News reports, Facebook posts, and tweets continue to show the havoc Hurricane Sandy left behind. Individuals and organizations responded to help the victims of the massive and powerful superstorm, which cut a deadly and destructive path across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast United States.
The storm packed high winds and incredible sea surges as it took lives, downed trees, destroyed property, and cut power to about six million people along the most densely packed portion of the country- including casting a large shadow over New York and New Jersey (my home state). Recovery is underway. Progress is slow but steady. For those of us in the D.C. area, the October Gather the Jews event at Ping Pong Dim Sum is being rescheduled . But a return to everyday life for those directly impacted by the hurricane will take time.
B’nai B’rith International, the most widely known Jewish humanitarian, human rights. and advocacy organization, sprang to action (as did many other groups such as The American Red Cross ) to help as soon as Sandy had passed.
“Even with detailed advance warnings, the destruction Hurricane Sandy has left behind is extraordinary. B’nai B’rith has helped disaster victims since 1865. Each disaster we help with has its own unique challenges,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said.
The program will include a special exhibit and viewing featuring the works of local artists Lisa K. Rosenstein and Lauren Kotkin, who will be there to meet guests and discuss their works. “Life is chaotic, complex, noisy, and at times painfully full,” says Rosenstein. Her work uses nothing but white paint and found objects to create a Zen-like space for contemplation. Kotkin is an artist; she exhibits and volunteers for Artomatic, the annual month-long art festival in D.C. Also on view will be highlights from B’nai B’rith’s collection of Judaica.
As recovery efforts continue, please consider how you can assist in the hurricane response. Numerous celebrities and artists performed on November 3 for The American Red Cross and NBCUniversal “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together” live broadcast, raising $23 million, but you don’t need to be a celebrity or a millionaire to make a difference. Whether it is making a $10 donation, attending a fundraiser, giving blood, helping a neighbor, or donating clothing or food items to those cold and hungry, you too can help with the recovery efforts.