By Jason Berg
Though I live in Teaneck, NJ, I grew up in Belle Harbor. After Hurricane Sandy, I started working with Mark Feit on putting together a fundraising concert for Belle Harbor.
Belle Harbor is a small Jewish community that unfortunately got hit with over $1 million in damages to their main synagogue. Eight families who cannot afford to rebuild are left homeless. Dozens had their first floors flooded, and no one escaped with a basement intact. Beachfront homes were washed out to sea. Families were scattered throughout the metropolitan area, from Teaneck to Brooklyn and Manhattan to the Five Towns. As some houses got power and heat back, neighbors housed neighbors. Every family in Belle Harbor has suffered a major financial loss.
In addition, Congregation Ohab Zedek, the largest shul that acts as the hub of the Orthodox community, became uninhabitable in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. When the surge hit, the entire lower floor, which houses the beis midrash and the Yeshivah of Belle Harbor, was totally flooded. The entire library with hundreds of sefarim is reduced to sheimos. Two precious Torah scrolls could not be saved.
Timed to coincide with the chanukas habayis of the “rebuilt” Ohab Zedek, the concert is designed to raise money to help the entire Jewish community. Rabbi Tsvi Selengut, rabbi of Ohab Zedek, will facilitate the distribution of funds and ensure that those members and institutions who need the most help will receive it. Unfortunately, insurance and FEMA don’t even come close to covering the cost of the rebuilding process.
Please make a donation today. Many sponsorship opportunities are available, and any amount is appreciated. Purchase tickets now to join us at this very special celebratory concert on Sunday, June 23. The concert features Benny Friedman, Shloimie Dachs, and Aryeh Kunstler. Visit www.rebuildbelleharbor.com to learn more. v