Houston Relief Mission

Posted on September 14, 2017

When duty calls, New York NCSY’s IMPACT team steps up. On Sunday morning at six, a group of seven teens and two NCSY staff from around the New York area boarded a Houston-bound plane to aid the Jewish community in hurricane relief.

The teens felt that they had an obligation to go help their fellow Jews in the South. “I would look at the pictures of the devastation and I felt helpless- I felt that needed to get out there and help people” said David Mavashev of Great Neck (North Shore Hebrew Academy HS ’18). “It was a hard decision at first to miss school, but my teachers and friends were so supportive. It soon became a no-brainer. I had to get out there.”

They spent three days going from home to home helping people with their various needs. Some homes needed help packing up what they could save from the floodwaters, some needed heavier work like clearing out water-logged sheetrock and cleaning out the mess that Hurricane Harvey left behind. Each and every homeowner was deeply appreciative of the help. Mr. Ian of Houston said, “It’s just so great to see that young people in New York care enough about us to come all the way to help complete strangers. It really means a lot to us.”

Lunch and dinner were served in a local school, Robert M. Beren Academy where the teens got to sit and have meals with local people affected by the flooding. Getting to sit and talk to the people affected was deeply impactful for the teens. “It was hard hearing of their loss and the long road ahead they have to getting back on their feet, but it made me want to work harder and better for them” said Shawn Isikli (Hewlett High School ’18).

After three days, the teens returned safely back to New York ready to go back to school and share their experiences. Hayley Tanzman (Shalhevet High School ’18) said, “I’m looking forward to going back to school and speaking to my fellow students. I hope they’ll be inspired to get out there and help too. Hopefully on another mission trip with NCSY, but also doing things from home like collecting donations.”

To learn more about New York NCSY’s IMPACT team and how you can help support efforts to help people in need, contact Deeni Adler at adlera@ncsy.org.