Recovery, Healing and Renewal:
The Weeks and Months ahead

It is abundantly clear that the effects of this disaster will not be of a short term nature. The need for “temporary” housing and allocations of food, clothing and medicine is likely to be very intense for many months (if not years) to come. It is essential that we, as a Jewish community, be in a position to continue providing these funds and resources – in maximum measure – for as long as it takes our brothers and sisters to get back on their feet. Chabad is committed to doing so.

Other recovery efforts now underway:

Relief Corps.  Students and personnel are being dispatched from Chabad-Lubavitch Headquarters in New York to visit various remote areas of Louisiana and Mississippi to seek out Jews not as yet receiving necessary assistance and support.

Employment. Chabad is setting a job-placement network in place to help victims find employment – either of a temporary or permanent nature – so as to hasten the healing process.

Schooling.  With Hurricane Katrina having destroyed Jewish schools and educational centers attended by many hundreds of children, Chabad is facilitating the absorption of as many of these students as possible in schools throughout the outlying cities — tuition free.

Special Services. Efforts are underway to provide synagogue services, classes and resource groups in the outlying cities specifically for those who have been victimized by the catastrophe. This will allow evacuees to gain the benefit of the particular program in the company of those who can well relate to what they’re going through. In addition to providing the sense of mutual understanding and support, this is likely to consolidate and pool rebuilding efforts and resources.

Rebuilding. While the focus, for now, is almost completely on the immediate crisis before us, it will not be long before the groundwork will be laid for the rebuilding of the New Orleans Jewish Community. In the age-old Jewish spirit of resolve and resiliency, we will soon set our sights on renewal, revitalization and rejuvenation. The beautiful, thriving and vibrant community that was — will pale in comparison to what will yet gloriously emerge in its place.