Chabad Emergency Relief

Letter to the Community from Jewish Family Service

 In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, the Board and Staff of Jewish Family Service hope that you and your family are safe and well and that your home sustained no or minimal damage. 

The consequences of this, or any, natural disaster may take a toll later when things seem to be back to “normal.”  Often, extremely stressful or traumatic events have a delayed impact on children and adults.  These may include feelings of grief, loss, nervousness and sadness and may result in sleeping difficulties.  Professional counseling may be necessary or helpful.  Jewish Family Service counselors and therapists are ready to help you and/or any member of your family get through this difficult and challenging time. 

Following the devastation of Hurricane Ike, Jewish Family Service will provide:

►Counseling to individuals, children and families.

►Emergency Financial Aid.

►Appointments for new clients, without delay.

►Help with registration for FEMA.

►Senior Care Management.   

General Resources to help you secure information and assistance include:

 ►FEMA. Call 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or online to apply for disaster assistance.  FEMA will offer assistance for uninsured temporary housing needs, essential home repairs and/or other serious disaster-related expenses, such as medical and dental expenses. 

►2-1-1. Texas/United Way HELPLINE:  up-to-the-minute information about help with basic needs.

►3-1-1.  City of Houston Information and resources.

►American Red Cross, 1-800-RED CROSS(733-2767)—for shelters and assistance.

Contact us! We here to help; we want to help


[email protected]

Donald Freedman                    Linda Burger
JFS President                     JFS Executive Director

London Jewish News 9/19/08: Texan Jews Hit by Hurricane Ike

Click image to enlarge

Delivery of kosher meals lightens post-Ike Shabbat

Full Jewish Herald Voice Article >>

<font color='red'><i>Photo by JHV: AARON HOWARD</i></font color><P align='left'>Brith Shalom school principal Rabbi Todd Thalblum, truck driver Richard Miles and Chabad Rabbi Mendy Traxler help unload kosher meals from Mauzone.


Brith Shalom school principal Rabbi Todd Thalblum, truck driver Richard Miles and Chabad Rabbi Mendy Traxler help unload kosher meals from Mauzone.

No electricity. No ice. No kosher food. Considering Houston’s reality three days after Hurricane Ike and three days before Shabbat, it appeared as if the upcoming Sabbath on Sept. 19 would be something less than “a vision of the world in its perfect state.”

[...] Partnering to deliver the packaged meals in Houston were Brith Shalom, the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, the Chabad Lubavitch Center, United Orthodox Synagogues and more than 100 volunteers. Partnering to prepare and package the meals in New York were Mauzone Home Kosher Foods of Queens and students from The Rambam Mesivta of Lawrence, the Hebrew Academy of Five Towns & Rockaway and the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County.

[...] The next step: getting partners into the project. The federation immediately said “we’re in” and promised $20,000 to underwrite the costs. United Orthodox Synagogues and Chabad Lubavitch each pledged $10,000. By noon on Tuesday, Rabbi Teller and Moses had contacted all of the inner-city congregations, soliciting their advice, needs and feedback. Each meal for five actually cost about $60, but organizers agreed to sell each dinner for five for $30. There were shipping costs. Money was needed upfront. Moses handled the financial aspect with a few phone calls.

[...] For some in the community, the meal had to be glatt kosher. Others needed a Chabad heksher for their food. Project organizers made sure to obtain sufficient quantities of both types of kosher meals, so that everyone in the community could be served.

[...] Approximately 700 meals were sold. Some 150 meals were donated to Seven Acres, about 50 to Jewish Family Service and about 30 donated to Chabad. The rest of the food was donated to the Houston Food Bank, a decision made with the participation of all the rabbis present in the parking lot.

Power Update

Yesterday evening, Chabad House at Texas Medical Center & Rice Univ. as well as the Aishel House patient housing apartment building received power!

Chabad of Sugar Land got power last night as well!

From the mailbag...

Deb sent you a message.

(no subject)

wow, its amazing how much you guys did for everyone there.
kol hakavod to you both!
im glad to hear youre safe and well.

Sherilyn wrote on your Wall:

"I am impressed with the hurricane relief effort and the dinners you're bringing.  Hope the logistics, etc., work out well...know people will appreciate your efforts."


I traveled to Houston yesterday with Rabbi Lazaroff.  Goldberg Towers, a home for the elderly, lost part of its roof and has some bad water damage throughout the building.  In an effort to prevent further water damage, some volunteers and I placed tarps and cinder blocks over the vent holes on the roof.  Currently, their biggest problem seems to be food.  With the lack of electricity throughout the Houston area, food is beginning to go bad.  Grocery stores have been slow to reopen.  Essentially there are about 120 elderly still in the building with little food.  I am not aware of everything, but if you would like to get in contact with Rabbi Lazaroff I have cc'd him this email.  I am sure any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you for all the work you did during Hurricane Ike.  Your fellow Jews in the Rio Grande Valley applaud you and your family!

Ziva commented on your status:

"Baruch Hashem y'all are doing well! We need you around =) Dash to the family."


Gabriel commented on your status:

"Oy vey! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family tonight, and I'm glad to hear everyone is alright."


Hi Chaim,

We were thinking about you here and happy to hear that everyone is ok. If there anything that we can do to help besides moral support please let us know.
I can just imagine what it is like with out the ac...
A gut voch

Zalman charytan

Please support the effort!

For many Jewish residents of southeast Texas, Hurricane Ike's wrath is still felt as they sit without electricity, stores are closed and the city is slowly and painfully springing back to life.

Of course, during and in the aftermath of the hurricane, Chabad was there among the first responders. Our staff and teams of volunteers immediately assessed and provided humanitarian relief with food, water, ice, and emergency clean up and repairs coupled with moral, emotional and spiritual support. As Shabbat neared, Chabad teamed up with local community to bring in 6250 Shabbat meals, when the stores were either without power and closed and all available kosher food had rotted or depleted. Visit the Chabad Hurricane Relief blog for more details at

Relief expenses have mounted and Chabad of Texas is calling out for your help.

As we approach the Jewish New Year, please consider lending a helping hand to those in need. Visit to support Chabad's Hurricane Ike Relief effort.

In this merit, may you and yours be inscribed and sealed for a healthy and Happy New Year,

Rabbi Chaim
Hurricane Relief Coordinator

Shabbos Meals Distribution

So, we still have not internet, although we do have electricity.

The truck did not arrive until 4:30 pm Friday afternoon, creating a challenging yet rewarding effort to distribute the meals as necessary before Shabbos. Brith Shalom did an amazing job in coordinating the logistics for the food to be distributed appropriately.

In addition to the underwriting of $10,000 towards the cost of this bold project, Chabad paid for 50 Shabbos packages (that is 250 meals) to be distributed to the seniors living at Goldberg Bnai Brith Towers, arriving just in time for Shabbos.

Shabbos at Chabad around town was extremely quiet, with many members still out of town, as they still lack electricity. Half of the neighborhood around Chabad Lubavitch Center finally got electricity right before Shabbos, while the other half received it late Sunday afternoon. As the heat wave kicks in, this much awaiting A/C relief is more appreciated than anything else :).

Torah Day School of Houston resumed today with an assembly for the student body and staff. Jewish perspectives on disasters were addressed, as a way to give the children a method of transition and recovery from a difficult week.

Hurricane Ike Shabbos Meals -Delayed

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the meals are delayed -the meals will be available for pickup (on a first come, first served basis) from 4 pm-6:30 pm (Shabbos Candle Lighting is at 7:03 pm) at Brith Shalom 4610 Bellaire Blvd., on Friday, August 19.

Each package will feed 5 people and will cost $30. It will include a full Shabbos meal with grape juice, challah, gefilte fish, 3-4 salads, kugel and chicken and can be eaten hot or cold.


We've got the power!!!

UPDATE: As soon as we finished getting a small generator, working all afternoon to get it to juice up the mikvah and shul lights, THE LIGHTS WENT ON!

Chabad Lubavitch Center, the Texas Regional Headquarters and home to a community Shul, Torah Day School (resumes Sept. 22), Hebrew School (resumes Sept. 28), Mikvah and Community Collel are now back in business - full swing. Chabad Outreach of Houston has power now as well. Chabad of Uptown got power on Monday morning. Chabad - West Branch had power restored almost immediately.

However, sadly, Chabad at Texas Medical Center, Aishel House and Chabad of Sugar Land still do not have power.


To all those reading this blog, that may perhaps know someone that can help us. Please only send us real leads that can truly meet our needs AND HAVE A GENERATOR IN STOCK. (Most companies around the USA have already depleted their inventory and have sent it to Texas. - We are on a waiting list).

School has been out of power for a week now, children are roaming without Torah study or academic stimulation.

The shul is functioning by sun light from windows in the lobby and headlights for maariv at night.

(We are working on a small generator for the mikvah itself as we speak).

PLEASE, call your local rental companies to see if they have a truck mounted generator to power our 32,000 sq. ft building and combined 12,000 sq ft. in our annex. Our requirements are as follows for two generators:

  1. 300kw generator 120/240 volt for our main building of 32,ooo sq. foot.
  2. 125kw generator - 800 amp for our annex or approx 10,000 sq. foot.

To help sponsor the rental of these power stations please click here.


Chabad in College Station will host families for Shabbos

UPDATE: Many families have sought refuge in nearby College Station with more to join Chabad on Campus at Texas A&M for Shabbos synagogue services and Shabbat meals.

Southwest Houston Community Eruv Down

Due to Hurricane Ike the community Eruv under the supervision of Rabbi Yehoshua Wender of Young Israel is down. Everything north of W. Bellfort is not functional and only portions of the south side of W. Bellfort is functional. Please call Young Israel for the exact eruv locations at 713-729-0719.

Kosher Shabbat meals available Friday at Brith Shalom

Report from Jewish Herald Voice

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike

1,000 kosher meals will be available for purchase at Congregation Brith Shalom on Friday, Sept. 19.

The meals will be available between noon and 3 p.m. at Brith Shalom synagogue, 4610 Bellaire Blvd. The meals will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Cost is $30 minimum donation, cash or check.

The meals serve a family of five and can be eaten hot or cold. The meals are coming from Mauzone in New York. Their delivery was made possible by Brith Shalom, Chabad Lubavitch, United Orthodox Synagogues, Young Israel and the Jewish Federation.

Massive storm brings out best in community

Jewish Herald Voice By MICHAEL C. DUKE 18.SEP.08

Entire Article >

<font color='red'><i>Photo by JHV: MICHAEL C. DUKE</i></font color><P align='left'>Charlotte Motley surveys the damage to the ninth floor of Goldberg Towers’ west building.

Charlotte Motley surveys the damage to the ninth floor of Goldberg Towers’ west building.

Galveston devastated, Goldberg Towers damaged, Houston Jewish institutions still largely without power

[...] The Chabad Lubavitch Center-Texas Regional Headquarters lost fencing and its large rooftop menorah, which fell on its property causing no injuries or damage to the building. [...] All four of these institutions still were without power on Sept. 18. [...]

Goldberg Towers loses roof

The B’nai B’rith Goldberg Towers suffered the heaviest damage among Jewish institutions in Houston. The Goldberg Towers is home to 474 elderly residents, many of whom are Jews from the former Soviet Union. The roof on the west tower was torn off, causing massive water and wind damage to the eight and ninth floors. The residents of the 36 affected apartments were relocated to lower floors, family members’ homes and/or Seven Acres, after the storm.


Charlotte Motley surveys the damage on the roof of Goldberg Towers’ west building.

Goldberg Towers administrator, Charlotte Motley, credited several organizations for their “Herculean” aid efforts. Many of the Goldberg Towers residents were with­out adequate food supplies. In response, the federation helped secure two days’ worth of MREs from FEMA. The Houston Food Bank delivered hundreds of cases of food and bottled water on Sept. 15. Houston Chabad Lubavtich, on Sept. 14 and 15, set up barbeque pits outside the Goldberg Towers and provided hot kosher meals; Texas A&M Chabad supplied tarps to cover the damaged floors. Pearl’s Soul Food Café also donated barbeque dinners. Feed the Children will be donating an additional week’s worth of food and water to the Goldberg Towers, according to federation officials; the delivery is expected to arrive by Sept. 18.

The federation and Seven Acres worked to secure generators, fuel and construction aid to the Goldberg Towers. Jewish Family Service has assisted with logistics and manpower, and is providing grocery cards for families and individuals in need. Home to dozens of Asian residents, as well, Goldberg Towers also has received aid from the nearby Houston Chinese Church.

Repairs have already begun on the damaged west tower. All broken windows had been replaced by Sept. 16, and fans were working to dry out the flooded apartment units and hallways. Goldberg Towers is working with H.U.D. to secure temporary housing for the affected residents, Motley indicated; repairs are expected to go on for several weeks.


On Sept. 16, Brith Shalom, Chabad, UOS, Young Israel and the federation helped secure the delivery of 1,000 kosher Shabbat meals to Houston families. The meals were scheduled to arrive from New York on Sept. 19, to be sold from noon to 3 p.m. for $30 at Brith Shalom synagogue, 4610 Bellaire Blvd., on a first-come, first-serve basis. Brith Shalom congregant Lisa Estees noted that these kosher Shabbat meals, which feed a family of five and can be eaten hot or cold, will help restore a sense of “normalcy” to Jewish life in Houston. [..]

The Jewish Federation and Seven Acres, especially, have performed heroic efforts to ensure that Jews throughout southeast Texas have the assistance and aid they require; other local Jewish organizations and institutions, such as Chabad and JFS, have done their parts, as well, by keeping families and the community fed, watered, connected and informed during times in which communications and supplies have been limited. Local Jews have pulled, and continue to pull, together to help their fellow Jews and non-Jews alike in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

PODS for Shabbos meal announced

The Shabbos meal packages will be arriving, staged and distributed at our coordinating partner Brith Shalom, 4610 Bellaire Blvd. at 12-3pm on Friday, Sept 18.

Jewish Students Travel to Houston to Help Out Hurricane-Stricken Residents

Jewish students from Texas A&M University affix tarp to a damaged roof at a Houston senior home. The project was arranged by their campus-based Chabad House.
Jewish students from Texas A&M University affix tarp to a damaged roof at a Houston senior home. The project was arranged by their campus-based Chabad House.

A delegation of Jewish students from Texas A&M University responded to the devastation caused by Hurricane Ike by trekking the 100 miles southeast to ensure that waterlogged residents of a senior housing facility wouldn’t have to spend another night without a roof over their heads.

A total of seven people led by Rabbi Yossi Lazaroff, co-director of Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish Student Center serving the university, spent the better part of a day affixing tarp to an exposed roof at the Goldberg B’nai B’rith Towers in the southwest section of Houston. They also cleared debris at the site and at other locations in the neighborhood.

“It was a real accomplishment that we were able to do this,” said senior Chad Davis, a finance major at A&M and member of the school’s military-style Corps of Cadets. “It shows what Aggies are made of.”

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The effort mirrored past projects mounted by Chabad student groups after natural disasters. Earlier this summer after Hurricane Dolly struck Texas, the Chabad House serving the University of Texas in Austin put up campers from the Camp Gan Israel summer camp that had been forced from South Padre Island. And after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, dozens of students from across the country descended on New Orleans to help in the cleanup and rebuilding.

“Immediately after the hurricane hit, the students all wanted to do something to help,” said Lazaroff. “All that mattered to them was that people were in need.”

Before the students’ arrival, Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff, co-director of the Chabad-Lubavitch center in Houston’s Uptown section, unloaded a barbeque and grilled kosher chickens for senior citizens stunned by the loss of power. He and his crew personally delivered the food to residents who were unable to climb down the stairs of their building.

“I’m excited that [everybody] came with the chicken and the barbeque,” said Charlotte Motley, administrator of the Goldberg Towers.

“The mitzvah of helping others in distress, coupled with their gratitude, was the greatest reward for our volunteers,” said Chaim Lazaroff.

Much of Houston was still without power as of Tuesday, and the Chabad House continued to take responsibility for residents’ spiritual and physical needs. In cooperation with a local synagogue, the Chabad House is coordinating the delivery of 1,000 Shabbat care packages later this week from New York.

Hurricane Ike Shabbos Meal Packages

As we all overcome in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, many of us still remain without power. The supermarkets do not have enough kosher non-perishables, and even if there is, many can not prepare for Shabbos with lack of electricity.

Recognizing this critical need, Chabad Hurricane Relief will help bring in 1000 kosher fully prepared Shabbat dinner packages. Each package will feed 5 people and will cost $30. It will include a full Shabbos meal, full menu to be posted soon.

The Shabbos meal packages will arrive to a location to be determined on Friday, August 19 and will be available for pickup (on a first come, first served basis) at 12pm.

Please fill out the form on our website to reserve your package(s) by clicking here.

For more information about this Houston Jewish community coordinated effort please contact us.

To support Chabad Hurricane Relief, click here.

Hurricane Ike leaves Houston power-less, but residents safe

From Jewish Herald Voice >>

Unfortunately, not all the reported news was good. The roof of one of Goldberg Towers’ buildings on Fondren Rd., between Willowbend and Bellfort, blew off. However, residents on the eighth and ninth floors were relocated to lower floors and several were given shelter at Seven Acres. No injuries were reported.

JHV: Vicki Samuels

The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston’s Emergency Response Team met at Seven Acres on Monday, September 15, to assess the community’s needs.

According to Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff of Chabad Lubavitch Center, coordination of food and water supply for the Goldberg Towers was funded and coordinated by Chabad of Houston and the Chabad student group at Texas A&M.

Seven Acres Jewish Geriatric Services’ Executive Director Malcolm Slatko said that Seven Acres provided fuel for the Towers’ generator.

Full Article >>

A quick video compilation

Some digital home video thrown together in the midst of the chaos... sorry no edit, just the raw stuff...


Texas A&M students are answering the call

Members of the Chabad Student Group at Texas A&M are on their way with over 20 tarps, food, ice, water and tools, to help with the cleanup.

The tarps will be used to cover the windows blown out and roof removed at the Bnai Brith Goldberg Towers, where senior citizens remain without water and electricity...

Photo Gallery

Click here for the gallery as it happens

Southeast Texas Emerges From Hurricane Ike With Costly Property Damage

Report from


A downed tree rests on a minivan in the parking lot of a damaged Houston apartment complex after the passage of Hurricane Ike.
A downed tree rests on a minivan in the parking lot of a damaged Houston apartment complex after the passage of Hurricane Ike.

For many Jewish residents of southeast Texas, Hurricane Ike amounted to several heart-pounding hours of blasting 100 mph winds and driving rain smack dab in the middle of Shabbat.

On Sunday, after the weakened tropical cyclone pushed farther up the Mississippi valley, those same residents were thanking G-d that it hadn’t been any worse.

“People are for the most part doing okay,” reported Rabbi Eliezer Lazaroff, executive director of the Chabad-Lubavitch center serving the Texas Medical Center in Houston, which runs an apartment complex for patients and their families known as Aishel House and coordinates programming for Jewish students at Rice University, two local medical schools and a law school.

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When it made landfall in the predawn hours of Sept. 13, Ike slammed into the barrier island of Galveston, Texas, with 110 mph winds. According to news reports, flooding from the hurricane’s storm surge and a larger-than-usual wind field had already inundated most of the island, which underwent mandatory evacuations on Friday. Casualties remained low, with no fatalities recorded as of Sunday morning, The New York Times reported. Thousands of people along the Texas coast were stranded, awaiting rescue.

Monetary damage was high, with estimates of losses approaching $8 billion.

Omri Shafran, a 32-year-old Israeli resident of Houston with properties throughout the metropolitan area and across Galveston, said that Ike could well end up costing him “tens of millions of dollars.”

“I have insurance for all of the buildings, except for one in Galveston,” he said. “In the southwest part of Houston, 18 town-homes were damaged lightly, while all of the windows in one office building in Humble flew away with the wind.”

At 230 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas, shortly before landfall on Friday, Hurricane Ike packed 105 mph winds, making it a Category 2 storm. (Image: NOAA)

In Houston’s Uptown section, Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff said that he spent Friday night and Saturday morning in a state of disbelief as the winds howled, and his house shook. For the most part, authorities did not order evacuations in Houston, 45 miles inland from Galveston.

“It was pretty wild,” detailed Lazaroff, co-director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Uptown and program director of the Chabad-Lubavitch regional headquarters in Houston. “The whole house was vibrating from the winds. When I looked out the window, I saw heavy debris flying, and water was coming in from around the window frame.

“When I saw that we were losing the siding on one side, I moved my family to the other side of the house.”

The regional headquarters, which recently underwent a massive expansion project, didn’t fare any better. It’s windows, which were designed specifically to sustain 120 mph winds, were unharmed, but the sun screen of the building’s signature rooftop pavilion was ripped off. A menorah on the building’s roof was similarly torn from its supports, and a perimeter fence costing $10,000 was toppled by the winds.

Rabbi Chaim and Chanie Lazaroff, co-directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Uptown, hold an impromptu barbeque for the residents of the B’nai B’rith Goldberg Towers senior citizens home after Hurricane Ike knocked out power in Houston. Rabbi Dovid Goldstein and his son runs the grill.

On Sunday, Lazaroff was without power. He and his wife, fellow co-director Chanie Lazaroff, spent the afternoon unloading their freezer – which was just stocked with kosher chickens in advance of Rosh Hashanah – and holding a barbeque for the residents of the B’nai B’rith Goldberg Towers senior citizens home across the street.

One of the home’s residents, 71-year-old Moshe Gelrud, said that weathering the storm wasn’t that bad, although his building lost its roof.

“This is a pretty safe building,” he said. “Some people lost the glass in their windows, and some apartments were flooded. We’re still waiting here for the electricity.”

Frightened Guests

On Saturday afternoon, Eliezer Lazaroff “waded through the water” to check in on the frightened guests of the Aishel House, none of whom were used to tropical weather.

“I was concerned, because they’re all not from Houston,” said Lazaroff. “During Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, the apartments there were flooded. Some of the people were quite terrified, but thank G-d, we were spared.

“Right now, there’s no electricity, so the primary concern is food spoiling in their freezers,” he continued. “We’re still checking in on them periodically and making sure they have plenty to eat.”

Among the damage sustained by the newly expanded Chabad-Lubavitch regional headquarters in Houston was a downed fence valued at $10,000.

Rabbi Yitzchok Schmukler, associate director of the Chabad House at Texas Medical Center and one of the few residents who still had power after the hurricane, said that he lost a few shingles from his roof. He was taking advantage of the electrical situation and storing frozen kosher food that Eliezer Lazaroff had ordered in advance of a planned community concert. The concert, which was scheduled for Sunday, was postponed until November.

One Houston resident, Dr. Julius Danziger, said that an e-mail sent by the Aishel House before the storm hit helped put things into perspective.

“Many times, when I first meet patients and their families, they too seem like they were hit with a hurricane,” wrote Lazaroff in the e-mail. “We feel grateful to be able to be the calm in these families’ storms. As you ‘hunker down’ in your homes or as you evacuate, know that the Aishel House is giving these patients a place to ‘hunker down’ not just in their virtual storms, but also in hurricanes like Ike.”

After receiving the e-mail, “my wife and I went to the rabbi before Shabbat,” said Danziger, a radiologist who likely lost a vacation home in Galveston. “We went through Hurricane Alicia in 1983, too. That e-mail drew our attention to life, and away from the material aspect of the hurricane.

“People go though real hurricanes in life,” he added. “This is only a house.”

Deisel Fuel and Staging Volunteers

In contact with local police dept about refueling Bnai Brith Goldberg Towers senior complex generators..

Their source for deisel had a line... Our contacts in police as part of pact is working on it....

Texs a&m students will possbly be coming as a team to help with cleanup....

Motzei Shabbos report

chabad lubavitch center, bh, did not sustain too much damage. the new
building ( has a lot of glass that was
designed specifically to sustain 120 mph hurricane winds. however, the
sun screen of the signature rooftop pavilion was ripped off, the
menorah was thrown from the roof and remains dangling, waiting for a
crane, and two massive oak trees toppled blocking a main thoroughfare
Fondren rd. the perimeter 10 foot fence was also knocked down.

in my own home elec went out at about 1 am (others lost as early as
9pm) and at about 4am the winds were at its peak. the siding of our
safe room began to rip off, followed by the insulation and felt paper
down to the wood. at that point , feaing the roof was next, we moved
the fam to the other side of the house.

davening was held at regular times, this morning in the lobby of the
new building with sunlight, and tonight in the parking lot by

as we sit without electric in a hot, humid and muggy home by
candlelight, i wish you all a good night!

chaim laz

Aishel House Lights Are On

Dear Aishel House Friends, Supporters and Volunteers,

Here in Houston we are bracing for Hurricane Ike. As friends and supporters, you will be comforted to know that the patients who are staying here at Aishel House are well taken care of.

Many times when I first meet patients and their families they too seem like they were hit with a hurricane…. a hurricane of details to remember, of treatments to take, of financials to sort out and  of finding a place to stay- a temporary home. We feel grateful to be able to be the calm in these families storm. As you “hunker down” in your homes or as you evacuate, know that the Aishel House that exists with your support and time is giving these patients a place to “hunker down” not just in their virtual storms but also in hurricanes like Ike.

With blessings for a safe weekend and Shabbat Shalom.

Rabbi Lazer Lazaroff
Executive Director
Aishel House
1955 University Blvd.
Houston, TX 77030

'One person, one deed, can change the world' - Maimonides


Jewish Federation Community Update


Our city and Jewish community is mobilized and prepared. Now, we await the storm.
As of late Thursday afternoon, it appears that Ike will strike the Houston-Galveston area. We urge you to monitor local weather broadcasts and announcements from local authorities regarding late-breaking updates on the status of the storm. An important resource for you is the City of Houston website,, which will provide updated information on the hurricane and allow you to receive email updates when you subscribe to CitizensNet.

Our Jewish community's Emergency Response Team met Thursday afternoon to insure that all emergency procedures are in place and to begin formulating a post-storm action plan for the community, if one should be required. Most Jewish community schools and institutions will be closed on Friday; many will be closed through the weekend because of the threat of Hurricane Ike. We would advise you to check with each institution to determine whether a particular activity will occur.
We want to remind you again of the support network available through our Jewish community institutions, should they be required by you, by the elderly or infirm or by anyone that is unable to care for themselves. If you, or a loved one, or someone you know needs special assistance to prepare for the storm, please call Jewish Family Service at 713-667-9336. Alternatively, you can send an email to jfsstormhelp If the storm does come to the Galveston-Houston area and if phone lines go down or you are unable to get through, then call Jewish Family Service in Dallas at 972-437-9950. They are providing back up support for our community and can provide similar guidance and support. If you have decided to relocate to the Dallas area during the storm, they can also assist with home hospitality.

If the storm does create significant problems for the community and you are interested in volunteering to assist after the storm, please contact Jewish Family Service by sending an email to jfsvolunteer@g

We hope and pray that you, your family and loved ones will be safe. Please take appropriate precautions and take care of yourself. The Jewish Federation and our Jewish community institutions are here to provide support prior to, during and after the storm. Let us know how we can be of assistance.


Lee Wunsch
President & Chief Executive Officer
phone: 713-729-7000

Rabbi Mendel Traxler assisting Houston Police

PACT - Houston Police and Clergy TeamChabad Shliach, Rabbi Mendel Traxler, a member of the Houston Police Dept. PACT Division (Police & Clergy Team) is riding along with Police cruisers to help with clergy needs of emotional and spiritual support for evacuees. 

Our Doors are Open!

As we all prepare to brace ourselves for Hurricane Ike, Chabad in Houston will continue to have its doors open through the weekend. (Torah Day School and Chabad Hebrew School will remain closed until Monday, Sept. 15).

If you decide or need to evacuate, Chabad's branches in Texas as well as Chabad centers around the country have their doors open and are ready to assist you. Please do not hesitate to contact them.

Closest to Houston, the Chabad Jewish Center at Texas A&M has a few hotels nearby, including the La Quinta immediately next door. They are willing to take in any evacuees for Shabbos and will provide the necessary Shabbos meals and Synagogue for all who wish to join. Student members of the Chabad Jewish Student Group at Texas A&M are standing by to volunteer for all of your needs. See below for their contact information.

For a centers around the world visit

Texas Centers outside of Houston:

2313 Perkins Place
Arlington, TX 76016-1041 USA
Rabbi Levi Gurevitch

7010 Village Center Drive
Austin, TX 78731-3024 USA
Rabbi Yosef Levertov

1915 Robbins Place
Austin, TX 78705-5315 USA
Rabbi Zev Johnson

College Station:
201 Live Oak Street
College Station, TX 77840-1923 USA
Rabbi Yossi Lazaroff
6710 Levelland Road
Dallas, TX 75252 USA
Rabbi Mendel Dubrawsky
Rabbi Asher Goldschmidt
Rabbi Peretz Schapiro

2723 Routh St.
Dallas, TX 75201
Rabbi Zvi Drizin

El Paso:
6615 Westwind Drive
El Paso, TX 79912 USA
Rabbi Yisroel Greenberg

Fort Worth:
6033 Wiser Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76133 USA
Rabbi Dov Mandel

3904 West Park Blvd.
Plano, TX 75075 USA
Rabbi Mendel Block

San Antonio:
14535 Blanco Road
S. Antonio, TX 78216 USA
Rabbi Chaim Block
Rabbi Yossi Marrus

Chabad Hebrew School Closure

Chabad Hebrew School of Houston will not be holding classes this Sunday, September 14, 2008. School will resume Sunday, September 21.

Yood Concert Cancelled & Rescheduled

Dear Friends,

The Yood: Power Rock Trio concert, scheduled for this Sunday, has been CANCELED & rescheduled, due to Hurricane Ike.

The event will, G-d willing, be held in November. We look forward to your participation at that time. The exact details will be announced.
Ticket holders: your credit card has not been charged.
(In the meantime, students and young adults are invited to make their very own Shofar at the upcoming Shofar Factory on Monday, September 22, 7 PM at Chabad House TMC.
See event info here: m/event.php?eid=30896622044)
Stay safe and Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Yitzchok Schmukler
Campus & Associate Director
Chabad at Texas Medical Center & Rice University

Torah Day School Closure



To support Chabad of Houston's Evacuee Assistance effort, click here.

Or send you tax deductible contribution to:
Chabad Hurricane Relief
10900 Fondren Road
Houston, Texas 77096

Uptown classes are ON!!

8-9 pm Torah Studies Class at Chabad of Uptown is on schedule! (for those still in town like me :)).... Somone has to protect this place with Torah!

The Class:
Ki Teizei: You are What you Wear
The spiritual and physical worlds constitute a single, unified whole. As G-d's guide to life in these worlds, the Torah necessarily takes a special interest in every part of our being - from our spiritual behavior to our social interactions to the way we conduct our mundane daily lives. This is notably demonstrated by the Torah's being acutely attuned to the slightest details regarding the foods we eat, and, as we will be discussing in this week's lesson, even to the garments that we wear. Of all our laws and customs, one of the least known is the Torah law that forbids the wearing of shatnez, which generally speaking is any garment containing both wool and linen. Many students probably have never heard of shatnez. Some may have heard of it but do not know what it is. Even those who may be scrupulous in following the kosher dietary laws may not concern themselves with shatnez, since they may believe that it is a local custom or an optional stringency, rather than a firm Torah law. But the fact is that both shatnez and kashrut are of equal standing in the Torah's 613 commandments. In other words, wearing shatnez is as much of a violation of G-d's will for us as eating a ham sandwich. In this class we will learn about this Biblical prohibition and see how the laws against shatnez teach us a unique spiritual lesson with regards to how a fundamental aspect of a G-dly life lies in our ability to limit our choices in life, while simultaneously ensuring that our individual personalities are not limited to one style or manner of living.

Kesiva Vachasima Tova,

May you be you inscribed and sealed for a happy, sweet new year,

Rabbi Chaim

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