Mitchell Northam reports in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
As hotels across metro Atlanta continue to fill up, evacuees from Hurricane Irma will be looking for a place to lay their head during the storm.
In north Fulton County, a synagogue has opened its doors to folks who fled their homes.
Channel 2 Action News spoke with Rabbi Isser New of the Beth Tefillah Congregation in Sandy Springs. Leaders at the synagogue have been coordinating places for evacuees to stay by using emails and online forums.
“There are moments in time when people need you. Who are we if we’re not there when people need us?” he told Channel 2. “The Jewish tradition preaches all 613 commandments are equivalent to the commandment Tzedakah, which is charity.”
The Rabbi told Chabad.org that the Chabad of Georgia started getting calls earlier this week for folks looking for places to stay.
One volunteer who has stepped up is Danielle Seligmann. She told Channel 2 she can take up to eight guests, plus she has room for pets. She added that she sees this as an opportunity to help and meet new people.
“It’s a huge blessing to help,” she told Channel 2.
In the synagogue’s kosher kitchen, caterer Robin Varon was busy stocking up on canned and other non-perishable goods. Varon said they are preparing for 100 people.
“We have an influx of people from Florida coming,” she told Channel 2.
The congregation told Channel 2 that it will “find a way” to welcome “whoever” needs their help.