The Times of Israel reported: As volunteers worked feverishly to tape the exposed windows of San Juan's Temple Beth Shalom with plastic film and carry the synagogue's Torah scrolls to a secure place, the congregation's visiting rabbi prayed for a New Year 5778 miracle that would spare Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria.
Sadly, we know that this prayer did not come true. There was no miracle. For many Jews in Puerto Rico, The US Virgin Islands and other Caribbean islands, parts of Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, this Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are not happy holidays. And of course, this is not just about the Jews caught in the path of these monster hurricanes. The widespread humanitarian crisis has no religious boundary. This destruction of homes, businesses and infrastructure has spread despair to people of every faith, race, and nationality in the storms' wake. We have seen an incredible series of natural disasters and, while the sun is now shining again and the winds are gone, the relief effort is ongoing. Huge quantities of water, cots, generators, food, clothing, and everyday supplies are being brought into these storm-ravaged areas. These efforts will need to continue for a very long time.
So at this time while we happily gather in comfort and security with our families for the High Holidays, we at the JCCNV once again see a need to call attention to this continuing humanitarian crisis. You can help. Please consider contributing to The Jewish Federations of North America as it is actively engaged with all US communities affected by these hurricanes, including Puerto Rico. Also, The American Red Cross is on site and actively assisting the victims of these storms. Click here to make a donation to the Red Cross.
We at the J thank you.
Jeff Dannick Scott Brown
Executive Director President, Board of Directors
Eleanor Saslaw, Chair