The National Council of Young Israel today expressed great dismay over Congress’ failure to pass a bill to provide federal aid to states that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy before it adjourned the current legislative session. The House Leadership had recently assured the bipartisan congressional delegations of Sandy-impacted states that legislation would, in fact, be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives prior to the end of the year.
Although the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly last week to approve the $60.4 billion federal aid package, the House of Representatives’ failure to vote on the bill further delays the process and ensures that federal dollars will not be forthcoming until the new Congress convenes and ultimately acts on the bill.
The measure would have freed up funds to help underwrite claims under the National Flood Insurance Program and provide vital recovery resources within the appropriate governmental agencies. Such assistance helps the National Council of Young Israel and other community-based organizations aid recovery efforts.
“We commend the Congressional representatives from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut who worked collaboratively, in a bipartisan fashion, to urge the House Leadership to pass this critical disaster relief legislation,” said Farley Weiss, President of the National Council of Young Israel. “As the 113th Congress convenes in the coming days, the National Council of Young Israel calls on Congress to immediately vote on legislation to provide disaster assistance to the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy and to make this critical bill one of the first pieces of legislation that is enacted in the new Congress.”
“We are deeply disappointed by Congress’ failure to bring the Hurricane Sandy federal aid package to a floor vote,” said Robert Levi, Chairman of the Board of the National Council of Young Israel. “As people and communities throughout the New York metropolitan area, including our own members and synagogues, continue to suffer terribly in the aftermath of the storm, we sincerely hope that Congress will see fit to vote expeditiously to bring much-needed relief to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.”
As a result of Hurricane Sandy, many Young Israel synagogues suffered major electrical and infrastructure damage as the sea water destroyed electrical and heating systems and caused significant loss of property, including Torah Scrolls. The list of affected synagogues and communities includes Young Israel of Long Beach, Young Israel of Woodmere, Young Israel of North Woodmere, Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst, Young Israel of Brighton Beach, Young Israel of Kings Bay, Young Israel of Oceanside, Young Israel of Wavecrest & Bayswater, Young Israel of Far Rockaway, Young Israel of Belle Harbor, Young Israel of Canarsie, and Young Israel of Margate, NJ.