The Distress in Far Rockaway and How You Can Help

Dear Friends

I just came back from Yeshiva Shar Yoshuv. A couple of friends and I decided to take the day and help people in Far Rockaway clean out after the flood. We called Achiezer this morning and they said come to Shar Yoshuv and we will send you out.

When we got to Shar Yoshuv the sight was unbelievable. At the entrance to the campus was a truck accepting Shaimos. In front of the main entrance to the building was a truck accepting family’s laundry to be washed. The dining room was set up to serve lunch and supper. Supper was starting at 3:30 P.M. so people could get home before dark. The gym was set up with racks of cloths for men, women and children. Teams were being sent out to pump water out of people’s homes.

We came to the volunteer station and we were asked to help people unload Shaimos from their cars into a big truck. The line of cars coming to drop off ruined Seforim was nonstop. People were pulling up with cars, minivans and even a pickup truck loaded with full libraries of seforim. I with my own eyes saw thousands of Seforim that were ruined. I spoke to a woman who asked if we could send help over to her house to bag up her ruined Seforim. She came with a stroller with bags full of dirty laundry, together with her children so they could eat lunch. She said that she came on foot because she was afraid to use her car and run out of gas. She said that she just had no energy left to deal with the ruined Seforim. What I experienced was just dealing with the Seforim that people lost.

I did not see their dark cold homes; some still will many feet of water in them, others full of water damaged possessions. It was clear that many regular people are in need of lots of help. Boruch Hashem here in Kew Gardens Hills things are fine, but a few short miles away things really are not.

We have to do what we can to help our brothers literally dig out of this. If you have time to volunteer call Achiezer at 516-791-4444. If you can make a donation to the Hurricane Relief Fund you can do so at In the Zechus of the unbelievable Chesed going on may all of Acheinu Bais Yisroel have yeshuos bekarov.

Yours Truly,

Rabbi Chaim Eli Welcher

3 comments on “The Distress in Far Rockaway and How You Can Help

  1. I’d like to say THANK YOU and YAASHER KOCHACHEM to all of you Kew Gardens Hills and Main Street – Flushing people who have been volunteering to help out us Far Rockaway and Bayswater people in our hour of need.

    I hope that one day you can return as our honored guests, once we are back on our feet again (and LIPA has restored our electricity) to see how reallyn beautiful our community is, both inside and out.

    Meanwhile, a great hig expression of appreciation for all of the help you guys are giving us right now when we desperately need all the help we can get.


  2. anyone who heard both R Yaakov Bender and R Baruch Ber Bender as well as R Yechiel Kalish speak last night at the YIKGH and/or read the guest essay will realize the enormity of the damage caused by this storm to the Five Towns-Far Rockaway-Bayswater communities, shuls, and yeshivos, and the concomitant enormous opportunity for Chesed Bgufo UvMamano that those of us who were spared have been presented with. Reading letters like the letter in question and seeing how the KGH community responded reaffirms one’s belief in Mi Kamacha Yisrael Goy Echad BaAretz.

  3. Here is the Tuesday update from Achiezer:


    Please read the following few key points and updates for today.


    Significant process is being made. It has been reported to us that many parts of Nassau County and even Far Rockaway have started to see power. We will continue to share progress updates throughout the day.


    We are putting together a tremendous amount of manpower to help anyone who needs throughout the day. We will be sending more than 130 volunteers today. If you require any sort of cleaning out, pumping, or shlepping of any sort, let us know.
    Additionally If you are interested in volunteering some time, please call our hotline, or 347-752-1400.


    All Bayswater residents will vote at the Far Rockaway High School which is located at 821 Bay 25th Street, Far Rockaway.
    All Far Rockaway residents will vote at IS 53 located at 1045 Nameoke Street, Far Rockaway.
    All Nassau County residents will vote at their regularly scheduled locations.

    Our dedicated food coordinators will be setting up at four locations.
    Young Israel of Bayswater, White Shul, Shor Yoshuv, and Young Israel of Woodmere. The Far Rockaway locations wiill be serving breakfast, and all of the locations will serve lunch at 12:30, with dinner at 4:30 PM.
    We have also been in constant touch with CHABAD and they will be offering breakfast and lunch until 4:30pm as well as a hot dinner from 4:30-8pm. You may also go there to rest and recharge your batteries.


    There will once again be laundry drop offs at Shor Yoshuv and The Young Israel of Bayswater from 12-3pm TODAY.


    There is a tremendous amount of beautiful, brand new clothing set up in Shor Yoshuv until 4pm today. Anyone who is unable to get there and requires transportation, we will provided a ride to pick you up and bring you home. Just call the office and your ride will be setup. We will also be receiving a shipment today of hundreds of baby items, coats, and blankets for anyone who needs.

    FEMA update:
    We would like to give a tremendous thank you to Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder who has brought senators and congressmen throughout the week to our offices, as he lobbies them aggressively to secure proper FEMA funding, and potential housing for our communities.

    Additionally we will be having FEMA application signups again today at our lawrence office, 334 Central Avenue. Our special FEMA/insurance task force will be on hand from 4-6 PM to help file applications, and to answer any questions you may have.
    If you would like to utilize this service today, you MUST bring the following information:
    The address of your damaged home/apt
    Name of people living in household
    Social security numbers for each household member
    A description of your disaster damages
    Insurance policy information
    Telephone number where you will be able to receive a message
    Address that can receive mail

    If you are approved for disaster assistance funds and would like them sent directly to your bank, you will need your bank account type, routing number and account number. Further application details will be provided when you sign up.
    If you plan on coming to the office today to sign up, although it is not required, please try to confirm your spot through our office hotline.

    Shaimos Truck: The shaimos bin will be parked for another 2 days at Shor Yoshuv. If you need a pickup for your specifc shul, please speak with our office to see if it can be arranged.

    Special Fund:

    Every shul throughout the neighborhood has been assigned a special gabbai/liasion to assist those who require. If you are unsure of who to speak with in your particular shul, please email, or call our office.

    The Achiezer community hotline if you have any questions is: 516-791-4444

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