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Fast Forward

Jewish Educators Lead Effort To Replace Houston’s Flooded Libraries

A group of Jewish professionals is spearheading a grassroots movement to help replenish Houston’s Jewish libraries after they were inundated with flooding during Hurricane Harvey, Haaretz reported. The online database they have created lists thousands of books — both those requested by Jewish institutions in Houston and those listed as available to be sent to the community.

“We will need a lot of help. We will need volunteers and resources to make this happen and for people to give their own tzedekah and chesed,” said Sara Shapiro-Plevan, one of the creators of the database, referring to the Hebrew terms for “charity” and “kindness.” Shapiro-Plevan is an educational consultant and the moderator of JEDLAB, a network of Jewish educators on Facebook. The group is now fundraising to cover the cost of shipping the books to Houston.

“We are flying by the seat of our pants here,” Shapiron-Plevan added.

Some libraries in Houston lost nearly all of their books, while some lost less than half. In one synagogue, the floodwaters came within inches of water-logging the Torah.

Contact Ari Feldman at feldman@forward.com or on Twitter @aefeldman.

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