Devastation in Brooklyn’s Sea Gate section after Hurricane Sandy. PHOTO / courtesy Rivkah Brikman

Hurricane Sandy stormed into New York and New Jersey with unmitigated force, carrying death and destruction, disrupting lives, and devastating neighborhoods in America’s most densely populated regions – which happen to be home to some of the country’s largest Jewish populations.

In response, the national Jewish community banded together to meet immediate needs and plan for a long-term revival. Beyond the Jewish Federations of North America’s tremendous efforts (see main story), other organizations and individuals are taking it upon themselves to help:

  • The Union for Reform Judaism sent New Orleans-based congregational leaders who helped rebuild synagogues after Hurricane Katrina to consult with two synagogues that were partially wiped out: Temple Sinai in Massapequa, N.Y., and West End Temple in Neponsit, N.Y.
  • Marks Jewish Community House Executive Director Alex Budnitsky, together with staff and volunteers, climbed innumerable flights of stairs, carrying meals and water to those trapped in high-rise apartments without electricity.
  • The JCC in Manhattan prepared meals for more than 1,000 people in shelters at John Jay College and at George Washington High School. Water, blankets, clothing, and toys were given to more than 600 people.

BY MAXINE DOVERE / JNS.org