In 2004, I lived in Tampa Florida. That summer, the summer before Katrina hit New Orleans, we had four named hurricanes. It was scary. Our community experienced some damage and extensive power outages. I remember it well.

However, nothing that summer compared to the fear of a tornado coming straight towards your city. On Memorial Day evening, I was alone in my townhouse with the television screaming its warnings in tandem with my phone and the disaster warning sirens blaring outside.

The next day it became clear that although my neighborhood eluded destruction, there was great damage to a number of surrounding communities. This included many of the northern neighborhoods, townships and cities.

Our Jewish Family Services Director Tara Feiner reported that “immediately following the tornadoes and severe weather that devastated Dayton, Jewish Family Services (JFS) sprang into action to help our clients in need. JFS was on the ground and met face-to-face with our clients to ensure every one of them was safe. Our client list grew every day as concerned community members called us to make sure their loved ones and friends had their needs met.

We are continuing to assist our clients who are impacted by the tornadoes and their long-term consequences. As Dayton moves from relief to recovery and into rebuilding, Jewish Family Services will stay connected to our clients and Dayton. We will continue to communicate the most effective volunteer opportunities through our JFS and FederationFacebook pages as well as in our weekly emails.”

While JFS continues to help our clients, we as a Jewish community can help our neighbors. By opening the Tornado Relief Fund, we will collect donations to be gifted from the Jewish Community as a whole, to the Miami Valley Community Action Partnership and the American Red Cross. Both organizations are providing help daily to those looking for a path out of the wreckage to rebuild their lives.

Donations donated to the Tornado Relief Fund will be equally split between these two agencies, on behalf of Dayton’s Jewish community. You can donate online at




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