NY synagogues struggle to find aid after Sandy

The Judea Center in Howard Beach has been able to raise only $400 on its own.

Rabbi Marjorie Slome returned to her synagogue, West End Temple, in the Rockaways after superstorm Sandy to find a clear water line five feet above the floor and all of their sacred books, including the Five Books of Moses, waterlogged and ruined.

The only good news, she said, was that she had taken the Torahs to her home in Brooklyn the Sunday before the storm.

After the storm, she and her family visited congregants who hadn’t evacuated, she said, while other friends went around delivering coffee and bagels, “just to check in and make sure everybody was OK.”

“Then we moved on to: OK, great, now what do we do?” she recounted.

Slome said she had never been in a hurricane before, but that people in New Orleans whose synagogues had been destroyed by a similarly bad storm, Hurricane Katrina, gave her good advice.

 

“Whether FEMA will grant us any kind of money is still very much in the air,” she said, acknowledging that it is a “complex legal question.”



A?matter of church and state

Because FEMA is a federal agency, religious institutions may be prohibited from applying for government aid because of federal laws barring the meshing of church and state affairs.

“The way I look at it is, I’m not asking for the government to subsidize any religion education — but I do know that if there were a fire in my building, the firemen wouldn’t pull up and say no we can’t go in because it’s a religious institution,” Slone argued. “I think a flood is the same thing.”

FEMA’s Donald Caetano said, “The best thing they can do right now is go to the Small Business Administration and register for assistance.”

When asked about constitutional issues, he suggested: “Another option is potentially public assistance as a private nonprofit organization.”

Synagogues suffer across the city

An investigation by the Jewish daily newsletter Forward found that at least 63 synagogues in the New York area were battered by superstorm Sandy, sustaining damages ranging from missing roof sections to ruined Torahs. The costs of repairs and reconstruction may reportedly reach as much as $5 million, as Rabbi David Bauman of the Temple Israel of Long Beach told Forward. Bauman said his synagogue had insurance, but that “insurance companies have outs for everything.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Metro announces Earth Day New York partnership for…

Metro is pleased to announce we are once again the media partner of Earth Day New York for 2014.

International

Putin fields question from NSA fugitive Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of intelligence eavesdropping, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin a question on Thursday during…

Local

Cops release sketch of Madison Avenue jewelry robbery…

Authorities continue to look for a man suspected in a $54,000 jewelry heist at a Madison Avenue store from from last week.

National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

Television

Way to go, guys: 'Game of Thrones' broke…

Proving that not everyone has parents who subscribe to HBO and are generous with their HBO Go logins, the latest episode of "Game of Thrones"…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Movies

Review: 'Fading Gigolo' finds few jokes in women…

John Turturro writes, directs and stars in "Fading Gigolo," in which he plays a prostitute whose pimp is Woody Allen. And there's still very few jokes.

Movies

Interview: 'Fading Gigolo' director John Turturro talks about…

John Turturro discusses his new film "Fading Gigolo," how to get Woody Allen to wear more than khakis and the far-off "Barton Fink" sequel.

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

NBA

Nets-Raptors first round NBA playoffs schedule, TV, times

The Nets tanked their way to the No. 6 seed over the course of the final few games of the season.

NBA

Knicks wrap up season with win over Raptors

The Knicks wrapped up their season as it began — undermanned — but that still didn’t deter them from ending it the right way.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.

Parenting

Star-studded summer camps

Give your child the star treatment this summer with a celebrity-endorsed camp.