May 29, 2015 - Houston floods inundate Jewish homes and 2 synagogues
...One of Houston’s major bayous runs alongside North and South Braeswood Boulevard, where two major synagogues are located and many of Houston’s Jews live. A number of residents had to be evacuated by watercraft, including a rabbi emeritus from United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston, one of the two synagogues that suffered damage. The other damaged synagogue was the Reform temple Congregation Beth Israel.
Houston’s JCC also said two of its properties were flooded, including damages to a teen center, racquetball courts and a preschool gym.
No fatalities or major injuries were reported among the Jewish community.
“There’s water in every area of the shul — the main sanctuary, the social hall, the school wing, administrative offices. Luckily our Torahs were higher so they were not affected,” United Orthodox’s current spiritual leader, Rabbi Barry Gelman, reported by phone. Gelman had to flee his home during the rains as floodwaters rose.
“Almost every house in this neighborhood sustained serious flood damages — from 6 to 8 inches to 3 to 4 feet of water in every house,” he said. “This will keep many people out of their homes for months.”
April 20, 2016 - Houston Jewish Community Is Flooded Again
Just 11 months after a massive Memorial Day flood damaged about 500 Jewish homes (among more than 2,500 homes overall) and three synagogues in my current home city of Houston, what seems to me to be a flood of equal or greater magnitude on Monday wreaked renewed havoc on the Houston Jewish neighborhoods of Meyerland and Willow Meadows.
For scores of Jewish and other families in America’s fourth-largest city who are still rebuilding their homes after last year’s flood, today’s deluge likely means the devastating scenario of restarting that process from square one. The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston had already projected an 18-month recovery timetable, with a price tag of $3.5 million, for the local Jewish community’s individual flood victims and institutions following the May 2015 flood. Initial indications are that the congregation I belong to, United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston, was hit even harder than it was last year — when damages to the synagogue facility exceeded $1 million. While I won’t often make opinionated statements in my writing, I can say with confidence that Houston’s Jewish community and all of Houston’s flooded neighborhoods are worthy of your thoughts and prayers.
August 28, 2017 - Help the Jewish Community of Houston
...The Jewish community in Houston, Texas has once again found itself in the crosshairs of a devastating storm that will likely cause even more damage in the next 24-48 hours, wrote the OU, adding:
“As the extent of the damage becomes clear, it is obvious that this community will need significant financial help in order to rebuild. Our community has answered the call before, and as Rosh Hashana approaches, we must answer the call again. Please enter your information below to donate.”
As a community, this is our opportunity to stand together and show our brothers and sisters in Houston that we stand with them in the spirit of Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Bazeh – that all of our people stand together as one.
I'd help them make aliyah, but rebuild for a third time in as many years?! That's nuts!! They're fighting Hashem and there's no winning that battle.