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Chabad brings faith, food and friendship to hurricane-hit Jamaica

Chabad brings faith, food and friendship to hurricane-hit Jamaica
Chabad brings faith, food and friendship to hurricane-hit Jamaica

Chabad brings faith, food and friendship to hurricane-hit Jamaica

by Tzemach Feller – Lubavitch.com

As the outer bands of Hurricane Beryl hit Jamaica with torrential rains, Jacob Raskin was not in a shelter. His SUV was weaving through fallen branches and debris as he headed to a resort where he knew Jewish travelers were stranded and in need of kosher food.

Hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors waited in boarded-up shelters for the storm to pass – the island is well prepared for hurricanes – and are now showing up to clean up the wreckage. With power and cellphone reception out in most of the island, Raskin is going door to door, checking on welfare and bringing essential supplies.

“We asked about every Jew we knew in Montego Bay and many others in the wider community,” Raskin said. Communication was carried out via a Starlink satellite link, which has become a lifeline for people of all faiths who want to know if their family members on the island are OK.

Now her attention is turning to communities in southern Jamaica that felt the brunt of the storm’s impact, with entire neighborhoods devastated by high winds and flooding. Raskin will fly to Treasure Beach in a private small plane accompanied by community members. They will meet with residents, assess the damage and begin providing much-needed assistance.

What is most appreciated on the island, says Raskin, is his spiritual support. “Jamaica is a very spiritual place.” During his tour of the island, the rabbi shared the message of the Seven Noahide Laws as a way to invoke divine protection. Chabad of Jamaica also invites all members of the local community who do not have electricity to join Chabad on Shabbat to receive the much-needed gift of light and warmth.

To support Chabad of Jamaica’s hurricane relief efforts, visit Lubavitch.com/Jamaica.

Donate to the Chabad of Jamaica Relief Fund