Howard Co. agency raising funds for Ellicott City


Within days of the massive flooding of Ellicott City last month — the second time in as many years — the Jewish Federation of Howard County had a new page on its website detailing how the county’s Jews could help their neighbors rebuild.

“We asked our members to donate both money and supplies,” said Ralph Grunewald, interim executive director for the federation.

In the initial aftermath, those affected needed a lot of those supplies. A local church was coordinating that effort with the county, he said, so the Federation joined in and directed its donations there.

The biggest way to help was to contribute to the cleaning and rebuilding effort financially. The federation set up two ways for people to donate. One was a link to donate directly to the Howard County Foundation, which then distributes the rebuilding funds. The second was a fund established in cooperation with The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore for the Jewish community to donate to. That money is then sent on to the Howard County Foundation.

The Jewish community fund raised more than $10,000 in the first week, said Grunewald, and about $18,000 to date. Synagogues and other Jewish organizations in Howard County followed the lead of the Federation, he added.

The federation didn’t send any volunteer groups specifically this time, he said.

“This time around, because of past experiences, they had things very quickly in place with options to volunteer,” he added.
Grunewald also said that, unlike the first flooding, the federation had gotten no reports of the destruction of specifically Jewish institutions or businesses.

The donations have started to taper off, he said, but they’re still coming in. For now, there are no plans to close the Jewish community fund for Ellicott City.

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