Honduras Jews rescue Torah, aid victims of Mitch

Circulated to their friends in the Berkeley and Oakland Jewish communities, where Losk and her husband David Losk were active, the e-mail called for donations of money and Jewish ritual objects to replace what was lost in the storm.

In addition to killing some 11,000 Hondurans and rendering more than 1.6 million homeless, Mitch destroyed the Tegucigalpa Jewish community's synagogue after a rising river less than two blocks away flooded the building. None of the 35 Jewish families in Tegucigalpa, which is six hours by car from the country's battered north coast, was reported injured or missing.

The loss of their synagogue and some of their homes has not stopped congregants from helping other Hondurans find food, water and shelter. The congregants are trying to secure mattress pads for displaced Hondurans to sleep on. They also are supporting storm victims who are temporarily housed in the State of Israel School there.

Losk said that she would see to it that donations from the Bay Area for Honduran relief get to the right hands. Checks can be designated for mattress pads or kerosene. Donations can be sent to the Losks at TGU 0001, P.O. Box 025387, Miami, FL 33102-5387. The donations also can be sent to the Honduras Consulate General, 870 Market St., S.F., CA 94102.

Contributions of Jewish materials — Spanish-Hebrew siddurim, educational materials for children, tefillin and tallitot — as well as financial donations toward rebuilding the Tegucigalpa synagogue also can be sent to Losk at the Florida address.

Groups asking for cash donations

Contributions for victims of Hurricane Mitch can be sent to:

*American Jewish World Service; 989 Avenue of the Americas; New York, NY 10018.

*Central American Relief; American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; 711 Third Ave.; New York, NY 10017.

*JCF/Central America Relief, 121 Steuart St., San Francisco, CA 94105. Checks, which will be forwarded in full to the JDC, should be made out to JCF with Central America relief written in the memo section.

*UJA Federations of North America; c/o Central American Relief; 111 Eighth Ave. New York, NY 10011.