By COLlive reporter
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me?”
With growing criticism on how little the American Red Cross has done for those affected by Superstorm Sandy in the U.S. East Coast, Chabad is trying to fill the void with serving its own.
A special committee was set up by Merkos of Lubavitch Headquarters to assist the Chabad Shluchim, their institutions and communities.
The group is encouraging Shluchim to make an appeal this Shabbos in their Chabad Centers to help rebuild the Mosdos impacted by the storm and assist in the relief projects undertaken by the Shluchim.
The committee has already disbursed over $120,000 to 27 different Shluchim. This is in contrast to the Red Cross, the fifth-largest charity in the U.S. by private donations, which so far has only spent $40 million of the $120 million they raised since Sandy.
The committee, after meeting the Shluchim who have been impacted by Sandy, is calling on their colleagues around the world to join an “Achdus Global Shabbos Appeal” for the Chabad institutions that were damaged.
“Never in the history of Shlichus have so many Shluchim been hit so hard by a natural disaster,” said Rabbi Tuvia Teldon, Long Island’s Head Shliach and a member of the hurricane relief Committee.
“Our brothers are faced with a loss of over $1.5 million in personal and Chabad House property, without full insurance coverage,” he said.
“Five Shluchim don’t even know when they can return to their homes! Chabad Centers were wiped out! This is not a typical campaign – this is a personal crisis for the family of Shluchim on a scale we have never faced before.”
An email has been sent to all Shluchim encouraging them to have an appeal this Shabbos in their Chabad Centers.
The committee has succeeded in getting $50,000 in grants for Shluchim from the UJA New York, but more is needed.
Members of the committe, in addition to Teldon, are Rabbi David Eliezrie of California, Rabbi Zalman Aron Grossbaum of Toronto, Rabbi Mendy Herson of New Jersey, Rabbi Anchele Perl of Long Island and Rabbi Mendy Sharfstein of Merkos.
“We are Shluchim helping Shluchim, our goal is get the Mosdos back on their feet and help them do their crucial relief work and continue their Shlichus in the devastated areas,” Rabbi Teldon said.
Donations can be made online at www.Jewishhurricanerelief.com