Skip Navigation LinksHome > News > Letters from the Front: From the Atlanta Federation

From the Atlanta federation:

Under the leadership of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, the entire Atlanta Jewish community has pulled together in cooperation to lend support and aid to both Jewish and non-Jewish evacuees who have landed in Atlanta.

Jewish Healthcare Organization Lends Aid
Based in Atlanta, under the director of Dr. Stephen Kutner, Jewish Healthcare International (JHI) is working closely with the Israeli Consulate's southeast office in consort with the Lt. Governors of Mississipi and Alabama. Both states have requested the assistance of medical personnel on the ground to aid Katrina victims. JHI is preparing to deploy doctors, nurses, psychologists and other medical professionals for week long (minimum) shifts to help public health workers in Mississippi and Alabama. For more information call JHI in Atlanta at (678) 222-3702 or email*.

From Atlanta to Biloxi/Gulfport With Love
Inspired by Biloxi/Gulfport community leader Dr. Dan Romm, who remained through the storm to help people in his community, even as his own home was destroyed, Jews in Atlanta are preparing to personally transport food, medicine, diapers and other essential items to Biloxi and Gulfport. Dr. Romm, his wife, and their 14-year-old son took shelter in Dunwoody with New Orleans native Andrew Gothard and his family. The Gothard-Horowitzes urged Dr. Romm to remain in Atlanta and pledged to help his home community. They put out the word and suddenly their garage began to overflow with blankets, diapers, clothing and medicines as friends and neighbors showed up to sort and pack the items. 

The Romms have rented a home in a nearby subdivision at a substantial "Katrina Discount," and are working with the Jewish community to enroll their son in school. Within 5 hours of renting the home to the Romm family, neighbors in the Waterford subdivision had completely furnished the place with donations from their own homes.

Congregation Shearith Israel, a Conservative synagogue in Atlanta, welcomed a group of 7 evacuees from New Orleans to their night shelter on Wednesday, September 8. These people are already on a list to move into an apartment, hopefully within 24 hours. A family of 6 is expected to arrive at the shelter today, and another on Friday. Shearith Israel also opened its doors to evacuees for religious school and welcomed 30 people from New Orleans on Shabbat.

Kesher L.D., a Jewish day school in North Miami Beach that serves children with special needs, raised more than $3,000 in just one week and sent it to the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta (JFGA). Teacher Jaime Farin and his class of 8th-10th graders, saw the destruction Hurricane Katrina caused and felt a need to help. The class conducted a web search in their computer lab and came across JFGA’s website, As part of a hurricane relief project they solicited donations from friends and family. “The kids did a phenomenal job,” Farin says with pride. These are young people with wide range of disabilities, but through this project they not only showed empathy for people in need, but increased their sense of independence.”