Update: Thousands of dollars donated through COLlive, and continue to come in to help Shluchim Eli and Beila Goodman, who are now homeless after their ground-level apartment on the shores of Long Beach was ravaged by ocean waves and beach sand.
By COLlive reporter
As residents from all over New York and New Jersey have begun clean up from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, the shluchim to Long Beach, Long Island find themselves with no home and a badly damaged shul.
Rabbi Eli Goodman and his wife Beila along with their 4 children run the BACH Jewish Center in Long Beach NY. The Goodman family home as well as the offices are located right near the boardwalk and on the ground floor. From the front door of their home one can see the beach a mere 20 ft away.
Before the storm began the Goodman family evacuated to a friend’s home taking with them their Rebbe dollars, passports and a change of clothing.
As Hurricane Sandy crashed on to the shores of Long Beach, the water rushed in from the beach filling all the streets, flooding homes, moving cars, tearing up the iconic Long Beach boardwalk, and smashing through 2ft thick cement walls meant to hold back the sea.
When they returned after the storm, the scene that met their eyes was one of devastation, utter chaos and destruction, Rabbi Goodman told COLlive.
"Close to 2ft of sand cover the floor throughout the apartment, with dishes, seforim, toys and other household items trapped within," he said. "The water levels had reached 4 to 5 feet, ruining many shelves of seforim and books including a Chosson Shas and leather Siddurim from our wedding. Photos of the children litter the floor along with chairs, clothing and large pieces of wood from the boardwalk," he describes.
The Chabad House is flooded with 4 ft of water destroying the social hall, stage, kitchen and many seforim.
After the storm, friends and family traveled to Long Beach to check on the Goodmans to make sure that they were ok. "With Hashem's help," Rabbi Goodman says, "all members of the Goodman family are OK!"
Friends, family and members of the community of Long Beach gathered at the Goodman home this morning to assess the damage and salvage whatever they could. Seforim from the top shelf, toys that can be cleaned, dishes and other household items were packed into boxes. A small amount of the wet and soggy clothing was stuffed in bags and transported to Crown Heights for cleaning.
The city of Long Beach is without phone connectivity, power and all water is contaminated and cannot be consumed. A city official told Rabbi Goodman that utilities are not expected to be running for a month due to the damage from the storm.
Rabbi Goodman and his family are now effectively homeless!
The Goodman family will be staying with family in Crown Heights pending them finding a proper location to house them until they can rebuild their home literally from scratch.
The family, as well as the Chabad house, are in desperate need of funds.
The Chabad House needs a generator to provide electricity for Shabbos and pumps to empty the shul. Clothing must be bought for the children and contractors need to be paid to clean out the house. Most important, the family needs a new home so they can continue with their shlichus.
The Goodman’s siblings created a fund as soon as they knew the apartment flooded, with the intention of raising funds for the next week. With communications down, they had no idea what their needs were, but knew they had minimal funds with them. Now that contact has been made, they know their needs and have increased the amount accordingly.
To help the Goodman Family please donate here. Click here to donate
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With Hashem's help, the Goodman family will rebuild their home and continue with their shlichus in the near future.
A number of shluchim in Brooklyn and the larger New York area were hit really hard by the hurricane. Some had their homes and Chabad houses flooded with five feet of water and had much of their belongings destroyed.
These shluchim need help clearing their homes of debris and providing much needed supplies to their communities.
If you would like to volunteer please fill out the form below. Click here