With Hurricane Ida bearing down on Southern Louisiana, the Chabad Jewish Center community in Metairie, Louisiana, came together to prepare the synagogue and ensure community members have essential supplies. Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, is located approximately 45 miles east of the expected trajectory of the category four storm, and is expected to experience extreme rainfall and winds of up to one hundred miles per hour.
On Saturday night, community members volunteered their time to storm-proof the synagogue. They disassembled the outdoor structure where they have held services since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and waterproofed the Torah Scrolls housed inside the building.
Rabbi Menachem Ceitlin, a Chabad representative in Metairie, worked alongside his colleagues to reach out to local community members and ensure they have essential life-saving supplies. “We made it a priority to check in with people who live alone and are especially vulnerable during this difficult time.” Many people have evacuated their homes ahead of the storm, but most chose to shelter in place. The Chabad community has rallied together, sharing supplies and keeping in constant contact with those anxious to be facing the storm alone at home.
Sunday afternoon, as the lashing winds topple power lines and have left upwards of 200,000 people in southern Louisiana without power, Rabbi Ceitlin is hopeful. “It’s very inspiring to see the community come together and ensure that everyone is safe. We hope this will all be over very soon.” He expressed confidence in the levee system protecting the city from a rising tide and anticipated the restoration of power and air conditioning in the near future.