Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) met with the leaders of the Jewish community of Houston, Texas on Tuesday to hear about the situation of the families affected by Hurricane Harvey and the recovery and reconstruction efforts for the community.
The Israeli Diaspora Affairs Ministry donated $1 million in relief aid to Houston's Jewish community after Houston was devastated by Harvey in August.
"We are full of gratitude," said Avital Ingber, the chairperson of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston. Everywhere [I go], people talk about the aid the State of Israel provided under your leadership."
"The members of our community were always there for the State of Israel when we needed help, and what we did was the least we could do in the face of the distress faced by the community and the families," Bennett said. "The State of Israel has a special responsibility towards every Jew in the world."
The Jewish community of Houston was severely affected by Hurricane Harvey. Seventy-one percent of the city’s Jewish population of 63,700 lives in areas which experienced high flooding, and many synagogues and Jewish schools were rendered unusable. Even today, over 2 months after the storm, thirteen percent of Jewish families in Houston do not have permanent housing after their homes were destroyed by floods.