Houston Jewish community is flooded again

Just 11 months after a massive Memorial Day flood damaged about 500 Jewish homes (among more than 2,500 homes overall) and three synagogues in my current home city of Houston, what seems to me to be a flood of equal or greater magnitude on Monday wreaked renewed havoc on the Houston Jewish neighborhoods of Meyerland and Willow Meadows.

For scores of Jewish and other families in America's fourth-largest city who are still rebuilding their homes after last year's flood, Monday's deluge means the devastating scenario of restarting that process from square one. The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston had already projected an 18-month recovery timetable, with a price tag of $3.5 million, for the local Jewish community’s individual flood victims and institutions following the May 2015 flood. Initial indications are that the congregation I belong to, United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston, was hit even harder than it was last year—when damages to the synagogue facility exceeded $1 million. While I won't often make opinionated statements in my writing, I can say with confidence that Houston's Jewish community and all of Houston's flooded neighborhoods are worthy of your thoughts and prayers.

On Monday morning, the view outside of the Houston apartment building of JNS.org Editor in Chief Jacob Kamaras. Credit: Jacob Kamaras.

Posted on April 18, 2016 .