NECHAMA at Temple Beth El:


On Sunday, November 11 we received a contingent of volunteers brought to us by an amazing organization: “Nechama – Jewish Response to Disaster”  They came with a trailer full of equipment and immediately went to work, removing bucket after bucket after bucket of debris from the flood. They helped our Rabbi sort through the books to separate the holy texts that must be buried. They pried doors open, removed water and damaged furniture, and filled two huge dumpsters. They promised to return – unfortunately the work is far from finished. Their help was invaluable and their dedication most inspiring, and above all, they brought us Nechama – which in Hebrew means consolation- in a time of great distress.

We deeply thank the Nechama team and the volunteers that came with them from Temple Emanu-El of Closter, NJ and from Bonim-Builders. We say to them Todah Rabbah – Thank you so so so much…and Lehitraot, see you again soon!!!


Nechama trailer @ Beth El


Nechama team with Rabbi Kupchik










Nechama volunteers in action

Nechama volunteers with Rabbi Kupchik and Phillip

3 Responses to NECHAMA

  1. rabbi says:

    Temple Beth El of Manhattan Beach – update
    Dear Friends,

    At this time we are working to clean our flooded basement and to establish offices upstairs to resume our work from the Temple building. The building has light in most of the upper level, but the heating is not working yet, so we are not sure if we will be able to restart our services this coming Shabbat. We will send an email and update our website when we know more.

    Please do check in with me by sending me a message every few days to let me know how you are doing. In particular, let me know if there is anything we can do to help you. Of course feel free to call me at home at (516)837-3145. Please do apply for FEMA assistance at as they have many programs that can be of help.

    If you have power, heating and hot water back and would be able to accept shul people to come to you for showers or to warm up in the coming days, please let me know. We still have many members who lack any or all of these things.

    Please stay safe and warm.


    Rabbi Claudio Kupchik

  2. rabbi says:

    Useful information

    FEMA Individual Assistance Grants
    800-621-3362 or register online at

    The toll-free telephone number is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) Monday through Sunday until further notice. Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number, social security number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.

    Disaster assistance is financial or direct assistance to individuals and families whose property has been damaged or destroyed as a result of a federally-declared disaster, and whose losses are not covered by insurance. It is meant to help with critical expenses that cannot be covered in other ways. This assistance is not intended to restore damaged property to its condition before the disaster.
    Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families can include:

    Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.
    Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.
    Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.
    Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.
    Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.
    Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster’s adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million.
    Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.
    Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans benefits and social security matters.

  3. rabbi says:

    Temple Beth El of Manhattan Beach – Update

    Dear Friends,

    We still don’t have heating so we will not hold services yet.

    However, we have a few items to share that can be helpful to us:

    We started a new page in our website called “Give or Take”. On this page you are welcome to post items that you are able to give to someone who can use them, or post things that you need that perhaps someone can donate or spare. Please take a look at it and if you have things to offer or needs to be filled we can try to make a connection. Even if you don’t have anything specific to offer, please check it from time to time, perhaps someone posts a need that you can help fill. The link to the page is:

    We have been offered the services of NECHAMA-Jewish Response to Disaster ( This organization provides direct cleanup assistance free of charge such as interior and exterior storm debris removal, roof tarping, and sanitizing of water damaged homes and institutions following large-scale natural disasters. They are coming, God willing, to help with the cleanup of the shul this Sunday morning, and they might stay a few days helping the Temple and people with their homes, prioritizing seniors and people with special needs. If you need help with the cleanup of your home, or know of a member that does, please send me an email and I will pass the information on to the Nechama people.

    I also received the following email from Howard Weber with useful information and a great gasoline tip:
    Please circulate the following information to the Congregation….

    1. The New York State Bar Association has established a Hotline to assist with legal and other problems in dealing with FEMA, insurance companies, contractors, etc. Volunteer lawyers experienced in navigating through these agencies are ready to assist and answer questions. The Hotline phone number is 1(800) 699-5636.

    2. FEMA has an additional contact phone number: 1(800) 621-3362. Also, FEMA has another phone set up to advise on legal issues related to the hurricane at 1(800)342-3661.

    3. NYS Dept. of Financial Services has a hotline specifically for insurance claim questions: 1(800)339-1759.

    4. Claims against New York City, for issues such a municipal sewer backups, falling trees, etc. can be made at: Or you can call for claim forms to (718) 241-9330.

    5. Cleaning costs may be reimbursable through either insurance or disaster aid so keep all receipts for work you’ve had done or equipment you rented or purchased (pumps, generators, dumpsters, etc.

    6. It is vitally important that you take a few minutes and take pictures of the damages.

    Best wishes to all for a speedy recovery.

    Howard Weber

    PS: I was able to drive to Rahway, NJ (about 1/2hr) and filled up my car with gas—no lines, no limits, no worry about odd/even for out-of-state plates…

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