Editor’s Note: Below is a letter from ALEPH Affiliate Nevei Kodesh in Boulder, Colorado describing the impact of the recent floods on their community. I see this as an opportunity for our ALEPH communities to unite, support each other community to community, and hear some teaching from Reb Zalman. Please Read. —Joe Laur
Last month, the weekend of Yom Kippur, Boulder experienced the unimaginable force of nature, as flood waters ravaged our community for several days. Most major roads turned to rivers or canyons and travel was very limited. (Even now the majority of mountain communities are closed off or uninhabitable.) Miraculously, our new synagogue building was undamaged, although many (if not most) of our members had damage from flood waters and mudslides to parts or all of their homes and grounds. For those who have been coming to our synagogue, there has been tremendous appreciation for the power of community as we helped connect people with volunteers from around the country for cleanup, resources for relocation, counseling and more. We also have been gifted with inspirational and healing services.
As Boulder enters a very long recovery period, we realize that our congregation has experienced flood damage of a different type. The worst of the flood hit during what is normally one of our largest income-producing week of the year. We were thrilled to be able to still hold services, albeit attendance was less than half of what was expected due to road closures. Our expenses to hold services were pre-set and could not be altered. The impact of our reduced attendance (both in terms of guest income and our annual tzedakka appeal) was a sharp reduction in net income. So we find ourselves starting the year with at least a $25,000 shortfall. In addition, since many of our members experienced severe flood damage and financial losses (as almost no one had flood insurance), the flood will continue to impact Nevei Kodesh’s income, as well as our members’ income, in the coming months.
For those of you who are able to support our community financially at this time, your generous gift will help us cover our losses and support our operating expenses, including programs, services and staff. Donations of any amount would be greatly appreciated.
We also are honored and grateful to have Reb Zalman present a special teaching for us that includes a “Retrospective on Jewish Renewal” and a “Prospective on Jewish Renewal” during two consecutive Wednesday evenings, Oct. 30, and Nov. 6, 7-8:30 p.m. Mountain Time. This will be streamed live (and also available later as Video on Demand.) Cost will be $36/session. Please pass this information on to your communities and friends – 50% of all proceeds will directly go to help our community recover. You will be able to access the talks from http://www.ustream.tv/channel/congregation-nevei-kodesh
With appreciation to all,
Rabbi David Zaslow, Interim Rabbi
Dena Gitterman, Executive Director