Dear Far Rockaway/Bayswater and the Five Towns Communities,
As Shabbos approaches, many of us once again (or still) find ourselves in the dark, without power, electric or proper heat. We have all been going through extremely difficult times. Here at Achiezer, we are continuing to do everything within our power to push, lobby and work to get our neighborhoods restored. Homes are getting cleaned out, Yeshivos and schools are resuming and some basic supplies are starting to become available. It has been an incredible inspiration to see the beautiful acts of chesed that everyone in our community is doing for one another. We know that there is a long way to go and hope that soon this will all be behind us. We hope that in the coming week to announce some special chizuk programs and wish you all a restful and uplifting Shabbos.
SHABBOS FOOD ARRANGEMENTS
Thanks to the graciousness of our three local supermarkets, Seasons, Brachs and Gourmet Glatt, there will be fully prepared Shabbos meals available at Shor Yoshuv from 11:30-2:30 for anyone in the community today. If anyone does not have transportation to get there, please contact our office and we will make arrangements to have your food delivered.
A meeting took place yesterday with the Commissioner of the Department of Homeland Security for the State of New York. The most important requests that we put on the table to the Commissioner was to bring a tremendous amount of flood lights and extra security patrol to the Far Rockaway and Five Towns neighborhoods for Shabbos. We will keep you informed with any developments throughout the day.
Although we will definitely encourage people to spend Shabbos in areas that have power, we want to remind those that are staying at home with generators that they must do so using utmost caution. DUE TO THE GENEROSITY OF AN ANONYMOUS DONOR, WE WILL BE OFFERING CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS FREE OF CHARGE TO ANYONE WHO HAS A GENERATOR. PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE TODAY IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE ONE.
We would like to reiterate that anyone who had water in their house MUST shut off all electrical panels before power is restored by LIPA to their area.
The Chasdei Lev Group from Brooklyn has offered to set up non-Jews to refill generators on Shabbos for those who require. YOU OBVIOUSLY MUST CONSULT WITH YOUR PERSONAL RAV TO DISCUSS. ALL THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED SHOULD PLEASE EMAIL THEM DIRECTLY AT HURRICANEGENERATORS@GMAIL.COM.
There have been various shipments to the community, including several at the White Shul, of gas deliveries. We will send an email of any additional deliveries that we are aware of. We have also been advised that as of 5am this morning, New York City and Long Island have now imposed odd/even gas rationing. This should significantly cut down the lines and wait time at the various gas stations.
We have obviously received dozens of requests throughout the day requesting the status of LIPA and power restoration. We understand that everyone is anxious but unfortunately have not been able to get a clear answer from LIPA. We have spoken with Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder as well as several Nassau County officials and they have reported that LIPA’s progress has been moving but slowly. There is a small chance that those homeowners who were not affected by actual flood waters may see restoration but the end of the weekend.
If you still require a place to stay for Shabbos, please contact our office and we will do our very best to try to accommodate.
All those who have dropped off laundry at Shor Yoshuv can go today to pick up their fresh clean laundry.
We have received numerous requests for further FEMA/insurance claim information. We will be providing an update and send out specific details about our task force as well as representatives from the Department of Finance and FEMA that will be available in our offices next week.
We will be having a huge community volunteer drive on Sunday. Anyone who would like to volunteer for this effort should please call 347-752-1400. Anyone that requires cleanup services should call our office to set up an appointment.
COMPREHENSIVE STORM RELIEF
We are happy to announce that we have launched a brand new website, spearheaded by our dedicated board members, Asher and Ettie Schoor, to assist those requiring multiple services after Hurricane Sandy. The website isWWW.ACHIEZERSTORMRELIEF.ORG . The website features useful guides, special warnings, frequently asked questions as well as a comprehensive form offering numerous services to those who were affected by the storm. Please feel free to visit the website which we believe you will find extremely helpful.
As previously mentioned, there is a beautiful, tremendous clothing selection set up at Yeshiva Shor Yoshuv. ANYONE WHO IS UNABLE TO ACTUALLY GO THERE TO PICK UP THE CLOTHING MAY NOW CALL OUR OFFICE OR GO TOWWW.ACHIEZERSTORMRELIEF.ORG TO REQUEST A CLOTHING ORDER DELIVERY.
Please be advised that both the Far Rockaway and South Shore Mikvaos in Woodmere are open and fully operational.
Please be advised that the Eruv is down for this Shabbos in Far Rockaway/Five Towns.
Wishing you all a wonderful and restful Shabbos,
Rabbi Boruch Ber Bender and the Achiezer Staff