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Subject: Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina

From: Molly Sheren <sheren.molly<-a>
Date: Friday, September 16, 2005
I received the following message along with pictures. If you want to
see the pictures contact me directly.

    ZAKA rescues damaged torah scrolls from New Orleans

    In a dramatic rescue operation, Mr. Isaac Leider, of the New
    York ZAKA Rescue and Recovery Organization
    <URL:>, waded through waist-deep toxic
    floodwaters yesterday with six Torah scrolls from Congregation
    Beth Israel, an Orthodox synagogue in New Orleans. A few of the
    Torah scrolls are believed to be more than 250 years old.

    "Out of six, only two are possibly restorable," Leider said, as
    he sat in an inflatable rescue boat with the Torah scrolls he
    recovered. "I'm glad that we did this, but I'm terribly
    saddened. It's hard to see them in this condition." The scrolls
    are blackened from the toxic water and severely damaged. (A
    Torah scroll, which is entirely handwritten, can cost over

    Mr. Leider, who spent five years with ZAKA's search-and-rescue
    squad in Israel, arrived in New Orleans last week to ensure that
    the bodies of Jews killed by Hurricane Katrina are treated in
    accordance with Jewish religious law.

    In the operation to rescue the Torah scrolls, Mr. Leider was
    joined by members of the National Guard and other volunteers who
    were brought by ZAKA in a private helicopter from Baton Rouge to
    New Orleans. The helicopter landed a few blocks away from the
    synagogue, and an inflatable boat was used to transport ZAKA
    volunteers to Congregation Beth Israel.

    Since the Israel-based charity organization, ZAKA, is strapped
    for cash, Agudath Israel of America partially funded the

    Upon opening the ark, Mr. Leider burst into tears as he removed
    the Torah scrolls, all of them drenched. The scrolls were
    subsequently handed over to representatives of the synagogue in
    Baton Rouge.

    ZAKA Rescue and Recovery 1-877-ZAKA-911

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:16
               Distributed: Thursday, September 22, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-19-16-004
Received on Friday, 16 September, 2005

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