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Day Schools Helping Day Schools Recover from Hurricane Sandy

 

We at PEJE know that many day schools in the New York Metropolitan area, and along the Eastern Seaboard, have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

In an effort to support our weather-damaged schools, we call on you, the day school field. Let’s activate our social network of JDS and create, right now, an improvised program of school-to-school assistance.

How will this work?

(1)    If your JDS has been affected by the hurricane, please let us know—in the Comments section below—how other schools can help. Be sure to post an email address so people can reach you.

—and—

(2)    If your JDS is ready to respond to a school in need, write directly to the school and mention, in the Comments section, your desire to help. We will be tracking comments to try to ensure that all schools who ask for assistance receive it.

This is a chance to show our students, families, and communities, that we are all responsible for one another. Let’s take that chance—and do some good.

Thanks in advance to those of you who are ready to take action.
___

Note: While there are many ways to help schools that have been affected by Hurricane Sandy, we don’t want to focus on financial donations. Yes, money is vitally important here, but it’s not necessarily the ideal way for non-affected schools to show support. Instead, let’s use this forum, this network, to teach.

The fact is, many of our troubled schools are located in areas where power has not yet been restored and Internet connectivity is spotty. They aren’t online and plugged in and thus have not read about this project. Until these schools can fully communicate again, we must wait patiently.

In the meantime, let’s think with intentionality what non-affected schools can offer, and what our beleaguered East Cost schools might need. For instance:

•    Have your students imagine how they would feel if their JDS were washed out—and then to express their feelings in letters and cards to affected schools. Send the results to PEJE—88 Broad Street, Sixth Floor, Boston, MA, 02110; or info@peje.org—and we’ll see that they reach their destination.
•    Do a survey of the most important materials in your school. Ask students to identify the most useful and/or meaningful items, and start collecting them for the Sandy-afflicted day schools.

Get thinking about how your JDS can perform gemilut hasadim (acts of loving-kindness) for schools that need the help. Then post your ideas—along with the necessary contact information—in the Comments section, and we can get working together.

___

Mazel Day School needs help: “Your support is amazing! Our school is located in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn – and all of our K-6 classrooms were badly damaged by the flood waters. We are the only Jewish Day School in the area which is predominantly Russian-speaking. We have an enrollment of 140 kids, mostly from non-affiliated families. The devastation is enormous. Imagine a classroom of books, papers, furniture, computers under 6 feet of water. We were able to save very little. You can see pictures here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151229705049802.478153.82692614801&type=1 as well as on the school website. We will be putting together a list of books, games and other learning materials that we will need to replace and that can be “gifted” to the school. Feel free to message me which any additional questions. Thank you so much! My email address is mazeldayschool@yahoo.com.”

___

SAR Academy‘s Aaron Steinberg writes, “Here at SAR in Riverdale, NY, we’re dealing with a unique situation. Our HS has power, and had a regular day of school on Wednesday. Our lower school (N-8) is still without power, but we plan on holding classes on Thursday.

Our students will be divided by grade, and classes will take place in 3 different neighborhood synagogues and in our High School building. While this is an experiment, and it’s unclear how well classes will run in these makeshift spaces, the decision was made that some school is better than no school.

I’ll try to remember to update this comment tomorrow at the end of the day (Ken, can you remind me?) but it might be something to consider for other area schools that are without power. Find partner organizations in the area that do have power and see if you can make it work.

Stay safe out there.”

___

11.2. 2012, 11:20 a.m. I just got off the phone with one Rabbi Tomsky, who says that his school, Yeshiva of Belle Harbor, in Belle Harbor, New York,  was totally destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. The rabbi asks for anyone with leads for qualified teachers to get in touch with him: tomskyb@aol.com or 347.628.7494 (texting might be easier than leaving voice mail). Thank you and Shabbat Shalom.

___

11.5.2012. The Jewish Week reports that, “at an emergency meeting on Saturday night, a group of parents and organizations pledged to keep the Yeshiva of Belle Harbor operating, from a new location in Brooklyn. The school will no longer merge with the Crown Heights Yeshiva, but will be an independent school. Leaders plan to secure a location and open school there in the next few days.”

___

Check out and/or fill in the “Post-Sandy Synagogue and Day School Response” Google Doc.

___

I have heard that there are families who are in serious crisis, with loss of homes, cars, etc.  There will be a conference call meeting of the leadership of the SSLI  Chesed Committee, the purpose of which is to mobilize within our community and within the National Schechter Network.  There are Schechter schools across the country that want to be of assistance to our families who have been badly hit by the Hurricane, and parents of alumni who have offered use of their empty-nest homes for families who need a place to stay while repairs are made.

___

Solomon Schechter of Long Island
 needs help. Contact either Head of School Cindy Dolgin  (cdolgin@ssdsnassau.org or 516-935-1441 ext. 1107) or Executive Director Eileen Bohrer (ebohrer@ssdsnassau.org or 516-935-1441 ext. 1131).

 

___

11.19.2012. From our friends at The AVI CHAI Foundation‘s JDS Video Academy:

“Use your video skills to rally our schools and communities
to tell those in need ‘We’re here to help!’

Here’s how you can express your support:

1. Create a simple, short video expressing your concern and support for our friends in need. Nothing fancy – just a heartfelt message of your thoughts and prayers.
2. If your school is already working to help, document your efforts! Create a short video to show your students writing letters or collecting items to donate or helping clear out flooded homes.
3. For ideas on how help, go to PEJE’s blog: http://www.peje.org/blog/?p=1700.
4. Upload the video to your YouTube channel.
5. Post the link to the JDSVA Facebook group and share it through all of your online channels. We’ll create a playlist of all the videos on a special Youtube channel.
In the midst of this disaster it is easy for people to feel alone. Let’s tell them they are not alone in this.”___11.21.2012. The New York Times has posted a color-coded map of the flooding in N.Y.C. after the hurricane. A good way to show your students the geography of Sandy’s devastation.

___

11.27.2012. Just forwarded a list, from the decimated Yeshivah of Belle Harbor, of books and materials needed. Y.B.H.’s mailing address is:

Yeshiva of Belle Harbor
1649 East 13 St.
Brooklyn N.Y. 11229
yeshivabelleharbor.org
“Limudei Kodesh
Please provide a list of books and materials that you have available. I hope to have a more comprehensive list  very soon Be’H. Chuymashim and Siddurim were already given by some kindhearted people. Our first grade Rebbe would like  10 of My First Siddur for his class and Reishit Chohma. We also need anything on parshat hashavuah especially for the younger kids.
All Grades
primary phonics
children’s britianica
books on Israel
holacaust workbooks
music books
skylines
halachot & history of Purim
Nursery/Kindergarten
books & ideas on arts and crafts
parsha books
Grade 1=10
readers
practice workbook
science textbook & workbook
social studies
Grade 2=11
phonics
spelling
readers
practice workbook
science workbook & textbooks
social studies
math workbooks &textbooks
buckle down language arts
discovery works (science)
mcgraw-hill reading (books1&2)
Grade3=13
math workbooks
spelling books
phonics book
handwriting book
grammar workbooks
science textbooks
social studies textbooks & workbooks
dictionary and thesaurus
wall posters encyclopedia
reading textbooks with workbook
ladder to success-new york standard/ela & math level c
vocabulary workbook
buckle down language arts
new york ela review
explore the code
silver burdett & ginn science
houghton-mifflin reading
Grade 4=8
reading textbooks& workbooks
science textbooks & workbooks
social studies textbooks & workbooks
new york ela review
explore the code
new york state coach
houghton mifflin reading
Grade 5=11
social studies/history textbook & workbook
science textbook & workbook
grammar workbook
handwriting workbook
vocabulary workbook
ladders to success level e – math,ela & u.s history
houghton-mifflin reading
math on call
scott forsman reading
Grade6=8
science/ a closer look grade 4- mcmillan mcgraw-hill isbn 13:978-0-02-284137-7/isbn 10:0-02-284137-7
science workbook & textbook
math textbook & workbook isbn0-15-320 750-7
math on call
history
Grade 7=7
addison wesley mathematics
Grade 8=7
addison wesley mathematics
integrated algebra workbook”
___

12.6.2012. From The Jewish Education Project’s Give One Night project:
“In the wake of Superstorm Sandy’s destruction, many Jewish children lost possessions, including their toys and games.  This Chanukah, we can turn a holiday traditionally marked by ‘getting’ into one of ‘giving.’

Here’s how you can teach your children the beauty of Tzedakah (charity) and Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) while participating in this act of giving together:

Give: Find a toy drive near you

Teach: Download guides for parents to help make this a powerful moment for your children and teens (at any age)

Share: Use social media tools to inspire others to give-share the light online!”

89 thoughts on “Day Schools Helping Day Schools Recover from Hurricane Sandy

  1. Rabbi Josef Fradkin

    CHA in San Diego would be happy to assist in any capacity. We are most grateful to our fellow Jewish Day Schools who reached out to us with love after our school campus burned down in the Cedar Fires of 2003. Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh L’Zeh!

    Reply
  2. Ari Segal

    Unfortunately we lived through Rita when I was the Head of School in Houston and the help we got from other schools was truly incredible.

    We stand ready to help at Shalhevet – we are happy to do online courses if needed, send supplies, other? I wish we could offer our facility but it is a bit far…

    Reply
  3. Ken Gordon Post author

    The quick responses are wonderful, Ari, Rabbi Josef, Mia, and Ilisa. The supportive spirit here is wonderful. We will let you know which schools need what. Stay tuned. And Todah Rabah. –K.

    Reply
  4. Naomi May

    We would love to help, please let us know how to best go about contacting a specific school. Our children asked about this today.

    Reply
  5. Ken Gordon Post author

    So glad to see so many schools willing to lend a JDS hand. Keep watching this space, Melissa, Naomi, and Rabbi Naphtali!

    Reply
  6. Chaye Kohl

    Hillel Community Day School in Rochester, New York wants to join in helping fellow Jews in any way we can. Please let us know what is needed. Tizku L’Mitzvot!
    Chaye Kohl
    Head of School

    Reply
  7. Ken Gordon Post author

    We’re overwhelmed, Rabbi Perry, Tzivia, and Chaye, with all the generosity that’s out there. All we need now is a school that has been damaged by Sandy. Friends, we’ll let you know who–and how–to help when the time comes. –KG

    Reply
  8. Tzvi Klugerman

    While we are too far away to offer a facility, if there is anything else we can help with, please put the request out there for us to respond.

    Reply
  9. Jill Goldenberg

    The outpouring from our field is so heartening but not surprising.

    Here is some additional donation information from Jewish Federations of North America:

    “Donors may contribute to their local Federation’s Hurricane Relief Fund or directly to the JFNA Hurricane Relief Fund at http://jfeds.org/SandyRelief. In addition, donors may text RELIEF to 51818 on a mobile device to pledge a donation or send checks to our national mailbox at The Jewish Federations of North America, Wall Street Station, PO Box 148, New York, NY 10268. Please indicate “JFNA Hurricane Relief Fund” on all checks or in the designation box online.”

    Reply
  10. Rabbi Israel Rubin

    At Maimonides we will be having a school assembly this Friday 17 Cheshvan the day the Mabul began with the theme: “we’re all in the same boat, kol yisroel areivim” bringing to action to reach out to fellow day schools in need
    Maimonides School
    404 Partridge St.
    Albany NY 12208
    MaimonidesSchool@gmail.com

    Reply
  11. Cheryl Maayan

    We are ready to help at Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School. Our DRK, Disaster Relief Kids club, is collecting money for Sandy relief and they would be thrilled to help a specific school. It makes us all feel better to be helping when we are all feeling humbled and helpless.
    Cheryl Maayan
    St. Louis, MO

    Reply
  12. Aaron Steinberg

    Here at SAR in Riverdale, NY, we’re dealing with a unique situation. Our HS has power, and had a regular day of school on Wednesday. Our lower school (N-8) is still without power, but we plan on holding classes on Thursday.

    Our students will be divided by grade, and classes will take place in 3 different neighborhood synagogues and in our High School building. While this is an experiment, and it’s unclear how well classes will run in these makeshift spaces, the decision was made that some school is better than no school.

    I’ll try to remember to update this comment tomorrow at the end of the day (Ken, can you remind me?) but it might be something to consider for other area schools that are without power. Find partner organizations in the area that do have power and see if you can make it work.

    Stay safe out there.

    Reply
  13. Heidi Miller

    We would also be happy to help. Please let us know what we can do. Sending love and prayers from California!

    -Heidi Miller
    Parent’s Association President
    Beth Hillel Day School
    12326 Riverside Drive
    Valley Village, CA 91607

    Reply
  14. Gayle Gray

    Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy is already scheduling events to raise money and are open to help with any releif needed by schools. We are here and are eagerly watching the comments for a school to help.

    Reply
  15. Rachel Lewin

    Temple Israel of Hollywood Day School in Los Angeles is prepared to help in any way needed. In addition to helping a school – if there are particular relief needs for your families, please let us know what we can do.

    Reply
  16. Chani Okonov

    Your support is amazing! Our school is located in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn – and all of our K-6 classrooms were badly damaged by the flood waters. We are the only Jewish Day School in the area which is predominantly Russian-speaking. We have an enrollment of 140 kids, mostly from non-affiliated families. The devastation is enormous. Imagine a classroom of books, papers, furniture, computers under 6 feet of water. We were able to save very little. You can see pictures here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151229705049802.478153.82692614801&type=1
    as well as on the school website. We will be putting together a list of books, games and other learning materials that we will need to replace and that can be “gifted” to the school. Feel free to message me which any additional questions. Thank you so much! My email address is mazeldayschool@yahoo.com.

    Reply
  17. Tami Stalbow

    Our high school, located on the Long Island Sound in Mamaroneck, NY was thankfully not damaged. We have no power and will have to start looking for a place to hold classes if power isn’t restored soon.

    Reply
  18. Nachum Chasan

    The students of the Silver Academy of Harrisburg, PA are ready to help in any way needed. Please let us knows if there are any specific needs that you might have. KOL YISRAEL ARAVIM ZEH BE ZEH!

    Reply
  19. Ken Gordon Post author

    As it says in the postscript above, Avi:

    1. Have your students imagine how they would feel if their JDS were washed out—and then to express their feelings in letters and cards to affected schools. Send the results to PEJE—88 Broad Street, Sixth Floor, Boston, MA, 02110; or info@peje.org—and we’ll see that they reach their destination.

    2. Do a survey of the most important materials in your school. Ask students to identify the most useful and/or meaningful items, and start collecting them for the Sandy-afflicted day schools.

    If these don’t quite work for your school, maybe they’ll prompt other, more appealing ideas.

    Cheers,

    K.

    Reply
  20. Pingback: After Sandy, NY Jewish Community Comes Together

  21. Avi Herring

    Dear Day School Principals, Faculty, and Staff,

    We at UJA-Federation of New York are in the process of gathering and disseminating information about NY day schools and their specific needs. To that end, we have assembled the following information in response to both day schools and synagogues that have been adversely affected by the hurricane, and those that are in the position to offer help and support within their communities.

    · For day schools that have extensive facility damage:

    Please visit http://www.disasterassistance.gov/ or m.fema.gov (for smartphones/mobile devices) to learn more about your eligibility for government assistance.

    · Connect to community: Have needs/Can assist?

    UJA-Federation of NY’s day school professionals and SYNERGY: UJA-Federation of NY and Synagogues Together have been compiling information in the enclosed Google doc related to day schools and congregations who need assistance and day schools and synagogues who are able to provide it. Please find the google document here:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ap5pdsK8HibmdDhjbmFuN2ZrOTUyYng5cXRTbi1YcGc

    There is one tab for Synagogues and another for Day Schools, between which you can navigate. You can utilize this information as follows:

    o As a platform to make connections between congregations and day schools to facilitate offers of assistance

    o Should you need us to assist with making these connections, please be in touch with us by replying to this e-mail

    If you do not have Internet access, please call Avi Herring at 212-836-1620 during business hours for assistance.

    · How you can help:

    Volunteer: UJA-Federation of NY has begun coordinating volunteer efforts through posting opportunities to participate in NYC and regional projects, as well as providing the ability to be matched to specific volunteer tasks. For information about projects, volunteer tips and how you can help, visit our website at http://www.ujafedny.org

    Donate Money: UJA-Federation of NY has launched an emergency campaign to assist those in need due to the disaster. To donate, please visit http://www.ujafedny.org

    Donate Space: We have received several requests from day schools that need alternative space to resume school. If you are able to provide space, please mention this on the above google doc or call Avi Herring at 212-836-1620.

    Donate Challah: If you are in the unaffected areas of Manhattan, please supplement emergency food with a fresh homemade challah or store-bought, kosher-certified challahs to community members living with the affected areas. Challahs can be dropped off at UJA-Federation of NY’s offices at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue between 7am and 12noon. The challahs will be distributed through the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.

    · General Information:

    J-1-1, our hotline, is operational for non-emergency Jewish communal information and inquiries: 1-877-852-6951

    While we are beginning efforts to coordinate among UJA-Federation of NY, the Jewish Education Project and day school umbrella associations, we are only now beginning to uncover the breadth and depth of the needs in our community. To this end, we are disseminating this information to decentralize actions and encourage our communities to help in whatever way possible. Additionally, we are in communication with the DOE and SED and expect to distribute additional information in the coming days. We appreciate your assistance in helping our community to heal and move forward.

    Thank you,

    Avi Herring and Darcy Hirsh

    Avi Herring

    Planning Associate

    Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal

    212-836-1620

    herringa@ujafedny.org

    Reply
  22. Noah Hartman

    We escaped the worst of it here on the ocean just north of Boston, and we’re back in school full-time. That means we’re ready to help our brothers and sisters in the mid-Atlantic (or elsewhere) however we can.

    Reply
  23. Ken Gordon Post author

    I just got off the phone with one Rabbi Tomsky, who says that his school, Yeshiva of Belle Harbor, in Belle Harbor, New York, [http://yeshivaofbelleharbor.org/] was totally destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. The rabbi asks for anyone with leads for qualified teachers to get in touch with him: tomskyb@aol.com or 347.628.7494 (texting might be easier than leaving voice mail). Thank you and Shabbat Shalom. –KG

    Reply
  24. Lana Marcus

    We are eager to help in whatever way would be beneficial. We have classroom sets of books as well as posters from Tal Am/Tal Sela that we would be happy to ship to a school if you can use them.

    We also have some other Hebrew and Judaic books that we would be happy to have shipped to schools.

    Please let us know of particular needs that you may have. Our families are waiting to help.

    Reply
  25. maria erlitz

    The Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle is ready to help. Our preschoolers spontaneously baked in their kitchen,and sold the goodies to their parents. One parent matched the total raised and then Microsoft matched his gift. Hundreds of dollars for good in one day lead by five year olds! We also have a newly formed fifth grade “taking action” club” let us know how we can help.
    Maria Erlitz

    Reply
  26. Aryeh Eisenberg

    Shavua Tov from Israel. As a former New Jersey resident and Jewish day school educator, my heart goes out to all of the students and schools that have been affected by Sandy. My company, Tomorrow’s Genius works with Jewish day schools around the US to create online educational programs, including full classes in both Judaic and Secular subjects. We would be happy to help you in any way we can by offering classes online for your students free of charge for as long as you need. My faculty here, many of whom are former day school teachers, have all volunteered to take extra classes so that students would be able to continue learning. Please let me know if we can be of service to you.

    Reply
  27. Karen Feller

    We are willing and ready to help in any way that will be most effective. We all need guidance to understand the needs. We hope PEJE, UJA, Ravsak or some organization will let us know. We feel helpless without knowing.

    Reply
  28. Ken Gordon

    Hi, Karen–and everyone else who has recently post. We’ve been listing the names of schools that were affected by Sand at the end of the blog posts (schools such as Mazel Day School and Yeshiva of Belle Harbor). We also linked to a Google Doc of affected schools: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ap5pdsK8HibmdDhjbmFuN2ZrOTUyYng5cXRTbi1YcGc#gid=1. Reach out, using the available contact information, and ask what the schools need. The truth is, we’re still in the early stages of the recovery and many JDS are overwhelmed. It’s difficult for them to find the time, energy, and Internet connectivity, to post a comment about what they need.

    However….

    We know of one school–MetroWest Jewish Day School, in Massachusetts–that went ahead and did a card-creation project for Mazel Day School (in Brooklyn). The results are wonderfulhttp://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151233542489421&set=pb.251952479420.-2207520000.1352142341&type=3&theater. It’s a good model for any school that’s looking to do something right now.

    Thanks, K.

    Reply
  29. Denah Emerson

    The students of Yeshiva University High School Girls are ready, willing, and able to help in any way. Specifically, we are launching a service day tomorrow, Wednesday, 11/7. If anyone would like our help, please contact me at emerson@yuhsg.org ASAP so we can reserve busing.

    Reply
  30. Ken Gordon Post author

    That sounds fantastic, Denah. Be sure to take video and send us a link (ken@peje.org) once you’ve posted it. –K.

    Reply
  31. Ken Gordon Post author

    “In the wake of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, CHA is partnering to aide a Jewish Day School in Brighton Beach, New York,” Rabbi Josef Fradkin writes. “At CHA we understand firsthand how our assistance can make a big difference in the lives of others following a disaster. Just a few years ago, following the devastation of the Cedar Fires and the destruction of our campus, Jewish Day Schools from across the country came to our assistance and gave us useful school items that quickened our recovery allowing our students and staff to be back in the classroom as soon as possible.”

    Read More: http://bit.ly/UvxIrf

    Reply
  32. Ken Gordon

    The Schechter Day School Network reports:

    “There has been a great deal of communication on our roshnet listerv among the heads of Schechter schools.

    The Schechter School of Long Island (elementary) sustained serious damage to its building.

    Gerarrd Berman Day School in Oakland has relocated to Congregation Shomrei Torah in Wayne until power is restored to their building.

    Families have lost cars and suffered significant property damage in the communities of East Midwood, NY and Schechter of Long Island.

    Other Schechter schools are starting letter writing campaigns (kids to kids) of encouragement and support. Some are going to send donations for the affected families.”

    Reply
  33. Ellen Pulda

    A busload of Maimo students, parents and faculty are heading to the Bayswater and Far Rockaway section of Queens on Sunday to lend a hand in the clean-up. The community can participate by donating items such as: cleaning supplies, bleach, garbage bags, instant cook items such as oatmeal and soup, disposable serving trays and utensils, and bottled water. We will collect donations in our Upper School office.

    Reply
  34. Chani Richmond

    The Middle School Students at Scheck Hillel Community Day School have partnered with the Bayswater community (in the Rockaways) to raise much needed funds in the wake of the disaster caused by Hurricane Sandy.
    We are looking for other Jewish schools in the South Florida area to join us in “adopting” a community.
    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    Reply
  35. Rabbi Howard Finkelstein

    We are raising money through the Red Cross to send to victims of Hurricane Sandy. In addition, we are able to donate brand new school textbooks from the Tel Am, Tal Sela series as well as new editions of Veshinantom, Peninei Hadat and Chaver Latorah. In addition, sifrei kodesh such as Sefer Hachinuch, Chamesh Megillot are available, numerous supplies of each. All are in new condition.

    Reply
  36. Jonah Wagan

    Yesterday, the Sophomore Class of Gann Academy organized a fundraising car wash during the school’s parent teacher conferences. They really wanted to help support those affected by the hurricane and after seeing the pictures above and reading about the damage,decided to donate specifically to Jewish Day Schools. The Sophomore representatives have decided to send the money to both Mazel Day School and Yeshiva of Belle Harbor.

    Thank you peje for organizing this effort.

    Best,
    Jonah

    Reply
  37. Rabbi Israel Rubin

    Maimonides welcomed displaced families staying with their relatives in Albany area thier children into our classes our Maimonides students are first hand showing chesed and experiencing it in a tangible way

    Reply
  38. Lauren Ungar

    Community Day School in New Orleans is opening our arms to all the Jewish Day Schools in the North East area. We are ready to help! Please contact me. Also, we are beginning to rally for books and materials.

    Reply

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