Sep 14, 2017
Boca Delray Hurricane Relief Effort Opens Site at Jewish Federation
Houses of Worship, Agencies, Organizations Shift Community Response toward Irma
The houses of worship, agencies and organizations that only two weeks ago formed Boca Delray Hurricane Relief (see list of participating groups below) in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has shifted its concern to those in need following Hurricane Irma. The group is continuing its collection of supplies, and funds to purchase them, for urgent distribution where they are needed.
TO CONTRIBUTE SUPPLIES:
As of Tuesday, September 12, the collection site initially established for Hurricane Harvey moved to the Biefield Auditorium at the Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center’s Sandler Center, 21050 95th Ave. So., Boca Raton FL 33428, on the campus of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. Entrance to the campus is located off of Glades Rd on 95th Avenue South, and further directions will be given at the Guard Gate. A current driver's license is required for entry. The site will be open from:
- Noon - 6:00 p.m. on September 12
- 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. on September 13-14
- 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. September 15
- 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. on September 17
On Saturday, September 16, drop-offs will instead be received at the Lynn Financial Center 1875 NW Corporate Blvd., Boca Raton, FL 33431.
The most urgently needed items are (see list format below): Diapers - all sizes, zinc oxide diaper cream, baby wipes, baby formula, Ensure-type nutritional drinks for children and adults, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hygiene wipes, cereal bars, individually wrapped snacks, Neosporin, Band-Aids, Squeeze applesauce, protein bars and water. No clothing other than sneakers and shoes, socks and new underwear.
Ron Gallatin, Chairman, President & CEO of Hands on Tzedakah (HOT), the Boca Raton-based nonprofit charity coordinating the collaborative local relief collections and distribution, explains that, as it has in other urgent situations, HOT is working with groups locally and on the ground elsewhere to determine, collect and purchase what is most needed, as well as arrange deliveries for most effective immediate distribution.
“A huge humanitarian effort continues to be needed to help address the destruction and displacement from these storms, and our community is stepping up in a major way,” said Gallatin. “All of our varied local synagogues, Jewish schools and agencies that took this initiative have been joined by an array of other civic, religious and business entities eager to participate in this community response.”
Gallatin indicates that nearly $450,000 in funds, pledges and supplies have already been received. “Donations are now going out as fast as they are coming in; we are turning funds into emergency supplies and getting it all where it is most needed as quickly as we can,” he said.
“So far, seven truckloads of emergency goods have headed to the Keys, and another truck filled with 24,192 bottles of water is being distributed to seniors, those with special needs, low income people and those flooded or without electricity. Three trucks filled with kosher food will be headed here from New York later this week.”
“We had sent over $40,000 in supplies to assist with clean-up and to meet basic necessities for daily living in Houston, and have been prepared to send another $100,000 in supplies,” Gallatin continued. “However, in light of the extensive disruption and damage caused by Hurricane Irma closer to home, we have been asked by all the organizations we’ve been dealing with in Houston to use our collection to help people in need in Florida before thinking about them again.”
“In preparation for and since the storm, in addition to our networks in South Palm Beach County, we have established relationships with organizations in the Keys, in Miami, in the Everglades, the Glades and in western Florida,” said Danielle Hartman, President & CEO of Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services. “We are quickly prioritizing their needs to send out supplies imminently.”
Hartman urges anyone in need in Boca Raton, Delray Beach or Highland Beach to fill out a brief form at ralesjfs.org/disaster_relief or call 561.852.3333 to let the agency know their situation
Rabbi Josh Broide, Director of the Deborah and Larry D. Silver Center for Jewish Engagement at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, recruited synagogues and other partners from across the community for the effort. Broide also obtained the gift of the previously mentioned three large trucks filled with kosher food that will arrive from New York later this week – destined to ensure a sweeter kosher holiday for many in the region who might otherwise do without.
“This community shows its strength and unity in a time like this,” added Broide. “If everyone could drop off all the water and other supplies they didn’t use during the storm, it would help us make a tremendous impact together. Some items like water have become difficult to purchase in quantity.”
“Our Federation could not be more proud of our remarkable Jewish community, and we are grateful to be able to provide our campus and other resources so quickly,” said Matthew C. Levin, Federation President & CEO. “Bringing so many of us together to help in a time of crisis strengthens us as a community and a people as it provides urgently needed help to those living with the tragic effects of this devastating storm.”
“We are thrilled to be part of this vital community collaboration,” said Anne Jacobson, the Federation’s Board Chair. “This wonderful community has and will continue to respond diligently to aid those affected as quickly and completely as possible. A huge thank you to everyone who is stepping up to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters facing some overwhelming challenges.”
TO CONTRIBUTE FUNDS:
“In addition to essential material supplies, monetary contributions are very much needed,” said Gallatin. “Receiving funds enables us to purchase full pallets of immediately needed goods and deliver them more quickly than we can by packing boxes and shrink wrapping pallets of miscellaneous items.”
The Federation and Hands on Tzedakah ensure that 100% of funds received will be used to help those severely impacted by the hurricanes.
Credit card donations are being accepted at jewishboca.org/donateirma or handsontzedakah.org. Donations may also be made by check, payable to JFSPBC at 9901 Donna Klein Blvd. Boca Raton, FL 33428, or to Hands on Tzedakah (or HOT) at 2901 Clint Moore Rd., #318, Boca Raton, FL 33496. 100% of these donations will go to help those impacted by the storm. Please write “Irma” in the memo section of checks for Irma relief.
MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:
Diapers (all sizes)
Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center
Congregation Shaarei Kodesh