Israeli Relief Effort in Houston Continues

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Israeli aid effort for the victims of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area continues, as the Jewish Agency, the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, and the Consulate General of Israel in Houston have sent humanitarian assistance teams and many tons of food and other necessities to the stricken areas.

A Jewish Agency aid delegation made up of shlichim (emissaries) stationed on college campuses around the United States has arrived in Houston to help local residents whose homes and infrastructure were severely damaged by the rains and flooding.

Tali Lipschitz, who heads the delegation in the Western United States and is leading the aid mission, said: “We are seeing some very difficult scenes. The damage is widespread and we are working hard to help however we can. We are here to show solidarity with the residents of Houston and the local Jewish community and to offer immediate assistance to residents in vacating their homes and rescuing their remaining belongings until professional aid teams arrive.”

Moshe Alfisher, who oversees the Jewish Agency’s campus emissaries in the Western United States, said: “We are working with masks due to the strong smell of mildew and mold and are trying to help people rescue what remains of their belongings. The stories are difficult to hear. We reached the home of an elderly couple who could have been my grandparents. They told us they waited almost 12 hours for rescuers to arrive, as the water reached their waists.”

Meanwhile, Israeli embassy officials in Washington sent a shipment of several tons of relief supplies, to be distributed by staff of the consulate in Houston.

Last week, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry pledged $1 million to Houston’s Jewish community for reconstruction of synagogues, schools and community centers damaged by the flood.