Yeshiva Merkaz Hatorah of Belle Harbor, Three Weeks Post-Sandy


sandy-belle-harborBy Avromy Fried

Friends and relatives have been asking me what happened at my Yeshiva, Yeshiva Merkaz HaTorah of Belle Harbor.  But I’m not a speaker or a writer.  I can only describe the scene the way I saw it, as an eyewitness from the very beginning.  My camera tells the story better than I ever could; you can see my pictures at

Week 1: Total devastation.  Kitchen and dining room lost under six feet of water.  Appliances and heavy-duty kitchen equipment piled on top of each other, helter skelter.  Beis Medrash soaked; steps to the just-renovated basement dormitory covered in water to the ground floor.  Air conditioners strewn around; beds and mattresses, dressers and clothing all over the place.  Massive heaps of waterlogged Sefarim adrift on the floor in the library.  A thick film of slimy mud covering everything.

Week 2: Twelve days of round-the-clock pumping.  Everything dumped in the garbage: boilers, water tanks, ovens, stoves, mattresses, refrigerators, clothing.  Thousands of dollars’ worth of food alone.  Carpets and flooring out on the streets.  Basements gutted down to the bare cement floors. The Yeshiva squeezes into temporary quarters in Staten Island.  Only 55 fit in the temporary dormitory; the other 65 must be bused in from their homes each day.

Week 3: Fundraising efforts around the clock.  The administration looks peaked, but determined.  We’re down, but not out.  Come what may, we will rebuild.

For pictures, videos, and more information, click here.

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  1. I’ve been thinking of the rebuilding of that whole coastal area. Without proper seawalls and new construction standards, would it survive another, similar flooding event? Or do we assume, now that it happened once, that it can’t happen again?

  2. If you’re interested in helping the Yeshiva get back on it’s feet there is a parlor meeting tonight in Flatbush.
    The Parlor Meeting will be taking place from 7:30 PM – 10 PM at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Shloime Eisenberg – 1441 East 27th Street, Brooklyn, NY. For anyone who wants to donate online, please go to . To donate by phone, please call 718-513-9321.
    Tizku L’Mitzvos

  3. I know Avrumy well and respect him tremendously. He is one off the most talented and dedicated bochurim in any yeshiva. Well said and yasher koach!
    May the Rosh HaYeshiva shlit’a, Rabbi Yossi Goldstein, R’ Moshe Lewin and the whole yeshiva have much hatzlocha and brocha in the days to come.
    Remember, you’re working with the zechus of the Rosh HaYeshiva , Reb Levi Zt’l and will overcome this nisayon – big time!
    Everyone reading this should please participate and send in whatever you can. I’m about to donate. you should too.

  4. There is a huge a Yeshiva by my house and it has very few students. It is beautiful and extremely large building. It can probably house 1000 students. It is located in rego park, queens.Location is on Thornton Street and intersection of Burns St. It was built only few years ago. Why not utilize it until Belle Harbor can be restored.

  5. i wish klal yisroel had done teshuva before hurricane sandy was gozer upon us to shake us up with fear

    i would be scared of what holds in store for the future of klal yisroel.
    Sadly the main reason to be scared is because we are not changing our ways towards teshuva & are therefore CAUSING OURSELVES great tzaros R”L we don’t know how tragic the next event can be C”V

    may we all do teshuva ASAP so Hashem will erase the future gezeira of tzaros upon klal yisroel

  6. #7,

    Sadly you are not changing yourself. Sadly many tzaros await you.
    Sadly many great tzaros await you that you are CAUSING YOURSELF.
    Sadly the main reason you should be scared is because of your vicious slander and speech you keep on posting

    may you do teshuva ASAP so Hashem will erase the future gezeira of tzaros upon yourself

  7. to 8 & 9
    i really appreciate your concern for me & would love to personally thank you. its your kind of people that we need in klal yisroel (people that care & show love & concern for one another) sadly for %99 percent its vice versa, where everything is ME ME & ME AGAIN & thats the midah of sedom that was destroyed.

    i can only thank you enough & bench you with a wish that may people learn from you to start caring about others & then MASHIACH will be able to come