Thousands of Jewish families around the world are celebrating Rosh Hashanah over the next several days. Many here in Houston are beginning their holiday with their real and spiritual homes flooded.
Harvey left a catastrophic amount of water at United Orthodox Synagogues in Meyerland. Nearly 6 feet of water came in to this house of worship. The water destroyed nearly everything in the temple except for the precious Torah scrolls.
Amy Goldstein belongs to UOS, as it is known. She also had a foot of water in her Meyerland home of 12 years.
"The one piece of furniture we were able to save is my daughter's bed," Goldstein said. "It's hard, but we're trying to keep a positive attitude and see this as an opportunity to hit the reset button instead of mourning what we lost."
Goldstein said when Harvey put this temple out of commission, it did that to an entire community.
"For modern orthodox communities, we need to live near our buildings, because we are supposed to be walking," Goldstein said. "People have made their investments to go to this synagogue. There is no other synagogue like it in Houston, so what you're saying to people is move your house, leave your home, leave your synagogue."
This synagogue has 350 families, 200 of them flooded, and many of those are within the necessary walking distance.
"It will be a very difficult season but a good one in the fact that we're able to be together and we are able to lean on each other," Goldstein said.
Right now members at UOS are helping other members qualify for grants to lift their houses. Leaders here are putting in a plan in place to rebuild this synagogue so it's flood-proof for the future.
"It’s very difficult for the individual families that have now flooded a third time," said Jeff Klein, executive director at UOS. "Your synagogue is your focal point and to have that not accessible kind of rocks your world."