Response to Hurricane Harvey

We have all been watching with dismay the images and reports emerging from Houston and the surrounding areas. Hurricane Harvey has caused damage on an unprecedented level and it is clear that there will be much work to be done over the weeks, months and years ahead.

While we send our thoughts and prayers to those who have been affected, we know that this is not enough. As we approach our High Holy Days and the fast day of Yom Kippur, the prophet Isaiah reminds us that God does not want us only to fast, but expects action alongside it. “To share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring the poor, who are cast out, to your house. When you see the naked, that you cover him … then shall your light break forth like the morning” (Isaiah 5:7-8).

We have reached out to colleagues in the area who have told us that it is simply too early to know what kind of help and support they will actually need. However, it is clear that there will be a lot of work to be done. We will be ready to help and respond as soon as they let us know how we can be most helpful.

If you are interested in being involved in leading this effort please reach out to Wendy Newman ( so that we can have people prepared to coordinate our work as the needs become clearer. In the meantime, the Jewish Federation of Houston has begun collecting donations, and you can make a donation to them by visiting:

We pray for the rains to stop and for the rainbow to once again shine forth above the affected cities.

Rabbi Danny Burkeman
Cantor Hollis Schachner
Matthew Langweber, President
Wendy Newman, Social Justice and Community Connections Trustee