Residents use boats to evacuate flood waters from Tropical Storm Harvey along Tidwell Road east Houston, Texas.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ADREES LATIF)
Diaspora Affairs Minister Bennett has pledged $1 million in relief aid for the Jewish community of Houston, saying, “The Jewish state is measured by its response when our brothers around the world are in crisis.”
According to a statement released by the ministry, this aid will be transferred through the Israeli Consulate in Texas, and will be used to help repair and restore the communal infrastructure – schools, synagogues and JCC – which are not funded or supported by the state.
Noting the severity of the damages, and how flooded schools and synagogues can’t be used, Bennett said: “The city of Houston was hurt badly last week, and the Jewish community – 70% of which lived in the flooded neighborhoods – was hit hard. The old-age home and JCC were damaged, and hundreds of families will remain homeless. From talks we’ve had over the past week with the heads of the community and Israel’s Consul General, we learned the damage is vast, and the rehabilitation will take years. For years the Jewish communities stood by Israel when it needed their help; now it is our turn to stand by Houston’s Jewish community.”
Other donations have poured in, including one from the Bay Area-based Taube Philanthropies, which gave a $1 million grant toward Hurricane Harvey relief. The family foundation of Tad and Dianne Taube made its grant to All Hands Volunteers, a disaster relief organization which is leading volunteer recruitment and management in affected areas. The grant means that the organization can set up shop and handle both emergency relief, as well as long-term rebuilding.
Some $100,000 of the funds granted will support Jewish community needs.