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October 28, 2012 5:38 pm

As Hurricane Sandy Nears Jewish Communities Prep for Worst

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Photo: Weather.com

Hurricane Sandy.

With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the Northeastern United States, Jewish communities in the storm’s path are making every effort to ensure their safety.

In New Jersey a state of emergency was declared by Governor Chris Christie on Friday. Many of the low-lying barrier Islands are under a mandatory evacuation, including those of Atlantic and Cape May County.

Rabbi Avrohom Rappaport, director of the Chabad house serving that area, says they are in touch with members of the community. “We’re calling our list, especially the older people, and making sure they have a place to go. We’ve secured the shul, and we’ll get in touch afterwards with those people who we know will need assistance. We’ll get some volunteers together and assess the damage.”

He continued: “We’ve had a lot of scares and nothing really happened and then we’ve had storms that were really bad, and this could possibly top those. So we don’t know. It could be nothing or the bay and the ocean could meet, so we can’t take chances; we’re evacuating.”

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He will be evacuating with his family to the Chabad house in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. “I’ve gotten calls from the four closest Shluchim and they offered to take in my family and anyone else that needs a place to go. There’s really been a sense of community and concern from our extended family you might say—the Shluchim.”

Jewish communities in Brooklyn aren’t facing quite the threat of those along New Jersey’s coast, but they’re taking precautions as well, though according to Rabbi Avrohom Winner of the Manhattan Beach Chabad house some are taking the threat more seriously than others. “Brighton Beach is in Zone A, which is being evacuated, but those on higher ground there are going to brave it. Manhattan Beach is on lower ground so they are evacuating.”

Overall a sense of calm has remained. “It’s Brooklyn. Most people are figuring it out. There’s a lot of accessibility here—things are easy to get to. It’s a larger community so unlike some of the smaller communities they don’t need as much leadership, “ he says.

Reports as to the severity of Sandy have been mixed, but the eye is supposed to make landfall in New Jersey on Monday, working its way north up the coast with heavy wind and rain expected.

The storm has already left destruction in its wake. Over the weekend it claimed 41 lives in the Caribbean, including 11 deaths in Cuba.

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  • Noam Zion writes a letter, asking readers “What teffilim, prayers or other lessons to you recommend for each other and your communities?” http://www.hartman.org.il/Blogs_View.asp?Article_Id=1028&Cat_Id=275&Cat_Type=Blogs

  • saidi

    Maybe prayers should be directed to Hashem for Sandy to be fickle and less determined and make a right turn out to the Atlantic.

  • Mel

    Even before its state legislature approved privately-operated, money-driven red-light camera enforcement, New Jersey governments, like Obama’s Illinois, had long been infiltrated by organized crime. Operated essentially as institutionalized, municipal tollbooths, between (1) the limited field of view of the cameras, (2) the private operators’ ability to manipulate what little the deaf, dumb and blind prosecuting officer sees, (3) the ban on discovery so the defendant cannot demand exculpatory evidence, (4) the conversion to civil procedure (ending safety and insurance point assessments against drivers, constitutional presumption of innocence of the accused, (5) enables unlimited repeat offenses by the wealthy, and (6) permits marsupial courts to provide only methods to pay their extortion. With Newark’s mayor Booker about to teach yeshivas how to lower tuition bills, can we expect the observant Jewish community to join the exodus from prayer to preyer?
    How is this connected to Hurricane Sandy? Like other coastal states, New Jersey has been declared a disaster area. Pennsylvania, an inland state, has also been declared athis rantAmerica has turned into an overflowing toilet.

    • Mel

      Pennsylvania, an inland state, has also been declared a disaster area. As of 07:00 Monday, the rain has yet to begin where Interstate 80 crosses the Delaware River that separates Pennsylvania from New Jersey, despite “radar maps” issued 24 hours earlier by the National Weather Service showing the storm already advanced into upstate New York. Governor Corbett is on the PEMA Emergency Broadcast System warning citizens of a storm guaranteed to be historical. These predictions match similar ones for storms of the last five years that never came to be. Sandy may yet become historical, but thus far, she is not historical, but only hysterical!

  • Prayers for the residents of the East Coast of the USA over the coming hours and days. Proof of the decency of most Americans is the fact that huge efforts at evacuating the elderly, special needs and homeless are taking place in many states. The public information services are also vital in trying to protect people.

  • Luigi Rosolin

    My pray for safety and relenting. Jesus help your peoples.

  • may Hashem bless everyone who will be affected by sandy !let’s pray that everyone gets through storm !

  • Shimon Reit

    Are there no other Jews but Lubavitchers?

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