Today is February 26, 2024 /

Shabbat Shalom

Dear WJC Family,

When I started getting calls and texts from around the country today I had thought they would be about wishing me a Shana Tovah. But no, they were from family and friends who’d seen the devastation on and around the Avenue while watching NBC or CNN. They were worried. They had good reason.

Thank God, we are okay. Our house had a few inches of water in the basement and 14 hours without power, but it wasn’t so bad especially because of the kindness people showed us. The synagogue building took in some water that did some damage, but it is also nothing too serious. And because of luck and the fact that we rented the toughest tents this side of the Mississippi, all the spaces we are planning to use for High Holiday services are pretty much unscathed – the show will go on.

I wish I could say that was the case for all of our friends and neighbors. I walked the Avenue at about 11:00am yesterday morning to visit a WJC family that was particularly had hit – I felt like I was walking in a news clip or a movie. The devastation to homes and businesses in that area, and I’ve heard in others as well, truly is devastating and heartbreaking. Many WJC members lost cars, property, even had their homes destroyed by the flood. And all along the Avenue and in the surrounding areas were people emptying their destroyed possessions onto the curb – I found what had obviously been an extraordinary collection of Frank Zappa LPs particularly heartbreaking. Businesses are destroyed, their inventory having fallen off floating shelves and scattered everywhere, windows were broken, edifices destroyed.

And so, at this threshold moment to teshuva (repentance), tzedakah (mitzvah giving) and tefillah (prayer), we are presented with an opportunity to make a real difference. First and Foremost – if you are in need of assistance of any sort, please contact me as soon as possible. We can help you get through this terrible episode. You are not alone.

Secondly, it is time to help our neighbors – our friends at the Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force have sent out the following message:

Hi everyone,

I hope that you all weathered the storm safely and without too much damage.  Unfortunately, as I’m sure you all know, many areas in our community were severely hit, including many of our clients and our site at Columbus Park

The LMHTF is looking for some help tomorrow, and through our work with the Coalition for Community, we are also supporting other efforts in the community to help our neighbors who were affected by the storm.

Following are MULTIPLE ways you can help over the next few days.  This is a lot, but the need is great.  If you are in town this weekend, please consider helping in one or more of the ways outlined below.  Please respond as appropriate for each need if you can help, and THANK YOU!

FRIDAY, 9 AM — LMHTF Clean-Up

We are looking for 7 volunteers who can meet at Columbus Park tomorrow morning to help clean up the pond and shovel mud out of the tent.  Volunteers are asked to bring their own shovels.

** Please EMAIL ME to let me know if you can help tomorrow, Friday at 9 am

FRIDAY/SATURDAY/SUNDAY — Coordinated Support for Local Flood Victims

The Coalition for Community is calling for immediate donations of food, gift cards and financial support as well as volunteer support to provide immediate assistance for our Larchmont-Mamaroneck flood victims.

IMMEDIATE CALL FOR DONATIONS

Drop off donated items and gift cards at St. Thomas church, TOMORROW, Friday, September 3rd from 12 pm to 5pm.  You will be able to stay in your car and drop your donations quickly!

1.  Clothing Donations

We are seeking ONLY these items.  PLEASE SAVE US TIME & help get items to clients faster – pack your items in reusable bags and presort your bags and label them by type and size (e.g. Men’s Large, Boys ages 10-12 or such)

  • Summer and Fall clothing ONLY ideas for immediate use

Rainboots & shoes & workboots

Socks & underwear (new only; children & adults) – HIGH PRIORITY

2.  Other Donations

  • Diapers, Toiletries (deodorant, toothpaste & toothbrushes), Feminine care products
  • Baby formula
  • Diapers
  • Masks & hand sanitizer
  • Towels
  • Water bottles
  • Shopping bags

3.  Gift Card Donations

  • $25 gift cards from CVS, Stop & Shop, Amex, Visa or restaurants on Mamaroneck Avenue

4.  School Supplies Donations

Finally, sadly, the 150 backpacks generously donated by the Sharing Shelf, Rotary Club of Larchmont, and Larchmont Temple’s Social Action Committee were damaged in the flooding of CRC’s facilities.  To replace them please consider donating new backpacks containing the following:

  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Notebooks
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Rulers
  • Erasers
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue

IMMEDIATE CALL FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Donate to the Community Resource Center Flood Victims Fund via this link.  Giving to CRC helps provide an equity of access to donor support.  CRC will allocate monies to families based upon need.

IMMEDIATE CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS — PLEASE SIGN UP HERE

  • Friday — Receive and sort items tomorrow, Friday at St. Thomas Church
  • Saturday & Sunday — Help sort donations and assist clients when they come to select items.
  • Saturday — Make lunches to provide to families and/or assist with setting up and distributing lunches

THANK YOU EVERYONE! 

Let’s do what we can to help our great community in this moment of need. If the liturgy of High Holidays teach us anything, it’s never to let the opportunity to do a mitzvah pass us by. Through some anecdotes I’ve heard over the past day, I already know that many of our WJC family have been helping their neighbors. I’m not surprised—it’s part of what makes this such a wonderful community.

And we are looking forward to celebrating the New Year with this wonderful community. There are many details to share about the services for Shabbat and Rosh Hashanah, so please see the information below, and even a little teaser video for my Rosh Hashanah sermon. 

See you in shul or online (a lot this week),

 

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