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After the Storm

Miki and FriendsIt was not easy to be in Israel at time y'all were here suffering from the hurricane. I was checking the news every couple of minutes to learn about what was happening in Houston. I didn't come back immediately because my sister's wedding but, between dances, at the wedding I got a call from the Jewish Agency that they needed Herut and I back in Houston ASAP because they were sending a delegation of Israeli Shlichim to help us with the relief efforts. So we packed and changed our flight. 

We came back and our home was full of Israelis that dropped everything and came to help.  

After an year of being part of the Jewish community of Houston and especially the J it was clear for me that it was time to give back.  

So for the last two weeks here is what we did:  We played Israeli games at the Hurricane Harvey Day camp.  We taught the kids at Emery Weiner and Beth Yeshurun about the high holidays in Israel. We created a camp for the kids from flooded Kolter Elementary school at Beren Academy. Worked together with a church in south Houston, cleaning houses and distributing food. And also packing, cleaning, breaking down and moving displaced people of all backgrounds into new houses all around Houston. At the same time, the biggest news in Israel was something that we never saw before: the Israeli government sending a 1 million dollar aid package to help rebuild Jewish institutions in Houston. 

For many years the Jewish people around the world have supported the state of Israel and I didn't really understand it until I started my shlichut here. Over the last year I learned from the people in this community what is Jewish brotherhood and that Israel is part of people's lives. 

The Jewish Agency Shlichim were not the only ones running around Houston trying to help. Many more Israeli volunteers were working hard to help to the Houston community. Houston really embodied Kol Yisrael Aravim Ze La Ze. All Jews are responsible for one another. 

It's a very tough time now in Houston but our Jewish calendar is reminding us that tomorrow is Rosh Hashana! The new Jewish year! It's time to stop,  be with our families and friends, make some new year resolutions and start this year on a bright side.

It's a pleasure to be back in Houston for another year with you at the J creating meaningful and healthy Jewish lives. 

On that note, I want to wish you all Shana Tova, full of rebuilding and growth! 

Yours, 

Miki Plotkin 

The Israeli Shaliach