(JTA) – It was a day before Hurricane Harvey was due to make landfall, and Rabbi Shira Stern knew she was headed for Texas.
As a director of Disaster Spiritual Care for the American Red Cross, she knew there would be people who would have other needs beyond shelter, beyond medical care, beyond a hot meal and a place to dry out. She met people just like them after floods devastated part of West Virginia in 2016, and when Superstorm Sandy pounded her own state, New Jersey, in 2012.
So after a circuitous two days of travel she found herself in Dallas, overseeing a team of chaplains in the shelters set up for families chased out of Houston by flooding that so far has claimed 46 lives and destroyed tens of thousands of homes and businesses. [Read more…]