Hurricane Harvey

Fellow Kitchenites,

My heart is hurting as I watch and read news from Houston and Southeast Texas. My mom and my aunt grew up in Houston. I don't have any family there anymore, but I've spent a lot of time there with family and friends. Through youth group events, I've visited a dozen synagogues in the area. I have many friends from summer camp who live there.

The scale of it is hard to understand. One description I read that I think explains the scope: The Houston metro area takes about four hours to drive across; it is the size of Delaware; it has three times the population of Manhattan; and almost all of it is underwater. It is a vibrant city, with a powerful New Orleans diaspora culture, NASA, industries that drive America, and thriving immigrant cultures and cuisines from every corner of the world.

I hope some of you who are able will join me in donating to any number of organizations working on relieving the suffering on the ground:

  • You can donate directly to Red Cross of the Gulf Coast, doing tons of frontline work. 
  • You can help out the Texas Diaper Bank, which does exactly what it sounds like. 
  • You can help out Jewish Family Service of Houston, doing great on-the-ground work right now, operating out of the second floor of the director's flooded home. 
  • You can help out my old summer camp, Greene Family Camp, which is housing refugees right now; they are asking for people to send Wal-Mart gift cards so that people being housed there can pick up essentials. Purchase them here and send them to

Thanks to everyone who can afford to help out, and to everyone keeping the people of Southeast Texas in their prayers, thoughts and hearts.

David A.M. Wilensky