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Update #3

 Dear Friends,

Thank you! We are forever grateful for the outpouring of support, love and encouragement we've been receiving from all corners of the world, all hours of the day. 

It's been a hectic last couple of weeks. In the blink of an eye, S. Maarten has been drastically transformed. Yet, from within the devastation and destruction, brightness and beauty will yet emerge. From darkness, comes light. It will take a while, we know. But we will remain resilient and strong and do everything in our capacity to help return S. Maarten to its' state of glory. We will be stronger than ever!  We are determined to succeed and nothing will stand in our way.

Following the storm, we have been fielding calls from around the globe of people in search of their loved ones. Thank g-d we have succeeded in locating all members of the community and beyond. With almost no communication on the Island, people simply have no way of knowing information of what's happening outside their little "shtetl." After searching each one out, one at a time, working around curfews, armed forces blockading the roads and hours at the airport, we thankfully managed to evacuate all those that needed to get to safe grounds. 

In the aftermath, we brought medical field doctors around to those that suffered injuries and got them taken care of. Using our gas oven set up outdoors, flashlights and some volunteers we managed to cook mass quantities of meats that were stocked in our freezers, and distributed fresh meals to all. 

AND NOW...
Thank g-d, we managed to access a warehouse with food supplies miraculously not damaged by the hurricane. We went door to door checking in and stocking everyone up with food supplies, water, batteries, candles, dry goods etc., enough to get everyone through the next few weeks. We also located butane fuels and portable stoves and were able to distribute them so that amidst darkness and no water, people could still have some hot fresh food. We have arranged containers of supplies from Miami that will arrive next week g-d willing. 

Most importantly, the sheer joy and happiness seen on peoples faces when they see us is indescribable. Seeing a familiar face, gives them support, hope and reassurance. People lost everything, and knowing that someone is there caring for them and worrying about their needs gives them the strength to carry on!

Let us hope that this craziness will soon end. May G-d shower his blessings upon us and grant us all that we need this coming year. It should be a year of peace, good health, happiness and prosperity. Our good deeds should outweigh any negativity and bring about blessings for all. Our cry of the shofar sounded in every corner of S. Maarten in the past few weeks, should pierce the heavens and bring about the final redemption. 

To our dear friends, who have become family, we thank you again for being there for us during these difficult weeks. We look forward to sharing good news with each other from here onward. 

We cant wait to see you all soon!

For all those that contributed to our relief fund - we thank you for your support and for being a part of our vital work - a tremendous mitzvah!

For all those that wish to be a part, you can contribute here Click here to donate 

Click here to see the latest coverage on NY1 with Sara  

Click here to view photos

Wishing you a happy, healthy and sweet new year!

Shanah Tova!

Update #2

Dear Friend,

 

The experience was beyond anything we could have ever imagined. The aftermath is unreal. Thank G-d we are all safe!

A few hours before the hurricane, we managed to make our way to Chabad house. Thank G-d we did, as there was lots of flooding and damage back home. We managed to huddle in the back room just as the front door burst through...the pressure, noise and intensity were horrific. It sounded like the world around us was being ripped apart. They were scary moments, but, thank G-d, we had Hashem's great protection.  We braved the storm - all that wind, pressure and flying debris -without a front door. We managed to stay safe!!

The island is a disaster - complete havoc and destruction.  Homes and buildings vanished - utter destruction. Things that belong are missing - trees, homes, boats...debris strewn about everywhere - roofs, gates, doors, cars...you can't imagine. Communication systems are totally down. There is no running water or electricity. We are on generator (we purchased the last one available on the entire island!) We are stocked with food and water for only another couple of days...

To all those of you who reached out - Thank you! Your care, love,support and willingness to help in any way really means so so much to us. 

It will take time to recover,  get back to normal, and  get over the shock. In the meantime, we will take it one step at a time! For all those who asked what they can do to help - we have set up a relief fund to assist in the aftermath of the storm. There is so much damage and so many Jewish people need help. Whatever you can assist with will be helpful. Click here to donate.

With love,

Rabbi, Sara, and our heroic bunch: Mendel, Yitzy, Rivka, Shneur and Mussia

Update

Many have asked....

We just finished our last preparations for the storm and are fully stocked with water, food and generator fuel. Thank you to all of you who have reached out to us. Your concern, care and prayers on our behalf means so much to us!

The hurricane is due to hit at 4 am and strong winds and heavy rains are expected to last for about 8 hours. We are bunkered down and boarded up and we have G-d's full protection!

If you know anyone who needs assistance at any time, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.

Lot's of love! Stay strong and positive! May G-d bless and protect our most special island.

We will keep you posted after the storm - as soon as our communication is back up.

 

Sincerely,
Rabbi Moishe, Sara and family.

 


 

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