Hurricane Ida Update

  • Thursday 12:00pm

    Power in New Orleans is slowly coming up with new blocks being lit up each hour. We are going to spend the upcoming Shabbat in Atlanta with our families as all of our students are no longer in New Orleans. Tulane is currently scheduled to resume in-person classes in October and we are waiting to hear whether they will move up that timeline as the power comes back on.

    As the acute relief phase of the Ida response winds down for Tulane Chabad, it’s worth reflecting on how much impact even a little bit of help makes under dire circumstances.

    When people lack basic necessities, such as food, water, safe shelter and power, being able to provide someone with a bottle of cold water, with a few minutes of air conditioned comfort and even with a warm smile and a helping hand can make all the difference.

    We are grateful to have been in the position to be there for people. There are very few places to get food in New Orleans, so we prepared meals. Fuel for cars and generators is very hard to come by, so we arranged for gas to be brought from Mississippi and Baton Rouge and gave out emergency supplies to help people evacuate. In ordinary times, these are small things that we take for granted. But now its vey special to be able to put smiles on people’s faces by helping them with these basic needs. 

    With almost all of our students out of the city and the High Holidays approaching, the Ida response now shifts to supporting students remotely and making sure everyone has a comfortable and welcoming place to be for Rosh Hashana. If you know a Tulane student in need for a palace to celebrate Rosh Hashana, please let me know.

    Yesterday, Tulane completed the evacuation of all the students that remained in New Orleans for the storm. It was a busy time, helping students manage the evacuation. Levi, Zalman and Luba sharing some Holiday themed treats for the bus ride to Houston.

    We were contacted by a parent of a student who was isolated in the Jung Hotel due to COVID. She was being told that she needed to board the evacuation bus to Houston without recovering any of her possessions from the dorm, since she couldn’t break quarantine. And since communication is so spotty, the parent lost touch with her daughter. We were able to go to the Jung Hotel, find the student, get her room key, and have a friend go to her dorm room to retrieve what she needed for the evacuation!

    Another student had evacuated , but his passport was still in his apartment. He needed his passport, so we found a locksmith to open the door and retrieved the passport and we were able to send it with someone who was travelling out.

    As students departed on the buses, facing the uncertainty of the next few weeks, we were there distributing some snacks for the road and making sure that our students saw cheerful smiles.

    It was truly amazing to experience the outpouring of love and support that from our parents and alumni your dedication to Tulane Chabad and the New Orleans community is really remarkable!

    To continue to participate in Chabad’s recovery go to:

      Tuesday 1:00pm

    The past day and a half has been very busy and hectic!

    Although we were fortunate, some people suffered tremendous devastation. This home is on Rabbi Yochanan's block, and the owner was inside at the moment it collapsed during the storm. Miraculously, he made it out and we spent some time talking, providing emotional support and gave him some food and water to help him through the day. 

    We were able to go to Gulfport Mississippi to get some generators and hard to find gas to provide power for basic Chabad appliances, and delivered generators to families with small children that were in desperate need.

    A group of students that have not yet evacuated volunteered to help clear debris and restore some of the Chabad facility that was damaged during the storm. 

    Tulane announced that in-person classes will resume in October. As families scrambled to figure out evacuation routes, we were able to provide them with needed information on road closures, availability of fuel and food and many other important insights that helped them navigate this challenging process. 

    Many people have asked how they can help. We are currently seeking to raise funds to cover the substantial costs of recovering from this storm. We are so grateful to everyone that has contributed already . To make a donation, go to:

      Monday 8:00am

    The experience of Hurricane Ida was very intense. Even for Tulane Chabad staff who have been in New Orleans for many years, this was possibly the most powerful storm we have experienced, in terms of wind strength and duration. We are in touch with many students that are here and we were able to provide them with supplies during these challenging hours.

    There is extensive damage all around New Orleans. We are currently assessing the damage, but we are happy to report that, first and foremost, our families and students are all safe. 

    The power infrastructure of our area took catastrophic damage, so we are currently working on making sure that we have enough generators to keep our basic appliances online.

    No matter what the next few days and weeks bring, we are here for our students! Please reach out if you know of someone who needs support, whether practical, spiritual or emotional.  You can reach us on our cell phones at: 
    Rabbi Leibel 347-581-7945 or Mushka at 917-474-1418 
    Rabbi Yochanan 504-289-8516 and Sarah 504-453-0827.

    Thank you to everyone who reached out with expressions of support. We are grateful for your prayers. It really means a lot to know that our friends all around the world care so deeply about the welfare of Chabad at Tulane.

    We will continue to be in touch as things develop.

    You can donate to our Hurricane related expenses in the form below .

    1:00pm Sunday

    As of right now, everyone at Tulane Chabad is safe. We did not evacuate, but we are hunkered down and praying that we will continue to be spared the worst of the storm. We are so grateful to the well-wishes that we have received from so many friends. It means a lot to be in everyone’s thoughts.

    Once the storm passes through our region, we will be doing everything we can to support our students, and community to provide both physical and spiritual comfort, and get everyone ready for the high holidays. 

    We want  you to know that if you or anyone you know need anything we are here! Chabad never closes especially in times of emergency, we are here for our students!  You can reach us on our cell phones at: 
    Rabbi Leibel 347-581-7945 or Mushka at 917-474-1418 
    Rabbi Yochanan 504-289-8516 and Sarah 504-453-0827.

    You can donate to our Hurricane related expenses in the form below.

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