How You Can Help
The J along with Jewish Family Services of Houston will distribute digital gift cards directly to people in need. Here's how you can help. We are also accepting donations for the Hurricane Relief Fund.
If Your Home Has Been Damaged
Call the All Hands Help Hotline at 800.820.5188 or complete this form.
Need to reach us with a comment or question? Please complete our online form and we will be in touch.
We have some good news to share in today's update. We have generators running and have AC and electricity in parts of the Weingarten Building. We are working area by area to check the mechanical systems. We've already had one air handler motor catch fire and burn out.
We will have a much better idea in the next few days when we can re-open the Weingarten Building. We estimate it will be at least another 7+ days as we are waiting on environmental air/quality testing.
We've made great progress at the Merfish Teen Center. Crews have installed drywall in most of the classroom wing and are working their way toward the front of the building.
Regarding the Fitness Center, once we have power restored, we can perform a full evaluation of the equipment. Marathon Fitness, our long time Precor vendor, will be assisting us with this process. Once we have performed this assessment, we can then determine what repairs or replacements will be necessary to get the Fitness Center back up and running.
We are working this week to set up temporary generators to get electricity to the Weingarten building and operate temporary chillers that will provide air conditioning. We will also bring in a temporary boiler to have hot water available in restrooms, showers and heat water for the indoor pool.
Please note that the Boniuk Indoor Tennis Center will house the Bertha Alyce Early Childhood School for approximately 4 weeks, starting Monday, September 11. The Boniuk Indoor Tennis Center's electricity, water and air operates independently from the main campus, so the Indoor Tennis Center is fully operational.
As soon as we get the building powered up we will perform safety checks, clean and complete the necessary environmental and air quality assessments prior to re-opening.Currently, our best guess is we will remain closed for an additional two weeks. We will know more once we get power to the Weingarten Building and complete any additional assessments.
West Houston will open on Monday and repairs to the Merfish Teen Center will begin this week.
Many of our programs will start this week at off-site locations including KidZone at Shlenker, competitive gymnastic team training at various southwest locations and free drop-in JTA tennis program utilizing the outdoor tennis courts.
Our semester based programs, including after school classes, swim lessons, gymnastics classes, tennis, dance, and sports programs for children will begin the week of Sunday, October 15. *Exceptions are Meyerland Soccer and children's theater productions.
We'll keep an updated list of program details here.
Please note that on Monday we will have staff answering our main number and can assist you with any program or membership needs or questions.
Boot Camp at Godwin Park
We're bringing fitness to you! Our fitness instructors and personal trainers are holding a free boot camp in Godwin Park every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:00 AM and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at a 9:30 AM until further notice. This is a free class to anyone in the community who wants to get back into a workout routine.
Boniuk Indoor Tennis Center
Our tennis staff team met to begin planning to get tennis programs back up and running. We’re working on a plan to potentially have indoor courts available for limited times on evening and weekends. More details to come soon.
Our Bertha Alyce Early Childhood School staff have started the transformation of some of the indoor courts into temporary classrooms while repairs are made at the BAS building.
J Members Welcomed at YMCA of Greater Houston
Thanks to the generosity of the YMCA of Greater Houston, all Evelyn Rubenstein JCC members are able to use Y facilities to exercise, swim, take fitness classes, etc. When you go to any Y in the Greater Houston area, please take your J membership card and visit the Welcome Center to sign-up for complimentary membership. This offer is available as long as our facilities are closed.
West Houston Campus
Recently we were able to access our West Houston campus and assess the effects from Hurricane Harvey. Our facility staff and electricians were able to inspect the building and have deemed that the building is safe for our staff and families to return. The Ellen Boniuk West Houston Early Childhood School will resume their school year beginning Monday, September 11.
Thanks to St. Philip's United Methodist Church, our Meals on Wheels program is back up and running for our homebound seniors. Check out our "Floating Dumpster" and Joel Dinkin's Facebook Live interviews with the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston.
In tonight's facilities update we've got photos of the remediation in progress, an update on the pools, KidZone, big thank yous to the YMCA of Greater Houston and Westheimer Transfer & Storage and more. If you're not receiving our email updates, you can sign up here.
The J did sustain some significant damage due to the storm which we outline in the link below. We have already begun the recovery and mitigation process in many areas and will work tirelessly until we are fully up and running again.
We have started repairs to the J and Merfish Teen Center. We will remain closed indefinitely. The water damage to the garden level of the J was extensive, and we are still trying to understand the full impact.
The central plant, which includes all of our electrical panels, boilers and mechanical equipment flooded. Please note that we will delay the start of all fall classes and will provide you with additional updates next week regarding many important programs and their status. This will afford us some additional time to plan and better understand the scope of damage and timetable to complete the critical repairs.
To our families enrolled at BAS, we are evaluating a number of plans and working with childcare licensing to determine our options. We will not be able to provide any programs Sept 5-8 and will communicate with you early next week. Remediation work has begun in BAS. The power remains shut off in West Houston. While we have not been able to assess the damage, we are investigating options.
Thank you for your continued patience.
The Weingarten building on the Levit campus has sustained significant water damage on the lower level, front playground and mystical garden. There was some water damage in the fitness center and preschool gymnastic facility.
We have limited power in the building that is impacting our ability to clean the entire building and certain parts of the building do not have air conditioning.
At this point, we do not have an estimate when we will re-open. My goal is to re-open the fitness center and one of our pools and gym as soon as possible. We have transitioned our Meals on Wheels program to Interfaith Ministries to be able to serve our vulnerable older adult population. We are assessing BAS and have communicated to our BAS families that re-opening BAS is my top priority.
Update 8-28-17 | 8:00 PM
The lower level of the Weingarten building on the Levit campus including the front playground and Mystical Garden has taken in a great deal of water. We are coordinating efforts with Centerpoint to shut off the electricity to be able to have a remediation company pump out the water.
Other parts of the J have had minimal damage, and we will remain closed through this week. The Merfish Teen Center took in about a foot of water as well.
Power is out in BAS. We have not been able to make a complete assessment, but getting BAS fully operational as soon as possible is our top priority.
The J's Tennis Center, which was not damaged, along with the Jewish Federation will be mobilized to coordinate supply contribution and distribution, and we will launch this initiative in the next few days. Watch for further updates.
Update 8-26-17 | 9:00 PM
The J will remain closed on Sunday, August 27
Shabbat Shalom. We hope that you and your family are safe and out of harms way. Based on the unpredictability of the weather and concerns regarding safety for our staff and members, the J will remain closed on Sunday, August 27. Please take care and stay out of harms way. We will communicate with you Sunday evening regarding our plans for Monday, August 28.
Update 8-25-17 | 3:30 PM
The J will close today, Friday, at 6:00 PM, and will remain closed on Shabbat
In consideration for the safety of our staff and members, the J will close today, Friday, at 6:00 PM, and will remain closed on Shabbat, Saturday, August 26.
We will continue to monitor the storm and its impact on our community. At the conclusion of Shabbat, we will provide further information about the status of the facility and programs for Sunday, August 27.
We will begin accepting supply donations as soon as the J reopens, with the expectation that there will be some level of flooding in our community. You can drop off supplies in the lobby of the JCC, and we will continue to accept donations and provide supplies to those in need as soon as we are operational.
Update 8-25-17 | 10:00 AM
J CAMP PM CARE
J Camp PM Care will not be available today. All campers should be picked up between 3:30 PM-4:00 PM.
OUTDOOR POOL CLOSURE
While we anticipated the Outdoor Pool Complex to be closed as of 3:00 PM today, do to thunder and lightning in the area, the pool is now closed.
Update 8-24-17 | 3:15 PM
OUTDOOR POOL CLOSURE
The outdoor pool complex will be closing as of Friday 3:00 PM in order to begin preparations for Hurricane Harvey. The indoor pool will remain open regular hours along with the rest of our facility. We will continue to watch the storm and if any changes or closures are needed, we will provide further updates.
As we continue to monitor Hurricane Harvey's path, we continue to be concerned about its impact on our community. As we've done in the past, the J will respond to community needs in any way we can. We are prepared to again become a hub for recovery and supplies, should the need arise. We'll provide updates as the storm progresses and we are able to determine what resources are needed and how the J, and other Jewish agencies, can best provide support.
Update 8-24-17 | 12:00 PM
We are currently monitoring the progress of Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico. As we receive updates, and in the event of inclement weather, we will keep you informed regarding the status of our programs and if our facilities will be open and available for use throughout the weekend.
Please visit this web page and follow us on Facebook for updates.
Ways to Help Adults 60 and Older After a Disaster from "Care for Elders" at the J
Thank you for helping. Our older residents are least likely to ask for help and most likely to tell you that everything is fine. It’s important to physically visit when possible. If they need help, here are some steps you can take:
Let them know about 2-1-1. By calling 2-1-1, they can be connected with special community resources that may be able to help with:
- Applying for and navigating City, County, and FEMA programs
- Basic needs, such as food, clothing, housing, and medical resources
- Connecting people to available local supports
Call 2-1-1 for them if they cannot or won’t even though they clearly need help. There are trained staff members who can follow up, and a case manager from a local agency may be assigned who will check on them and offer resources.
2-1-1 will need the person’s name, zip code, approximate age and general description of need.
Call Adult Protective Services (APS) at 1-800-252-5400 or visit https://www.txabusehotline.org/Login/Default.aspx for a person 65+ or disabled if:
- The situation is dire and/or
- There is abuse, exploitation or neglect (including self-neglect/unsafe living conditions).
APS will send someone to offer in-home services or help find a safe place. If possible, APS will need name, address, phone number, and approximate age.
Everyone has a legal duty to report if they see an older or disabled adult described above. Call even if you only have some of the information. Reports are confidential.
When you talk to residents, remind them to register with FEMA (Federal).
To report storm damage, call 311 (City of Houston).
While no one can replace what has been lost, please let older residents know that there are people available to make the process as easy as possible. Remember, older adults who are competent also have the right to refuse services.