FEMA Bill Shifts Usual Orthodoxies

Legislation granting funds to Sandy-damaged houses of worship sparks mixed Jewish response, with some church-state watchdogs in favor.


How essential is a house of worship to a neighborhood?

Nathan Diament

Synagogues Closer To Eligibility For FEMA's Superstorm Sandy Aid

Staff Writer

The House passed legislation Wednesday that would permit the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide taxpayer-funded disaster aid to synagogues, churches and other houses of worship. The bill now goes to the Senate, which observers said would feel pressured to at least consider it in light of the federal aid pouring into the tri-state area following Superstorm Sandy.

FEMA Pressed To Change Law To Aid Synagogues

OU leading effort to recover hurricane losses amid church-state concerns.

Associate Editor

For years, the main challenge facing West End Temple — an approximately 90-family Reform congregation in the Neponsit section of Rockaway, Queens — was demographics.

Now, the struggle to thrive amid an aging and shrinking non-Orthodox population seems minor compared to repairing over $1 million in damages caused by four feet of floodwater.

Flooded with four feet of water, West End Temple in Rockaway had to dispose of most items inside its building. Rabbi Marjorie
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