(JNS) As Hurricane Dorian was unleashing its unimaginable devastation on the Bahamas, Rabbi Sholom and Sheera Bluming hunkered down in the capital city of Nassau, making phone calls to residents, galvanizing the community, coordinating with government aid officials and rallying volunteers during their country’s time of need.

After pummeling the islands for two days with winds in excess of 180 miles per hour and rain pouring down by the inches, Dorian moved on. At least 30 people have been reported dead on Grand Bahamas and Abaco islands, with scores more unaccounted for or injured. With power still out and some areas still difficult to access, the true extent of the destruction is only now becoming clear.

“During the hurricane, we got so many calls, texts and emails from people around the world asking how they can help,” said Sheera Bluming. “Now, we’re all doing all we can to help our neighbors in their time of need.”

The only Jewish organizational presence on the island, the Blumings are rallying their community and folks in Florida to assist with the relief efforts. Jewish centers in South Florida have begun collecting valuable supplies, including food, water, other staples, tarps and generators. A medevac flight—one of the first to get clearance to land in Abaco was shuttling in necessary items, including four satellite phones to help people attempt to reach loved ones. EMTs on the flight managed to airlift out the injured for treatment in Nassau.

“In life, we are called upon to bring light in dark moments,” says Sholom Bluming, reflecting on the reports of destruction and tragedy filtering in.

Even while traveling between Miami and Nassau to help coordinate the relief work, the rabbi has been attempting to get in contact with community members in Freeport. Once home to the nation’s original Jewish settlers, the Jewish community in Freeport—a city, district and free-trade zone on the island of Grand Bahama of the northwest Bahamas—has dwindled in size in recent years.

Summer Faerman from Boca Raton, Fla., is one of those helping in the now officially dubbed relief efforts. Turning to her community, she’s helping bring in

much-needed supplies.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.