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September 3, 2017 12:41 pm

Jewish Groups Provide Free Phone Counseling for Texas Hurricane Victims

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Flooding in Houston due to Hurricane Harvey. Photo: Jacob Kamaras.

JNS.org – Clinicians from across the US are providing free counseling to victims of Hurricane Harvey under the auspices of Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Houston and the Network of Jewish Human Services Agencies (NJHSA).

NJHSA and JFS launched the Emergency Support Line last Friday, offering free telephone-based counseling sessions to all members of Texas’s flood-stricken public.

Through the service, clinicians offer assistance in coping with the impact and trauma caused by Hurricane Harvey, and help those affected by the storm with finding the “resilience to move forward,” according to NJHSA.

The counseling hotline was inspired by Jewish tradition, which teaches that “a community is too heavy to carry alone,” said Reuben Rotman, CEO of NJHSA.

Relief efforts in southeastern Texas were initiated after Hurricane Harvey slammed into the state, killing more than 30 people and causing widespread flooding. Harvey was the strongest storm to hit Texas in decades and came at the peak of a three-year flooding trend experienced by Houston’s Jewish community. In 2015, 500 Jewish homes and three synagogues in the Houston area were damaged in floods. Houston’s 2016 Tax Day flood similarly devastated the local community.

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