Chabad Hurricane Relief

Thursday, September 01, 2005

 

Mendel's Diary - September 1 11:55 PM

This morning Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff took Rabbi Rivkin and myself to the Astrodome, the staging ground for the evacuees, where we spent several hours searching for familiar faces and counselling people. We also had a chance to network with the Red Cross and other groups that are heading up the relief effort in Houston. We met a New Orleans Times Picayune reporter who is Jewish and spent some time with him. Meanwhile, Bluma, Malkie and Yosef Rivkin have been manning the phones trying to contact people and follow up with the myriads of messages from people who want to locate loved ones, offer help etc. Rabbi and Mrs. Traxler of Chabad of Houston have allowed us to use some of their office space as a little central command for New Orleans Jewish connections. Rabbi Rivkin met with the Houston federation leadership along with members of the New Orleans federation who are in Houston to discuss the relief effort and future rebuilding. Several New Orleans children spent their first day at Torah Day School in Houston. Tonight there was a prayer service, where Rabbi Rivkin addressed the assembled about the situation and the fund that was set up on our site. We met with a member of the New Orleans community who is still trying to track down his mother. We are trying to connect local host families with people in need of hospitality. We are receiving constant requests for interviews from various news agencies and members of the media just walk up to us and start filming and asking questions. It has been a grueling day and we intend to continue tomorrow to keep looking for missing people. As news of more people that are located comes in we are happy. I was elated to finally have spoken with Rabbi Nemes who is in Memphis currently. His neighbors, Jane Tavlin and the Walthers are finally safe as well, thank G-d. Chabad here has really openned up for us and they continue to amaze us with their generosity and willingness to help. People are bringing things by and calling off the hook with offers for help. I will try to get more in tomorrow before Shabbat begins.

Comments:
I am trying to get in touch with Reb Mendel regarding a fundraising effort we are working on. If he gets a free minute, I can be reached at:

Michael Lupin
212-508-3777
845-323-5166
 
B"H

Has anyone heard from Gideon and his family, who own the Restaurant in the French Quarter?
 
Has anyone heard from Louis Zlotowitz? His family and friends in New Hampshire are very worried about him.
 
Hi Mendel and Yochanan,

I am so happy to hear that you both and your family are ok. I will pray for Rabbi Nemes.

PLEASE CAN YOU HELP ME! My father is still in New Orleans at 4534 South Tonti (SE corner of Cadiz). He is on the 2nd floor in the bedroom above the side (Cadiz) entrance.

PLEASE CAN YOU HELP ME OR TELL ME WHO I NEED TO TALK TO TO GET HIM OUT OF THERE.

I have not heard from him since Monday at 9am and he has non-perishable food but not much water and I am scared because it is such an old an non-maintained house that I don't know how he is doing. I am also scared by the looting that I am hearing about.

Please call me -- 214-215-5196.

Bernie Hirsch
berniehirsch@sbcglobal.net
 
from Jane Tavlin
The Walthers and I evacuated after the flood warters went down(Wednesday after the hurricane). Rabbi Nemes used my jumper cables to get Mr. Greg's car started. We broke down on I-10, just before the I-55 split. There we were, with 3 dogs.

No one would stop to help us so I stood in the middle of an I-10 lane and continued to wave my arms until finally a 2 vehicle convoy stopped ang gave us a ride to Baton Rouge. Little Bea(my dog) and I rode in the back of a pick up truck and when we stopped at Gonzales, LA, one of the Walthers dogs died!

It took us about 6 to 7 hours to make what is normally an 1 1/2 trip. When we reached Baton Rouge,
another pick up truck gave us a ride to my colleague's home. There was no electricity in the home but at least there was water.

The Walthers are back in their home and Little Bea and I are now living in a FEMA trailer while we repair our home. Thank G-d that we are here close to our friends at Chabad!
 
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