TEL AVIV – Israel has pledged $1 million in emergency aid to Jewish victims of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area.
“The Jewish state is measured by its response when our brothers around the world are in crisis,” Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett said, adding that the donation will be used to rebuild schools, synagogues, an old age home and a Jewish community center that were destroyed in the flooding.
“For years the Jewish communities stood by Israel when it needed their help; now it is our turn to stand by Houston’s Jewish community,” he said.
Bennett cited local Jewish leaders as noting that the “rehabilitation process will take years.”
According to the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, 71 percent of the city’s Jewish population – including some 12,000 senior citizens – lives in areas that were severely flooded, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.
Jewish residents who observe a kosher diet are finding it particularly difficult to obtain kosher food. As Breitbart Jerusalem reported on Tuesday, local and national Orthodox groups have come together to bring tens of thousands of kosher meals to the community in Houston.
In the immediate aftermath of the hurricane hitting Texas last week, Breitbart Jerusalem reported that Israeli aid experts from two diaster relief NGOs – IsraAID and iAID – had been dispatched to Texas to provide emergency relief and psychosocial support to the victims.
Local groups including the Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Houston and the Network of Jewish Human Services Agencies (NJHSA) stepped forward to offer free trauma counseling to victims.