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How Houston's Synagogues Are Handling High Holy Days After Harvey

Houston synagogue after Hurricane Harvey (Photo: Courtesy of United Orthodox Synagogues)

Hurricane Harvey left so many in the Houston area flooded and dealing with dreadful amounts of damage. Houston's Jewish houses of worship were no different, the damages to the synagogues running into the millions of dollars. But, writing at The Times of Israel, Ben Sales talks about how Houston's Jewish communities are finding makeshift solutions to the disaster as they prepare to observe the High Holy Days:

A few weeks ago, Holly Davies was getting ready to homeschool her kids and preparing the family for the High Holidays. When Hurricane Harvey hit, she helped evacuate 150 people from her neighborhood by airboat and shelter nearly 100 people in a local church.

Then came the hard part.

For the past three weeks, Davies has been leading a force of up to 300 volunteers who have mobilized to repair homes and synagogues in and around the heavily Jewish housing development of Willow Meadows. Davies has spent September coordinating teams who are clearing Sheetrock, stripping floors, preventing mold and distributing aid.

Her volunteer operation is headquartered in Beit Rambam, a Sephardic synagogue that was spared flooding, and has helped rehabilitate the homes of about 100 families. But Davies is also helping lead the effort to make sure those families have a place to pray when Rosh Hashanah begins Wednesday.

“It’s very important for the community to have their central worship place, to not feel fragmented, not only in their homes but in their community...”

Tags: Crisis and Need

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