by Emilio Gandolffi-Levine
Northwest Yeshiva High School (NYHS) assisted the Jewish community in Houston in recovering from the damages Hurricane Harvey caused on August 25th, 2017.
The hurricane had devastating effects on the entire Houston community, and caused the death of 88 people and the loss of 125 billion dollars in damage repair. The Jewish community in Houston of approximately 51,000 people were greatly affected by the hurricane.
At first NYHS delivered materials such as packing tape and moving boxes to the Jewish community in Houston. “We all witnessed the terrible tragedy and devastation in Houston with the hurricane and flooding and a number of our students stepped up and asked what they could do to help,” said Head of School Jason Feld.
The school then launched a larger project to continue assisting the community. Students and staff worked to design and create Mezuzahs with NYHS’s 3D printers. Mezuzahs are an essential part of the Jewish practice and giving these sacred objects to the members of the Houston Jewish community was a sign of support from NYHS.
Many students participated in the creation of these Mezuzahs. Some students helped design them, while others oversaw them being fabricated in the printer.
“Everyone participated in taking watch over the Mezuzahs. They double checked to make sure the wires weren’t broken or twisted so that the process was going smoothly,” said sophomore Dina Koyfman.
The mezuzahs were sent to Robert M. Beren Academy, a Jewish school in the Houston area. The Mezuzahs were then distributed to the Jewish families in the community.
“The Mezuzahs are absolutely and continue to be relevant,” said Dr. Paul Oberman, head of school at Beren Academy.
While Oberman says that the repairs in the Houston Jewish community are “a much slower process than you might think,” he also expresses his gratitude for the Mezuzahs saying they “are a symbol of the help we received from the Seattle community.”