JERUSALEM – A range of Orthodox Jewish groups have banded together to ensure that local Jewish communities in Texas stricken by Hurricane Harvey have access to kosher meals.
According to the local Jewish Federation, some 71 percent of Houston’s Jewish population of 63,700 reside in areas that have suffered intense flooding. That number includes 12,000 senior citizens. Warehouses, stores and factories have been submerged in water, destroying much of the city’s food supply. With Houston’s largest kosher retailer experiencing eight feet of flooding, kosher food is even more scarce.
A wide range of individuals, organizations and private businesses from the Orthodox sector are doing what they can to combat the lack of kosher food. The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce said its partners from all over the U.S. have so far helped fund and provide thousands of hot meals for Jewish victims of the hurricane.
“There are no words to describe the uplifting feeling we feel working together as a united global network,” the organization’s founder and CEO Duvi Honig told Breitbart Jerusalem.
Honig cited one example in which Abe Halberstam, a New-Jersey based Chamber of Commerce committee member and the CEO of Labriute Meals, dispatched thousands of kosher meals with a shelf life of four years to the Houston area on Thursday.
Two members of the OJCC in Dallas also invested hugely in the relief efforts; Simcha Kosher Catering, led by Lowell Michelson, and Texas Kosher BBQ, led by Chaim Goldfeder – which respectively distributed 2,000 Shabbat meals and committed to preparing 1,000 kosher meals per day for as long as necessary.
With many of the roads into the city closed, getting products and ingredients – not to mention additional manpower – into the city was no easy task and required the assistance of the U.S. National Guard.
Yet Honig shrugged off the challenges, telling Matzav.com that “No task is too difficult when individuals and businesses unite and coordinate to accomplish on behalf of the common good.”
Dovid Geldman, Executive Director of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce’s Texas branch who oversaw the local efforts, said it was a “joyous sight” to witness so many people come together to help during this time of crisis.
“This is a lesson for eternity. We are always better off when we work together with a spirit of unity and selflessness. It is a privilege and honor to be part of the recovery efforts,” he told Breitbart Jerusalem.
Other organizations and individuals who pitched in include Rabbi Sholey Klein of Dallas Kosher supervision; Rabbi Aryeh Feigenbaum of Congregation Ohr HaTorah; Rabbi Ariel Rackovsky of Congregation ShaareTefilla; Dallas Area Torah Association Kollel; the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas; the Houston Kashruth Association; Agudath Israel of America; the Orthodox Union; the South Side Sandwich Shop of Lakewood.