Struggling To Rebuild After Sandy

Many Shuls Lack the Resources To Make Crucial Repairs

Storm Damage: Anshe Chesed in Linden, N.J. suffered serious flooding damage during the weather events caused by Hurricane Sandy in October.
Chaim Vizel
Storm Damage: Anshe Chesed in Linden, N.J. suffered serious flooding damage during the weather events caused by Hurricane Sandy in October.

By Seth Berkman

Published December 06, 2012, issue of December 14, 2012.
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UJA-Federation of New York has released more than $10 million in relief aid to agencies and synagogues and raised $3.7 million in donations. The federation also requested grant proposals from agencies and synagogues, and is currently reviewing those applications. Adina Frydman, executive director of synergy at UJA-Federation encouraged synagogues that have incurred damages to contact the federation for help.

In the meantime, synagogues are also struggling to raise funds on their own. The Howard Beach Judea Center recently held a fundraiser, charging $20 per entry; it drew 150 guests. But with the costs of putting on the event, the center netted only $1,500 overall, with an extra $132 raised for the backyard playground.

As early as January 2013, state officials are scheduled to visit the center’s preschool to conduct an Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale test, which assesses the safety and conditions of schools. Mason feared that if $30,000 wasn’t raised in time to fix the school’s backyard, the Center’s preschool license could be in jeopardy.

On a recent springlike day in December, when temperatures reached about 60 degrees, Mason focused on the future and lamented that she couldn’t bring her students outside. “Every day the children ask us,” Mason said. “Today was a beautiful day, and we have nothing to do.”

Contact Seth Berkman at berkman@forward.com

Below is an extended list of 30 synagogues that incurred damages during hurricane Sandy. The information was provided by individual synagogues and local federations.


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