Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Jewish Groups Provide Emergency Help To The Bahamas In The Wake Of Hurricane Dorian

(JTA) — At least seven people are confirmed dead in the Bahamas’ Abaco Islands in the wake of Hurricane Dorian and the death toll is expected to rise.

“We are in the midst of a historic tragedy in parts of the northern Bahamas,” the Bahamas’ Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, said in a news conference on Tuesday.

He said the “devastation is unprecedented and extensive.”

The hurricane stalled over Grand Bahama Island for nearly two days, leaving whole neighborhoods, as well as airports and hospitals submerged. At least 13,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands.

IsraAID, the Israel-based humanitarian aid agency that responds to emergency crises and engages in international development around the world, said Tuesday that it would send emergency support to the Bahamas.

Its Emergency Response team will distribute urgent relief supplies, offer psychological first aid, and deploy water filters to restore access to drinking water, while conducting further needs assessments in affected communities, the NGO said in a statement.  In 2018, IsraAID Emergency Response teams reached 26,300 people with safe water, psychological and community support, and relief following nine disasters in seven countries. The group has opened an Emergency Response Fund, to pay for its work.

B’nai Brith International is accepting donations to its Disaster Relief Fund to assist those affected by Dorian. The money raised will go to assist local recovery and rebuilding teams, the group said in a statement.

Rabbi Sholom and Sheera Bluming, directors of Chabad of the Bahamas in Nassau, have been in touch with the Jewish community in Nassau, which was relatively unscathed by the hurricane, but have not been able to reach some of those living on Abaco, who still remain unaccounted for, according to

The rabbi said that about 1,000 Jewish expats have made their home in the Bahamas, and that more than 100,000 Jews visit the islands each year.

The Blumings have joined in the official government relief effort, calling on the Jewish community to help, and is coordinating a shipment of supplies from South Florida, which will include food, drinking water and mosquito nets for Abaco.

As of Wednesday morning the hurricane, now a Category 2 storm, remained about 100 miles off Florida’s east coast, lashing it with wind and rain, and moving toward Georgia, with experts saying it could hit the coasts of South and North Carolina on Thursday and Friday. Storm surge warnings are in place up and down the coast.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.