Fla. Temple Seeks Relief After Deadly Hurricane

Published August 20, 2004, issue of August 20, 2004.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Jews throughout Florida are pulling together to help those in need after the devastation of last week’s Hurricane Charley.

“Those with power are hosting those that have severe damages to their homes, to help people get through if they don’t have the means to cook food, do laundry, or things we take for granted,” said Jennifer Ritter, the associate executive director of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida.

The hurricane, which to date has registered a death toll of 19, was designated a Category 4 hurricane — the second-most destructive type — and was the most harmful hurricane in Florida since Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992. It largely affected Central Florida, including the cities of Fort Myers and Orlando.

Karen Coates, the national spokeswoman for the American Red Cross, told JTA that 2,424 homes were destroyed; 1,968 homes suffered major damages and are uninhabitable; and 1,260 have minor damages and are habitable whether or not the habitants choose to remain in them.

Annette Goodman, the executive director of Jewish Federation of Lee & Charlotte Counties, said that Temple Shalom, a Reform synagogue in Port Charlotte was the synagogue most affected by Charley’s wrath. The temple’s educational wing was ripped off the main structure, but the chapel remains untouched.

As in most of Charlotte County, electricity had not been restored to the temple by midweek.

“We sent a busload of food, towels and toiletries to the community there on Monday,” Goodman said. “There is devastation, but as far as we know the congregation is all right.”

Barry Swartz, the vice president of United Jewish Communities Consulting, says the UJC is accepting donations at local federations and at the group’s national mailbox for Jews and non-Jews alike.






Find us on Facebook!
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.