This message comes from Dr. Dan Romm, a leader in Biloxi/Gulfport. In addition to his campaign help for UJC, he is the Vice President of the congregation in Biloxi. This is his Yom Kippur talk that will be delivered by Howard Levy, another congregational officer.
2005 Vice Presidents Yom Kippur UJC appeal
Unfortunately, I can not be with my Congregation Beth Israel family this Yom Kippur as I will be spending this holiday with Joyce, Jake in Atlanta. They were displaced there due to the hurricane.
I currently am commuting back and forth to Atlanta as I am still working at the Biloxi VA. My family wound up in Atlanta as a direct result of the generosity of United Jewish Communities.
The day before the storm hit the Gulf Coast, Richard Klein who is the southeastern chair for UJC called to warn me about the now Category 5 storm and offer assistance if I needed it later.
We evacuated to the Biloxi VA and after about one week of sheltering there, the VA management asked that all family of essential personnel be evacuated if possible from the shelter. I called back Mr. Klein. Two hours later, he called back with the family that we stayed with in Atlanta. Joyce left the next morning for Georgia.
I left that evening. Realizing that I had space to evacuate four from a shelter, I stopped at the Biloxi shelter at the school on Irish Spring. I took two couples to Atlanta, intending as a last resort to drop them off at the airport and give them enough money to insure safe passage to their final destination. However, on the way, I called back Richard Klein and he found a home for them in Atlanta that would make the necessary arrangements for these evacuees. A much better solution, noteworthy further because the refugees were not Jewish.
UJC also has given the CBI community ~$40,000 so far of direct donations to families in need. They also are working to help CBI rebuild the temple.
My family and my future is uncertain: we are in the process of buying a home in Ocean Springs to replace the one that was wiped out in Pass Christian. Plan B is in effect: stay on the coast. Plan A remains to find employment elsewhere within the VA as a Chief of the Rehab Medicine Service. When and if that will happen is unsure. However, I am sure of the kindness and generosity of UJC and that I will not forget that UJC is not just a charity that helps Israel, but they are there for all Jews in need.
I want to thank Howard Levy for agreeing to read this for me.
Dan Romm, MD