JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli humanitarian aid organizations and the American Jewish community are extending a helping hand to residents of the greater Houston area hit by Hurricane Harvey, both young and old.
IsraAID and iAID were among the first international organizations to dispatch teams to help with cleanup and repair of flood-damaged homes and provide counseling for family members in need.
And several Jewish summer camps in the area reopened to provide evacuees with a safe place to live and nourishing meals, JTA reported.
On Tuesday, displaced families began arriving at Camp Young Judaea Texas a 180-acre camp facility outside Austin.
Camp Director Frank Silberlicht told JTA the camp has a great staff who decided to reopen the facility to provide "some kind of normalcy" for flood victims.
Staff from the Green Family Camp organized daytime activities for children to free up parents and older siblings to assess the damage to their homes and figure out where to begin the cleanup process. While surveying local Jewish institutions to consolidate help for Houston area residents, the campground plans to reopen on Thursday.
Executive Director Loui Dobin says Green Family Camp is providing clothing and canned goods, organizing meals and activities and a central pickup point for children who want to come.
Young Judaea is also housing families in guest rooms normally used for conferences and retreats and providing breakfast, lunch and dinner.
According to the report, Young Judaea staff is trying to meet individual family's specific needs and also plan to open a temporary business center with computers and Internet access.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston collected emergency provisions such as bottled water, cleaning supplies and gift cards for home repair and grocery stores.