Brooklyn Event Catapults Local Brooklynites and Businesses to Help Families Affected by Sandy

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The sheer volume of assistance offered by local Brooklyn families and businesses to complete strangers seems unprecedented. Brooklyn Jewish Xperience does much more than just host Brooklyn events for young Jewish professionals.

Brooklyn events, Brooklyn jews, brooklyn jewish, rabbi fingerer, BJX, brooklyn networking

Some Brooklyn Jewish Xperience participants enjoying the best networking in Brooklyn

The devastation Sandy caused was unprecedented, but the assistance, charity, and volunteerism people are offering others are also unprecedented.

Hurricane Sandy is a nightmare that hasn't ended. Fortunately, members from the Brooklyn community have stepped forward in a way that would make anyone proud. Rabbi Moshe Fingerer, co-founder of Brooklyn Jewish Xperience (BJX), a community-based and -centered organization striving to better and bolster the values of the surrounding community, was faced with a serious dilemma. The home of one young professional from Sheepshead Bay was flooded and lost power; another young professional from Great Neck was without heat and freezing. Both were BJX students. Fortunately, they were quickly welcomed into the homes of BJX hosts’ and reassured that they could stay as long as they needed until power was restored and their homes once again inhabitable. They were treated royally and made to feel like family. That was two people. But how do you find suitable housing for a family of six?

When Rabbi Fingerer heard that a family from Sea Gate lost their entire home as a result of Hurricane Sandy, he contacted a number of people asking for assistance. When Rabbi Fingerer asked M.D., someone who had helped BJX with registration at the Sephardic Lebanese Congregation, if she knew of anyone who had at least three bedrooms for this family, she suggested calling the Mitzvah Man.

"I called the Mitzvah Man and was pleased with his alacrity and gusto. He quickly provided me with S.D’s. number (no relation to M.D.). The Mitzvah Man had already spoken with the D’s and they were willing to provide the family with a house to live in," said Rabbi Fingerer.

N.D. and S.D., who had just purchased a new house, decided that they would lend their home to this family rent-free and provide them with heat, electric, washer/dryer, refrigerator at no cost to them so that this family who lost everything would have a home until they could recuperate and begin searching for a suitable rental.

"I was both amazed by the altruism of the D’s. and that the Mitzvah Man was able to make this critical connection so effortlessly," explained Rabbi Fingerer. “I told N. D. that when we recently read in the weekly Bible reading about the unbelievable altruism of Abraham and Sarah, I immediately thought of him and his wife.”

"The Mitzvah Man then arranged for me to speak with L.C., a Brooklyn businesswoman, who asked me to list the items that the family needed so that they can begin functioning as normal people. She surprised me by hand-delivering all the new items, including: a toaster oven, silverware, glasses, linens, towels, dishes, pots and pans, and sweatshirts," said Rabbi Fingerer. Mrs. X, who had lost her home and everything in it, was in tears when she received all these items in her rent-free home. She was emotionally speechless. Complete strangers were helping other strangers rebuild and start from scratch. Only tears of joy expressed Mrs. X’s deepest feelings of gratitude and thanks.

E.S., another Brooklyn businessman, generously donated a new microwave, hot water urn, and food processor to this family.

As Mrs. X was settling into her rent-free home, N.D. placed his hands over his heart and told Mrs. X, "We want to be like your sister. If there’s anything you need, please let us know."

"Mrs. X told me that she was overwhelmed by N and S’s expression of camaraderie and friendship." On Friday before sunset S.D. dropped off a vase of flowers along with two freshly baked hallot (the braided loves Jews eat on the Sabbath at each of the three Sabbath meals) and a warm note. The love, care, and emotional support that complete strangers showed this family is heartwarming and soul-stirring to all who hear this story.

"So many families are suffering due to Hurricane Sandy. They've lost their possessions and some even their homes. It’s extremely tragic. But so many individuals are extending themselves to help others. The devastation Sandy caused was unprecedented, but the assistance, charity, and volunteerism people are offering others are also unprecedented."

About Brooklyn Jewish Xperience
BJX is a community-based and -centered organization striving to better and bolster the values of the surrounding community. In addition to its weekly business networking events, BJX offers mentoring programs and regularly conducts self-empowerment workshops to train and coach singles and couples on how to make the correct long-term decision on issues such as career goals, moral dilemmas, and relationships issues. Brooklyn Jewish Xperience educates, empowers, and inspires Jewish college students and young professionals throughout Brooklyn to be the leaders of tomorrow. To register for an event, go to http://www.BrooklynJewishEvents.com. To sponsor an event or endow a BJX center in Brooklyn, call 646-397-1544.

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Matt Segal
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