South Brooklyn School Devastated by Hurricane Sandy

Dear All,

South Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Seagate have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy last week. Among victims of the hurricane is Mazel Day School located blocks away from the ocean and the bay. The two buildings which house the school were badly flooded and all K-6 classrooms, books, furniture, classroom materials, computer equipment and kids’ art work were severely damaged by as much as six feet of sewage water. Several SifreiTorahs housed in what was supposed to be a water proof case were also damaged. The pictures of the damage are available and on the school’s facebook page.

Mazel Day School is an orthodox neighborhood school started 10 years ago with three children and grown to 140 today with a waiting list. The school is open to all Jewish children, regardless of religious observance. Children come from both observant and non-observant homes. The children from observant homes usually have parents who are baalei teshuvahs that value child-centered, value-oriented education dedicated to excellence in both Judaic and secular studies. School motto is “instilling a love of learning and the joy of Judaism”. This school is gem of the neighborhood and lives up to its motto. After the storm, the teachers organized conference calls for the children to learn the parsha of the week with their friends.

The school is very much supported by the parents and local donors. However, many of the parents and local donors were personally hit by the hurricane themselves and are not able to contribute as generously at this time. Before the storm, the school was gearing up for a new building fundraiser to expand the middle school and take more children from the wait list. The storm has crashed this plan and hit the school with the reality of now raising funds to replace was previously there.Principals and parents have been working around the clock to manage the situation from looking for temporary classrooms to salvaging flooded items to cleaning. Kids have been cleaning along with the parents.

Please help rebuild this school. If there is one thing Sandy can teach us, it is the fleeting value of money that we invest in our own comfort. Please consider investing in something that has an everlasting value – the Torah–based education of our children. Donations of any amount will make a difference. Please donate at All donations are tax–deductible.

Thank you in advance! May you be blessed with nachas from your own families and children and always be in position to help others!

Lily Shnayder

Mazel Day School parent

3 comments on “South Brooklyn School Devastated by Hurricane Sandy

  1. I’d like to thank the 170 men from Baltimore who came in busloads to Seagate specifically to assist in the cleanup and recovery.

    I’d like to thank the good Jews of Overland Park, Kansas, who graciously donated a Sefer Torah and dozens of Artscroll Siddurim to a congregation in Cedarhurst, New York (Nassau County, Long Island) that was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

    I’d like to thank the volunteers of the Rockaway Citizens Safety Patrol who drove around during the two weeks of blackout to ensure that our homes in Bayswater and Far Rockaway weren’t looted.

    I’d like to thank the stalwart volunteers of Chabad of the Five Towns, who went up and down long flights of stairs to reach elderly people stranded on the upper floors of tall apartment buildings, bringing them hot meals, water and medicine.

    I’d like to thank the two anonymous Jews, father and son, who showed up at the Young Israel of Long Beach with a pump, and were sent over by the rabbi to a home that needed to have several feet of water pumped out of its basement (which they did for free).

    I’d like to thank all of the people across the nation and even across the world who held charity drives and sent donations of money, clothing, baby supplies and other desperately needed items to those New York communities ravaged by the hurricane.

    I’d like to thank those Jews living in Israel for their care and concern about us: usually the anxious phone calls flow west to east (“Are you okay? I just heard X on the news!”); this time they went east to west.

    I’d like to thank Jews like Ron Coleman for their financial donations to those Jewish schools that were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy: not just Mazel Day School in South Brooklyn, but also the Yeshiva of Belle Harbor, the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach, and other schools in the affected neighborhoods that sustained damage from the superstorm.

    Mi k’amcha Yisroel.

    I would like to thank the Borei Olam for His Rachamim. His Anger raged against “sticks and stones” but not against us. Not one person in our communities died as a result of the hurricane (although tragically over a hundred people on the Eastern Seaboard did lose their lives).

    Finally, a personal note of thanks: My street, a “U” shaped dead end, has thirteen houses, twelve of which are now owned by Orthodox Jewish families. Our street is in back of the bay, ten feet up a hill. Years ago, families from our street would watch the Fourth of July fireworks at the bay, and then climb up the hill as a shortcut to get back to our street (not possible anymore as the houses nearest the bay have now fenced their back yards). During Hurricane Sandy, the bay rose due to the storm surge and the raging water climbed ten feet up the hill to our street – and then stopped. Only the three houses in the curve of the “U” closest to the bay suffered some minor damage. Ten other houses on our street (including my own house) were spared. Thank G-d. Thank G-d.

  2. Thank you for this post, Lily. I grew up in Brighton Beach, right at the cusp of Sheepshead Bay, and attended Cub Scouts meetings in the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center across the street from Temple Beth El, where I went to Hebrew School. I also went to the I. L. Peretz School on Neptune Avenue.

    When my grandparents A”H left the old (real) Flatbush they moved into to Seacoast Terrace overlooking the boardwalk, so I was able to visit my “hood” even after we moved to New Jersey.

    Years later I got married in the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center! So this is my old neighborhood, and as much as it has changed I have very warm memories of the area. Thanks to your link I made a donation to the Mazel Day School.

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