After a fire killed 17 people in a high-rise apartment building in the Bronx, New York, on Sunday, Orthodox Jewish groups and individuals have been helping lead recovery efforts in the following ways:
→ Shomrim, a Jewish community security and assistance organization, joined with Masbia Soup Kitchen to purchase $5,000 worth of essentials including food, water, and toiletries for those who lost their homes in the fire. The organizations, both from the Chassidic neighborhood of Borough Park in Brooklyn, also delivered cooking utensils, a portable stove, propane tanks, and prepared food from Masbia’s offices to the families. They will also deliver pizza makers as a means of grilling without a fire or stove, and they plan to give brand new kitchen appliances to the families once they settle into new housing.
→ Rabbi Choli Mishuvalin, director of Chabad of the South Bronx, and his father-in-law, Rabbi Chayim Alevsky of Chabad of the West Side, handed out soup to those in need on Sunday night. Mishulavin has also set up a fund to purchase items for the families.
→ The Riverdale Jewish Center, located just a few miles away in the Bronx, is serving as an official drop-off location for essential supplies for those displaced by the fire and healthcare workers on the scene.
→ SAR Academy, a Jewish K-12 school in Riverdale, has started an emergency fund to help the families.
→ The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York is also working to provide assistance, though it is only in the planning stages currently (jns.org).
We love to see people and groups come together to help those in need when a tragedy like this one strikes. This has been called the worst fire in New York City in more than 30 years, as dozens have been hospitalized and hundreds face homelessness in addition to the 17 lives lost, including eight children.
It’s encouraging to see Jewish groups leading the charge in providing tangible help to those devastated by the fire. Though people can’t take away the unbearable pain of losing loved ones, they can be willing helpers to aid survivors in their recovery, just like these Jewish groups did.