a downed tree
The grounds of Addison-Penzak JCC in Los Gatos after the Feb. 22 storm

Silicon Valley Jewish communities aid local flood victims

South Bay Jewish organizations joined in the relief effort for victims of this week’s flooding of Coyote Creek in San Jose that forced the evacuation of 14,000 residents, encouraging their members to donate money, clothing and cleanup supplies.

Temple Emanu-El in San Jose and Congregation Beth David in Saratoga on Feb. 23 sent email messages offering assistance to those affected by the flooding, and urging all congregants to donate clothing, blankets, bottled water and diapers for displaced residents.

“We just try to create a safe space for not only our members, but for our community,” said Megan Parkins, marketing and communication coordinator at Emanu-El. “It’s right in our backyard.”

Parkins said on Feb. 23 that several people had already come by the temple with checks donated to help support people displaced by the storms and subsequent flooding. The funds will be donated to the local Red Cross and Salvation Army chapters.

“We want to help in whatever way we can,” said Nate Stein, CEO of the APJCC. “It’s a community effort — Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley, the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center and Yavneh Day School are all working together on this.”

Heavy rains caused Coyote Creek to crest at 14.4 feet on Feb. 22, breaking a 95-year-old record. It forced the closure of Highway 101 in Morgan Hill and forced 246 people to be rescued by boat, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The city of San Jose posted a message on its blog on Feb. 23 saying about 14,000 residents had been evacuated because of the flooding. The city also announced in a news release that same day that more than $150,000 had been pledged to the “San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund at www.sjmayor.org or www.siliconvalleycf.org/sjflood.

Rob Gloster

Rob Gloster z"l was J.'s senior writer from 2016-2019.