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How to Help Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

New Yorker or Israeli, Jewish or Gentile, here are ways to aid those impacted

Stephanie Butnick
November 01, 2012
A roller coaster sits in the Atlantic Ocean after the Fun Town pier it sat on was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in Seaside Heights, New Jersey.(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
A roller coaster sits in the Atlantic Ocean after the Fun Town pier it sat on was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in Seaside Heights, New Jersey.(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast, impacting and displacing many of our neighbors and loved ones. It has been extraordinarily inspiring, however, to see how our communities have banded together in the aftermath to help each other, and everyone affected by the hurricane.

Listed below are some ways you can help. A major h/t To Leah Koenig at Repair the World, who also has a great list. Also be sure to check out the resources compiled by WNYC, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, and Occupy Sandy.

From anywhere:

• The UJA-Federation has created a Hurricane Sandy Relief fund, which is accepting donations online.

• The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City has set up a fund to help support relief efforts in New York City. You can donate here.

• The Masbia Soup Kitchen has been providing meals at shelters throughout New York City. You can donate money to their efforts here.

• The West Side Institutional Synagogue is accepting donations online that will be distributed to organizations and shelters. Visit their donation page and select “Hurricane Sandy” for the donation type.

• Donate to the American Red Cross, which is organizing hurricane relief, online here.

For those in Manhattan:

• Margarita Korol of COJECO is organizing volunteers to help Russian Jewish seniors who were unable to evacuate their homes before the hurricane and remain without power or water.

• The Yeshiva University Stern College dormitories won’t have power and hot water before Shabbat. You can volunteer to host students through this online sign-up or email Rabbi Strulowitz of the West Side Institutional Synagogue.

• The New York Blood Center is in need of additional blood and platelet donors. Find out how to donate here, or call the NY Blood Center at 1-800-933-2566.

• Volunteer for New York Cares’ clean-up.

• Register to help at a local Red Cross shelter.

• Volunteer with NECHAMA in New York and New Jersey, or support their efforts here.

• Check out local sites like Red Hook Recovers, Staten Island Recovers, Prospect Park and Park Slope Patch websites.

• Occupy Judaism offers opportunities to help the Jewish community in areas affected by the storm.

• On Friday morning, UJA-Federation NY is organizing a group of volunteers to check on seniors and deliver meals and bottled water. The group will meet at 9 a.m at 15-17 Bialystoker Place, and volunteers should bring bottled water, batteries, bananas and apples to distribute, as well as a flashlight. RSVP to Amy Kassen by email or at 212.836.1208.

• Jewish Social Services organization Uri L’Tzedek is organizing volunteers to deliver water, batteries, and other necessities to on the Lower East Side. You can contact them by email or meet them this afternoon by the El Chico Grocery on the corner of Madison and Rutgers Streets.

• Five to ten volunteers are requested at 200 East Fifth St. Friday at 10:30 a.m. with food and water for donation. Register here.

Upper West Side:

• UWS residents will be accompanying volunteer organizations Thursday and Friday to public housing communities in Alphabet City and the Lower East Side. Volunteers will be donating water, flashlights, and batteries. Contact Alex Shwarzstein by email if you would like to join the trip(s) downtown. If you’d like to donate supplies, Shaare Zedek, at 212 West 93rd Street, will be a dropoff point for donated goods through at least 7 p.m. tonight.

• Joan of Ark Jr. High School, located at 154 West 93rd Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam, is doubling as a temporary shelter for displaced residents. They need volunteers this evening (Thursday), after 6 p.m. Contact Efrem Epstein for more information, since the shelter location may change in the next 24 hours.

• The evacuation shelter at Louis D. Brandeis High School, located on 84th St. between Columbus and Amsterdam, needs volunteers starting at 6 p.m. tonight, to stay overnight if possible. Stop by and they will tell you how you can help.

B’nai Jeshurun is organizing a food drive for Jewish social service agency the Educational Alliance. Donations of bottled water, non-perishable kosher food, toiletries, batteries, radios, and blankets can be dropped off at 88th Street Sanctuary at 257 West 88th Street, Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., or at the BJ Office at 2109 Broadway, Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.


• Mazel Day School experienced flooding in their classrooms and damage to their supplies, including a Sefer Torah. Volunteers are requested Thursday at 2901 Brighton 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11235, and donations can be made here.

• Brooklyn Based has a comprehensive list of ways you can help throughout the borough.

Know of other opportunities to help? Please share them in the comments.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.