Rabbi Moshe Matz sent the following letter:
This year we saw powerful storms that wrought havoc across the country. Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast and then Hurricane Rita followed, once again sending people into flights for their lives.
And then came Hurricane Wilma, which beat down on South Florida on Hoshana Raba and tore through our communities, leaving much destruction in its trail.
We were left in the dark. The Yamim Tovim of Shmini Atzeres and Simchas Torah were celebrated without light, hot food or, for many, no roofs over their heads. It is hard to imagine the damage that so many people in the Jewish communities of Miami Beach, North Miami Beach and surrounding areas suffered. In certain areas there is almost no home without damage. The losses are extensive, and many have no insurance or have unaffordable deductibles that make repairing the damage near-impossible. The devastation that the hurricane wrought has led to a serious downward economic spiral for many families who were barely
making ends meet before the storm.
Mosdos and shuls suffered major damage as well and will require months of work and hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs. Many children have not been able to return to school because of the damage to buildings. Businesses have suffered millions of dollars in losses. And aside from all the damage sustained, electricity has been cut off for the past two weeks, and some may be without power for weeks to come.
To help our deeply distressed brethren, Agudath Israel of Florida has established the Hurricane Wilma Relief Fund. We understand that many across the country have already extended themselves by reaching out over past weeks to help our brethren in New Orleans. But now we turn to you as well for assistance to rebuild our communities and help relight the darkness, literal and figurative, that has fallen over so many. Please send your contribution to:
c/o Agudath Israel of Florida
4541 North Bay Road
Miami Beach, FL 33140
To donate by Credit Card, please call 1-888-749-8611.
May the Ribbono Shel Olam grant all His children the opportunity to serve Him without tirchos and tirdos.
With much gratitude,
Dr. Jonathan Rubin
President, Agudath Israel of Florida
Rabbi Moshe Matz
Executive Director, Agudath Israel of Florida