Dear Community Members,
The situation in Baton Rouge, LA, as a result of flooding, is dire. Thirty people from the Jewish community have lost their homes, including the director of Baton Rouge's Jewish Federation. Many had no flood insurance.
Below is an excerpt from an e-mail that Jessica Yellen, director of the religious school at Congregation B'nai Israel in Baton Rouge, originally sent to Rabbi Gene Levy. She has given me permission to share it widely so people know how bad the situation is:
Things are devastating in Baton Rouge. Not sure why national news isn't all over it, but the pictures and videos coming from friends are heartbreaking. I've been on the phone trying to get in touch with congregants and families there. Many have lost everything and didn't have flood insurance. Even those with insurance are displaced and without transportation. I will be driving in next weekend - hopefully the roads will clear. I think my hotel is flooded, so I will be checking on that tomorrow to make sure there is a place to stay. It is a mess.
You can help as follows:
- Click here to send a donation to the flood relief fund set up by Congregation B'nai Israel of Baton Rouge. All proceeds will be given to the Baton Rouge Federation to distribute to the whole Jewish community.
- Click here to send a donation to the flood relief link set up by the Jewish Federations of North America.
- Send gift cards (from Home Depot, Walmart, etc.) to Deborah Sternberg, President of Congregation B'nai Israel, at Starmount Building 8485 Goodwood Blvd Baton Rouge, LA 70806 (all gift cards will be forwarded to the Baton Rouge Federation for dispersal).
Please do not send any physical items. The people who have lost their homes have no place to put anything, which is why they are requesting gift cards, which can be used at a later date once people have new housing.
I cannot imagine how our community would cope if thirty members lost their homes. As we prepare for Shabbat in our warm and dry homes, the Jewish community of Baton Rouge, only six hours drive from us, and especially those who no longer have homes in which to make Shabbat, will be in our thoughts in prayers.
Marianne Tettlebaum, Director