Chabad Hurricane Relief

Friday, September 16, 2005


Mendel's Diary Friday, Spetember 16 3:30 PM

It has been an unbelievable week. The power of the Chabad network and its ability to help people is amazing. Last week Rabbi Rivkin (my fahter) and I went to Baton Rouge where we met with the energetic group of search and rescue teams and the two Yeshiva students that were coordinating with them between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Mendel Druk and Levi Shmotkin. We also had the opportunity to receive the Torahs that were resuced by the group from the two Chabad Centers in New Orleans. In a very emotional moment James, one of the rescue team leaders who is not Jewish, presented us with the Torahs. We all spontaneously began dancing as if it was Simchat Torah. That same night we drove to Hammond to meet with Alan Krilov and spent some time with him and brought him some Kosher MREs that were being distributed in shelters. As mentioned the search and rescue teams saved dozens of lives, Thank G-d. We also met with Morris Kahn, our own Torah Academy School Board president who happily reported that he had seen the facility had assessed the damage. He is planning the rebuilding of the Torah Academy Day School, which will allow us to continue to provide Jewish education in New Orleans. Upon returning to Houston with the Torahs, the entire Chabad community of Houston was outside with music to greet the New Orleans Torahs. The Houston Torahs were removed from the Ark to greet their New Orleans counterparts. We then danced in a Simchat Torah fashion for a while at the Chabad Center in Houston, where the Torahs will reside until they can be taken home to Chabad in New Orleans. On the Houston front, Chabad here continues to do an unbelievable job in taking care of the New Orleans Jews. Apartments have set up and furnished. Clothing pick up and gift card distribution has been organized under the leadership of Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff and Danny Gavin. We are meeting more and more New Orleans Jews who are happy to be alive but need help in getting their lives together. We are thankful that the generosity of the many contributors is allowing us to help so many people in so many ways. Danny Gavin left to Baton Rouge to join Mendy Traxler, the new crew in Baton Rouge, for Shabbos, where they have invited many people to join them for services and dinner in their little apartment. A large group of New Orleanians are traveling to New York this week for the Kehaty wedding which was supposed to take place in New Orleans on Wednesday. We will also make a group trip to the Ohel, the Rebbe's resting place to pray for the welfare of the New Orleans community. I look forward to reporting more to you next week.


vos machstu?? tsorris, tsorris, no? Darf min gehn in college?

i hope all is well with you and your family. i'm a-ok, currently in mobile with my boyfriend's fam, volunteering with his mom who is a social worker for the mobile county public schools. they're getting slammed with new students.

i don't remember the yiddish, but man, i wouldn't wish this on a dog!

i miss you and yiddish and chabad and look forward to seeing you in spring.

a gezunt af dein kop,
emily ratner
when is the group trip to the Ohel in Queens?
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