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'Absolute shock and horror' | Houston's Jewish community responds to Surfside, Florida building collapse

“We’re maybe distanced geographically, but spiritually, we are very much connected," Rabbi Adrienne Scott said.

HOUSTON — Here in Houston, many members from the Jewish community are reeling from the impact of such a tragic situation. Some are adding prayers to their services, while looking for other ways to help. 

Even a thousand miles away, they can still feel the pain. 

“We’re maybe distanced geographically, but spiritually, we are very much connected," Rabbi Adrienne Scott said. "When one member of our community is suffering and hurt, all of us suffer and hurt.”

Members of Jewish congregations here in Houston say it’s been a difficult day hearing many of those missing from Surfside condo building collapse are members of the Jewish community.

“Absolute shock and horror and sadness," Rabbi Johnny Ouzzan said. “Everybody is thinking about these people and everyone is seeing these images on the news, and just wondering how could this have happened.”

And the distance only makes it harder. 

“There’s not that much we can do from here. We’re in Houston, but the first response that we always do whenever there’s a hardship or difficulty is to pray to God. So we have different sections from Psalms that we read," Rabbi Ouzzan said.

Rabbi Johnny Ouzzan, with Congregation Beth Rambam, and Rabbi Adrienne Scott, with Congregation Beth Israel, say, right now, they will continue to pray, but they hope, in the coming days their outreach can expand. 

“So we want to find a way to, as soon as we can, to help send aid, relief, support, both in the forms of physical gifts, if that would be welcome and also in the form of our prayers," Rabbi Scott said. 

But what can you do at home? 

Well, if you’re Jewish, both say you can perform a Mitzvah and you should observe Shabbat.

But if not, they say there are other ways you can help. 

A GoFundMe has been created for the victims here.

You can also donate or volunteer your time with The American Red Cross. 

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