Sunday, November 4, 2012

Special Sandy announcement by Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel of Agudah

For free food and shelter information in the 5 towns click  HERE
 For free food and shelter in Lakewood Click HERE

Zwiebel LH
Agudath Israel of America Announcement
To members and friends of Agudath Israel:

A guten Erev Shabbos. It has been quite a week, with Hurricane Sandy battering the East Coast and leaving disruption,  devastation and destruction in its wake. Countless thousands of Acheinu Kol Beis Yisroel have suffered severe damage and loss in this unprecedented storm. The hearts and tefilos of all of Klal Yisroel are with our suffering brethren. May Hashem send yeshuos to us all.  

Agudath Israel's central offices, located in downtown Manhattan where the power has been out since Sandy's arrival, have been closed all week. As a result of the storm, we had to put off our 3rd annual legislative breakfast scheduled for this coming Monday morning November 5, as well as an event we were planning for next Shabbos in the communities of Far Rockaway and the Five Towns. We hope to reschedule these events in the not too distant future.

In the meantime, Agudath Israel staff and baalebatim have been  working hard to assist individuals, mosdos and communities hard hit by Sandy. We have worked with yeshivos whose facilities were damaged in the storm to help them find temporary relocation. We have assisted local community-based organizations that are working to alleviate  severe conditions in various neighborhoods. We have reached out to the leadership of Agudath Israel shuls that suffered storm-related damage to discuss tangible ways through which our national organization can help them rebuild. Through our national network, we have coordinated campaigns in several cities across America to provide funds and other assistance to hard-stricken areas in the New York metropolitan area. Some of our key baalebatim are making major contributions -- b'gufam u'b'mamonam -- toward emergency food and clothing campaigns. 

A special yasher koach goes to our national director of government affairs, Rabbi Yehiel Kalish, who has worked tirelessly in his local hard-hit community of Far Rockaway to assist the remarkable rescue and relief campaign spearheaded by  Achiezer -- a community resource center in the Far Rockaway - Five Towns area under the leadership of Rabbi Boruch B. Bender. Rabbi Kalish has helped raise hundreds of thousands of urgently needed dollars for the Achiezer campaign. (Achiezer's hotline is 516-791-4444; or they can be reached
We strongly encourage our friends and constituents to contribute generously to these types of campaigns. In our view, the best way to address the urgent need of the day is to contribute directly to the local community-based organizations that are doing the actual work on the ground to provide assistance to our many brothers and sisters who so desperately need our help. For this reason, we have decided it would be best not to establish an independent Agudath Israel emergency relief fund at this time, but rather to work directly with the local communities.  

Just as we see how storm damage, long gas lines, prolonged power outages and impossible traffic jams are bringing out the worst in certain people, we also see how they are bringing out the best in other people -- specifically among the descendants of Avraham Avinu, the amud ha'chesed about whose mesiras nefesh for chesed we learn in this week's parsha. The incredible outpouring of chesed that Klal Yisroel is displaying during these days of crisis should be a source of tremendous inspiration and pride -- and a zchus for us all. Mi k'amcha Yisroel!
david zwiebel signature   
Chaim Dovid Zwiebel

Donate HERE for Achiezer relief for The five towns far Rockaway area

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