Over the last few days, the images of destruction and devastation in Houston have saddened and moved us. I know for many of us those images also make us want to help in some tangible way. Our Torah teaches us to not stand idly by, that we as Jews are motivated by loss and suffering wherever it occurs. We also have some in the congregation with family and friends in Houston, and so far, thank God, everyone with whom I have spoken is safe and well.

Our prayers are with everyone there for safety in the difficult days ahead. Though the worst of the storm has passed, the water continues to rise and so the devastation may get worse before it gets better. We want to pray and to do. With that in mind, I want to bring to your attention IsraAID’s relief efforts in Houston. IsraAID is an Israeli based emergency relief agency. They go with great Zionist passion, to teach the world that Jewish ethics impels us to care for humans in difficulty wherever they may be.

Donations can be made either on line or by mail: globalgiving.org/projects/harvey-flood-relief-in-texas/

Checks can be mailed to IsraAID US, 555 College Ave., Palo Alto 94306.

In addition, IsraAID is looking for volunteers. Here is the job description: IsraAID is seeking highly skilled volunteers to support its psychosocial support efforts for victims of Hurricane Harvey. We are specifically looking for 2-3 experienced psychosocial professionals with backgrounds in social work, counseling or expressive therapy (art, drama, music) to
a) create and facilitate child-friendly spaces within shelters to support affected children and their parents.
b) Provide psychological and emotional support and tools for individual and community resilience-building, processing, coping and healing.

Additional desired skills:
Experience in the field working in prior emergency situations
Proficiency in Spanish

Minimum deployment length is 10 days.

IsraAID will cover all expenses incurred over this time period (flights, accommodation, meals). Please note that this is an emergency situation and tasks, accommodations and daily operations are all subject to change based on the weather and the situation on the ground.

Please contact infousa@israaid.org.

May God grant health and strength to those undergoing hardship, and enable those who would help to succeed in their relief efforts.

Rabbi David Booth

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