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How Joel Osteen's Church is Serving Houston's Jewish Community May Surprise You

Joel Osteen

The Jewish High Holy Days are coming up, and Joel Osteen is making Lakewood Church the place where Houston's Jewish community can temporarily call home. 

Hurricane Harvey ripped through Texas with a fury many people hadn't seen in years. The storm's high winds and heavy rains flooded the Beth Yeshurun synagogue, leaving many Jews without a place to celebrate two of the holiest days of the year — Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). 

U.S. Rep. John Culberson asked Lakewood Church if it would open its doors to Beth Yeshrun's congregation. The Church answered with a resounding "yes."

"It was a wonderful opportunity for us to do something for Beth Yeshurun," Jackelyn Viera Iloff, a spokesperson for Lakewood Church, told Charisma News. "We have always been close friends with the Jewish community."

Charisma News also quoted Iloff who said church members are ready to volunteer and serve the Jewish community during the holidays:

"Joel and Victoria want to ensure that our sanctuary is as comfortable and familiar as possible for the Beth Yeshurun congregation. The Lakewood family—staff and volunteers alike—are very excited about this and are looking forward to the High Holy services. Everyone wants to help and be a part of it."

Meanwhile, Osteen's church has been busy assisting Houstonians in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Although Osteen initially faced heavy criticism after several media outlets erroneously reported that Lakewood refused to open its doors to evacuees, the megachurch provided shelter for around 450 people. 

Lakewood has also dispatched volunteers to the affected areas to deliver water, clean debris, gut homes, and offer prayer and support to those whose homes were damaged or destroyed.

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