Hurricane Relief

Touro Synagogue is committed to helping impacted areas to rebuild. As we live this mission, we are initially focusing in two areas:

  • Supporting Jewish organizations that are working with communities in impacted areas
  • Supporting organizations working with communities of color and other marginalized groups

We recognize that rebuilding of homes and lives will take a very long time. Many of us have close ties to these communities, and we want to provide the same level of support as they did for us during our time of need. Therefore, we are seeking Touro members who would like to help our efforts–short and long term.

If you are interested in shaping Touro’s hurricane flood response, please email Michael Cohen, We are seeking team members who will shape a response that reflects the values of the Touro community.

A message from Rabbi Berk:

Dear Touro Family,

This page includes information and communication from JFNA (The Jewish Federations of North America), our local Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, and national endeavors to aid in the relief efforts post-Harvey and Irma. Please feel free to make your choices with us or alongside us to stay energetic during this long journey. There is no list that could be exhaustive; and, this one sure isn’t.

And, yet…

Olam chesed yibaneh – We will build this world from love. Together.

Shabbat Shalom.

Rabbi Alexis Berk

A Letter From Jerry Silverman
President and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America

A Letter From Arnie Fielkow
CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans

A Letter From Leslie Fischman
Executive Director, New Orleans Jewish Community Center

Local Agencies Collecting Food and Non-Food Items

There are several places locally where you can drop off:

Second Harvest Food Bank is accepting monetary, food and supplies.  Main warehouse is located at 700 Edwards Avenue in Elmwood. Monday – Friday, 7:30 am – 4:00 pm.  For the list of items needed see:

Junior League of New Orleans is accepting monetary and non-monetary donations, with a focus on women and babies.  They have a wish list on Amazon at

St. Catherine of Sienna will have three large trucks for non-perishable foods and supplies.  105 Bonnabel Blvd, Metairie.  Tuesday, September 5 – Thursday September 7, 8:30 am – 6:00 pm.

Grace Lutheran Church is collecting non-perishable food and cleaning supplies.  Located at the corner of I-610 and Canal Blvd.  Tuesday, Sept 5 through Friday, Sept 8.

Additional sites are being update on a list maintained by WWLTV:

Useful Organizations

(Original article located at

General Relief

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner established a Harvey relief fund at The Greater Houston Community Foundation. The organization connects donors with a network of nonprofits and innovative solutions in the social sector.

GlobalGiving, which calls itself the largest global crowdfunding community, has a goal of raising $2 million for its Harvey relief fund. Funds will be used first for immediate needs of food, water and shelter and then transition to long-term recovery efforts.

United Way of Greater Houston has launched a relief fund for storm-related needs and recovery. The organization says it already maintains a disaster relief fund but anticipates the needs of Harvey will far exceed those existing resources.

GoFundMe, the social fundraising site, has created a landing page that gathers the campaigns on its platform related to Harvey.

The Salvation Army says it is providing food and water to first responders and preparing for massive feeding efforts for residents.

Send Relief and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief says its teams began responding before Harvey made landfall and continues on-the-ground relief work.

Samaritan’s Purse is accepting donations as well as volunteers for Harvey disaster relief for the coming months.


As well as the American Red Cross, local organizations accepting blood donations are Carter BloodCare and the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center.


Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County coordinates the city’s response to homelessness, serving as “a backbone organization” to groups that offer direct service. It has been providing updated information on shelters with available beds.

Airbnb has set up an urgent accommodations site, where people can open their homes to evacuees from the storm or find shelter themselves. Service fees are waived for those who check in by Sept. 1.


A number of food banks will be aiding the affected region. Consider donating money instead of food, as it allows a food bank to use your donation most efficiently.

Feeding Texas is a statewide nonprofit that works alongside state and federal relief efforts. The organization says it steps in during major disasters to “coordinate with the state and other providers so that relief reaches families quickly and the ‘second disaster’ of an unorganized response is avoided.”

Here is its list of food banks in Texas likely to be affected by Harvey:

People With Disabilities

Portlight Strategies facilitates projects involving people with disabilities, including post-disaster relief work. The organization says its hotline for Inclusive Disaster Strategies has received urgent requests from people in need.


Save the Children is providing relief supplies and services to help children and families in shelters and other victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The Texas Diaper Bank, based in San Antonio, works to meet the basic needs of vulnerable babies, children with disabilities, and seniors. It focuses on providing partner agencies with diapers and goods.


The SPCA of Texas is organizing evacuations of pets in Texas (including 123 cats from a shelter in Corpus Christi) and offers resources on pet-friendly housing for evacuees.

Austin Pets Alive! says it has transported more than 235 animals to its shelter. The organization seeks donations, as well as people who can adopt animals. It says it has received so many donated supplies that it’s running out of storage space, so financial donations are what it needs most.

Legal Aid

Texas Legal Aid  – To provide direct assistance to a legal related situation, consider assisting Texas Legal Aid, a pro bono group that helps victims put their lives back together. After a disaster, Legal Aid helps put lives back together by providing:

  • Assistance with securing FEMA and other benefits available to disaster survivors
  • Assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims
  • Help with home repair contracts and contractors
  • Replacing wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the disaster
  • Assisting in consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures
  • Assisting with mortgage/foreclosure and landlord/tenant problems

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation will use all donations to fund Disaster Legal Aid to survivors of Hurricane Harvey. Please donate to the Hurricane Harvey Legal Aid Fund to assist all Texans in need of these essential services.


Hurricane Harvey packet revised