Houston-area synagogues sustain major flood damage

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - The entry hallway at Congregation Beth Yeshurun looked like something between a disaster area and a construction zone.

The building had eight to 10 inches of water inside.

Four feet of water stood in the sanctuary.

"The carpeting was all soaked. The pews were all soaked," Rabbi Steven Morgen said.

Congregation Beth Yeshurun is one of six major Jewish institutions suffering major flood damage.

That included the United Orthodox Synagogues and the Jewish Community Center.

Not only did the facilities flood, but many of the members’ homes did, as well.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston coordinated relief efforts.

"In some cases, congregations have been hit multiple times and having a larger network beyond everyone trying to work on their own can just provide for greater efficiencies, getting the word out, supporting each other," said Elyse Spector Kalmans of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston.

The network now extends beyond denominations.

"We're having our high holiday services actually at our friend Joel Osteen's and Lakewood Church. So, we're not just the Jewish community but it's really the community in general coming together to support each other," said Rabbi Brian Strauss of Congregation Beth Yeshurun.

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