Community Continues to Weather Storms Together
As I wrote my last column, for the December issue, I expressed hope for a better year as we approached 2021. It goes without saying that 2021 is off to a challenging start. While we should not be surprised by the ongoing issues related to pandemic, I do not think that any of us could have anticipated the horrendous winter storm that occurred in February, leaving many in our community truly vulnerable.
As has been the case, our community stepped up in myriad ways to support one another. I watched the kindness of neighbors and strangers ensure that those most in need were cared for during the most difficult days during and after the storm.
Our Shalom Austin family is here for you now and in the days ahead. Shalom Austin Jewish Family Service is collecting funds to distribute to community members in need. Hebrew Free Loan of Austin has interest-free loans of $500 for emergencies (no guarantor needed) and up to $7,000 of general loans available.
Volunteers are on standby, ready to fulfill community members’ food assistance needs. We have also compiled a list of individuals who are willing to help repair the homes of community members in need after this February’s storms and in the future. Our case managers work with individuals every day who experience home emergencies and cannot afford to pay for repairs.
Our community has weathered many storms together. We are continuing to respond to COVID-19 and we will continue to find and garner strength from one another, despite the challenges we face.
As we approach the spring holidays of Purim and Passover, a time of renewal and rebirth, let us continue to fulfill the mitzvah of loving our neighbor as ourselves, and let us find ways to repair our community as we honor our role in creation, our responsibility to take care of one another.
Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus
Rabbi Amy B. Cohen
Austin's Jewish organizations are providing assistance after Winter Storm Uri left many without power and water and with home damage in mid-February. Credit: Sheeren Ben Moshe Shalom Austin is here for the community now and in the days ahead. Mid-February's weather...
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