OU Still Collecting Funds for Tornado Victims of Oklahoma City

03 Jun 2013


A volunteer from the Oklahoma City Chabad clears debris as part of ongoing tornado relief efforts in Moore, OK.

The Orthodox Union recently sent the first $15,000 received by its Natural Disaster Crisis Fund, which was activated immediately after a tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, to the Chabad Community Center of Oklahoma City, which is distributing disaster relief.

The funds were sent by the OU, with the approval of President Martin Nachimson, to Chabad Rabbi Ovadia Goldman in order to immediately enable him to provide assistance to people whose homes had been destroyed. The payments will take the form of cash or gift cards. Rabbi Goldman explained the urgent need for these funds in a discussion with Mayer Fertig, OU chief communications officer.

Rabbi Goldman received a letter of appreciation for the acts of kindness performed for a grateful recipient. The writer of the remarkable letter granted permission for the letter to be shared, excluding his name, as Rabbi Goldman advises that there is still a significant need for financial assistance, especially after additional tornadoes hit the area over the weekend.

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“On Monday, May 20th, my wife and I lost our house. It was completely destroyed by the tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma. Over the next few days, we began the slow process of salvaging what we could from what was left of the house.

On either Wednesday or Thursday of that week, my wife and I were approached by who I believe was Rabbi Goldman and another individual as we were digging through our house.

Much to our surprise, Rabbi Goldman surprised us with a $100 giftcard to Wal-Mart and a $100 giftcard to Target. This blessing brought both my wife and I to tears, which I’m sure was evident in the photograph we took. We had been struggling to figure out how we would be able to afford some prescriptions that were lost in the tornado. This immediately answered one of our prayers. We used the leftover funds to buy her some shoes for work that were destroyed and other basic furnishings as we worked on our relocation.

To whoever receives this, please pass this along to any of the donors or leadership of the Orthodox Union. I have had very little interaction with the Jewish community over my life, but this gesture will forever impact my view. I have shared this story with many friends and families and cannot express my gratitude for the assistance when I was at my lowest. Thank you to everyone who made this blessing possible.”

(Name withheld by request)

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The OU is still collecting for the Natural Disaster Crisis Fund to be sent to Rabbi Goldman for immediate distribution. Donations may be made on the OU website www.ou.org.

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