By Kathy Rosenberg
The Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula (JCCRP) together with Met Council on Jewish Poverty has been actively involved in relief efforts for those adversely affected by hurricane Sandy. After receiving an e-mail from a Russian woman who rescued her grandfather from a home on Seagirt Boulevard in Far Rockaway, the JCCRP became aware of the deplorable conditions many elderly Russian immigrants have been subjected to as a result of the power outage in the area and was galvanized into action. According to the e-mail: “Tons of elderly Russians live there—they have nothing, no power, no water, no food. It was heartbreaking to see the people in the stairways, sitting on walkers and looking desperately at us.”
Many of these elderly people are not as lucky as this young woman’s grandfather. With no one to rescue them, they remained cold and hungry. The JCCRP contacted Met Council, who sent staff to assess the needs of the immigrants in 1915 Seagirt Boulevard and neighboring JASA buildings. Then, with the help of Yeshiva University students, food and water were distributed. Met Council sent out repairmen from their Metropair program to help residents of areas badly hit and they removed large pieces of garbage, furniture, and damaged carpeting, and they fixed locks.
So much chesed has been done by so many and kudos go to Chasdei Lev, Brach’s, and Schick Caterers for the food they have been providing as well as Achiezer and many private individuals from all over the United States who have risen to the occasion and offered help.
Because the JCCRP office building at 1525 Central Avenue in Far Rockaway was without power and Kneseth Israel (the White Shul) had generators, its base of operations was moved to the White Shul at 728 Empire Boulevard.
If you need assistance with applying for FEMA funds or replacement food stamps or if you need trauma counseling, please call the JCCRP at 718-327-7545. The JCCRP is proud of its affiliation with Met Council and UJA Federation of NY, who are in the forefront of providing relief in this time of crisis.