May 23, 2011 • GENERAL UPDATES
• Rabbi Rita spoke with our regional contact at the URJ, Rabbi Steve Mills, and with the Joplin student rabbi, Ariel Boxman.
• Congregants are encouraged to visit the URJ website to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund set up for the Joplin Jewish community.
May 24, 2011 • URJ UPDATE
We wanted you to be aware of the Union’s efforts in Joplin in case you or your congregants wanted to reach out to our nearby Reform synagogue, United Hebrew Congregation of Joplin.
The congregation is being served by student rabbi Ariel Boxman (she is Rabbi Bradd Boxman’s daughter and is beginning her second year of serving the congregation as she enters her fourth year at HUC-JIR). Ariel is flying into the area on Wednesday and will be in Joplin through Monday. She was already scheduled to be in the community for Shabbat, so she has extended her time there. Ariel is planning to blog about relief efforts in the Joplin Jewish community as well as offering her observations related to her experience there. Look for her posts on the Reform Movement blog.
The congregational building has survived; however, the homes of a number of congregational members have been severely damaged or destroyed. All but one member of the congregation has been accounted for, and a group of congregants are working to locate this person.
The Union’s disaster relief funds now include fundraising for Joplin. Donations can be directed to the general URJ relief fund or can specifically be earmarked to address the needs in Joplin United Hebrew Congregation in Joplin has already had some offers of assistance from nearby Reform congregations; feel free to reach out to Ariel for more information if you and your congregation would like to assist United Hebrew Congregation as they are beginning to deal with the enormity of the tragedy for their community.