.org/hurricane-harvey-relief-efforts


“Disasters give rise to what I call situational poverty. A family that was once secure finds themselves with nothing but the clothes on their back. The organizations that will help that family get back on their feet – the food banks, the diaper banks, the shelters – are already in the community helping people who live in persistent poverty. Their ability to respond depends on how well their community supports them in ordinary times.”

– Joanne Goldblum, CEO National Diaper Bank Network


Mayor Sylvester Turner and County Judge Ed Emmett have established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax-deductible flood relief donations for victims affected by hurricane and floods. The fund will be housed at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity. https://ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/


Impacted Families & Children:

The Dallas Women’s Foundation established a dedicated fund for families, for help in addressing their needs: https://www.dallaswomensfdn.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=701


We’ve all been witness to the immigration debate raging through our country, and the fear it is causing within immigrant communities. Hurricane Harvey brought up  difficult situations for this community: This Esquire article tells one of those stories: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a57277/undocumented-immigrant-hurricane-harvey/


The Living Hope Wheelchair Association serves those paraplegic and others with spinal cord injuries, many without medical insurance or access to care or durable medical equipment :http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a57277/undocumented-immigrant-hurricane-harvey/


Babies cannot limit the number of diapers they use, nor can families carry or necessarily afford enough diapers while fleeing a disaster, which is why shelters must have them ready in times of need. http://keranews.org/post/evacuees-babies-diapers-make-difference

As well, Diapers are rarely covered by public assistance programs. Many parents will be struggling in the days ahead to make ends meet, as they rebuild their lives. The National Diaper Bank serves parents with this vital need:







Sept. 7, 2017

Chris Soto, District 3 Council Assistant


Angie Ransome-Jones, Project Coordinator


Book drive for evacuees affected by Hurricane Harvey

Dallas, Texas – District 3 Councilmember Casey Thomas is teaming up with local community organizations to create a book drive for Hurricane Harvey evacuees residing in Dallas’ Mega-Shelter.

 Councilmember Thomas was inspired to help after seeing the outpouring of support during recent donation drives within the City of Dallas.

 “As a former educator, this is a great opportunity for adults and children displaced by Hurricane Harvey, to have a creative outlet to read and have some sense of normalcy, while awaiting to return to their homes and new lives. I’m excited about this partnership,” said Councilmember Thomas.

 Book drive partner and local author, Angie Ransome-Jones says she was moved to act while volunteering in Houston after the storm. During that time, shelter residents expressed a desire for reading materials to replace idle time while in transition.

 Donors are encouraged to drop off new and gently-used books at any Dallas Public Library, which will in turn be delivered to local shelters. The drive is conducted in conjunction with The Metro Authors Group and Divas Read 2 Inc. book club. Both organizations encourage literacy and promote careers in writing.

What:            Book drive for evacuees affected by Hurricane Harvey

Where:          Dallas Public Libraries

Who:             Councilmember Casey Thomas

                      Angie Ransome-Jones

                      The Metro Authors Group

                      Divas Read 2 Inc.


Volunteer Organizations:

All Hands Volunteers

All Hands Volunteers began in the wake of the Tsunami of 2004, grew in resposne to Hurricane Katrina and is now a volunteer organization based in Massachusetts and the U.K., deploying volunteers to help with relief, recovery and rebuilding


NECHAMA is a voluntary organization that provides natural disaster preparedness, response, and recovery services nationwide. You may make a donation or volunteer. 

*Volunteer opportunties will be announced and coordinated with local groups such as Jewish Family Service, or other organizations with volutneer needs. 




The volunteer response for Irma is being coordinated closer to Florida, and are not being staged from the Dallas area. 


Donations can be made to the Miami Foundation, which funds basic needs and community projects throughout Miami. The foundation has set up a designated Hurricane Relief fund and focuses on relief, as well as marginalized communities impacted by the hurricane. There is a fund specific to the Carribean as well.

The Miami Foundation also has a page dedicated to the needs of the nonprofit - human needs community which will provide critical supports to vulnerable individuals and programs post hurricane: http://miamifoundation.org/irmarelief/

The Jewish Federations of North America has a dedicated relief fund for all areas affected by recent hurricanes.

Palm Beach County, and Greater Miami, have established similar funds, and the associated links contain updates and volunteer information.

The Governor of New York and New York State established an Empire State Relief Fund for Puerto Rico. Additional information and resources for aid and donations can be found there:  


The Hispanic Federation established a relief fund for both Puerto Rico and Mexico in response to Hurricane Maria's impact and the earthquakes in Mexico.
Hispanic Federation: UNIDOS





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