Central Conference of American Rabbis Donates Over 400 Prayerbooks to Storm-Ravaged Synagogues

Apr 15, 2013, 14:23 ET from Central Conference of American Rabbis

Donation Replaces Books Damaged by Storm; Synagogues Feeling 'Blessed' with Support 

NEW YORK, April 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) has donated over 400 new copies of Mishkan T'filah, the Reform Movement prayerbook, to two New York area congregations, Temple Sinai in Massapequa and West End Temple in Neponsit, both of which suffered severe storm damage from Superstorm Sandy this past fall.

"We were heartbroken when we saw how the storm had ravaged these synagogues and uprooted the lives of people in their communities," said Rabbi Steven A. Fox, Chief Executive of the CCAR. "We donated these prayerbooks to help individuals and congregations heal."  He continued "As creators and publishers of Mishkan T'filah, we understand the important and powerful role that prayer can play in bringing a community together and allowing them to feel whole again."

Rabbi Marjorie Slome of West End Temple was thrilled to receive the new prayerbooks, as extreme flooding destroyed her synagogue's entire library. "We are so grateful for the CCAR's generous support and donation to our temple," said Rabbi Slome. "Receiving these books is truly a blessing as we rebuild."

The CCAR facilitated the donation of the prayerbooks with funds donated by Rabbi Jonathan Stein, Immediate Past President of the CCAR and Senior Rabbi at Shaaray Tefila in Manhattan.

For Rabbi Stein, supporting these synagogues in their time of need was a given. "When I heard about the storm's destruction; it was almost a visceral response," he said. "I instantly committed myself to make this gift happen." He continued "This is the kind of thing we do for each other in times of crisis."

The CCAR's donation is just one of the many ways that the Reform Jewish community has come together to support one another in times of need.  In the days and weeks after the storm, CCAR member rabbis, who serve both congregations and community organizations, galvanized their memberships to provide on-the-ground support and supplies to those in some of the hardest hit areas. The Union for Reform Judaism and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism have also played a leading role in the Jewish response to Sandy, including raising more than $750,000 for disaster relief efforts and coordinating donations of essential supplies to synagogues, community centers and families.

About the CCAR

Founded in 1889, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) is the rabbinic leadership organization of Reform Judaism in North America and worldwide. The CCAR projects a powerful voice into the religious life of the American and international Jewish communities and works to ensure a vibrant Jewish future by providing exemplary resources, publications, and programs to the Reform rabbinate and the broader Jewish community.

With 2,000 Reform rabbis on "on the front lines" of the North American and worldwide Jewish communities, the CCAR empowers Reform Rabbis to provide religious, spiritual and organizational leadership by offering high-quality opportunities for Torah study, professional development, spiritual growth, and chevruta - a nurturing community of colleagues and friends.

For more information on the CCAR, please visit www.ccarnet.org

SOURCE Central Conference of American Rabbis