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Chabad Center Takes in Oklahomans Displaced by Deadly Tornado

May 21, 2013 By:
JTA
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A man walks over the ruins of his destroyed house following the deadly tornado in Moore, Okla., on May 20, 2013. (Brett Deering/Getty)

A Chabad center in Oklahoma City opened its building as a shelter for those displaced by a deadly tornado.

The Chabad Community Center of Southern Oklahoma also is collecting supplies for those left homeless by the tornado that tore through an Oklahoma City suburb on Monday afternoon, leaving at least 24 people dead, including several children, and injuring hundreds.

“While we feel the pain of others, we’re very thankful that we’re able to respond – to use all our energy and all our resources to let the community know we’re here to help,” Rabbi Ovadia Goldman, the Southern Oklahoma Chabad’s co-director, told Chabad.org.

Goldman said he has received calls from individuals and organizations in New York, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, California and abroad with offers to help with relief efforts.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a letter of condolence to President Obama on Tuesday morning in the wake of the tornado.

“On behalf of the Government and people of Israel, I offer our heartfelt condolences to you and to the people of the United States on the massive tornado that struck in Oklahoma and exacted such a horrific toll in human life,” Netanyahu wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this tragedy and their families at this difficult time.”

At least two national Jewish agencies are also stepping in to help.

On Tuesday, the Jewish Federations of North America opened an Oklahoma City Tornado Relief Fund, dedicated to gathering aid from across the Jewish Federation community. JFNA is coordinating relief efforts with the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City. Donors can contribute online or send checks to:

The Jewish Federations of North America
Wall Street Station, PO Box 148
New York, NY 10268

Include the name of the fund on the check. 

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) is accepting donations and distributing them to the the American Red Cross and others on the ground in Oklahoma, according to URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs.

"We are numb with grief, and yet inspired by the heroic resilience of the people of Oklahoma. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those impacted by this horrific tragedy," Jacobs said in a news release.  

Donate online or mail checks to:

The Union for Reform Judaism (Attn: Oklahoma Tornado Relief)
633 Third Ave.
New York, NY 10017

Or to:

The Canadian Council for Reform Judaism
3845 Bathurst St. Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M3H 3N2.

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