BOULDER - Homes, schools, streets, and parks all suffered severe damage in Boulder during the Colorado floods. Now, a synagogue is reaching out for help after being hit hard.
"I don't think anything has come close to this in the 33-year history of Bonai Shalom," Steven Hill, president of Congregation Bonai Shalom, said.
The extensive damage, which could easily reach around a million dollars, forced Rabbi Marc Soloway to hold services and classes in various temporary locations around Boulder.
"We have a tradition as a people of being wandering, the Wandering Jews and are like the Wandering Jews right now," Rabbi Soloway said.
Hill says maintaining services is important for their members, especially at a time when many of them are dealing with flooding issue at their homes, as well.
"We're a congregation of 200 families and so right now, it's kind of like they are spiritually homeless," said Hill.
Despite having to wander for services, Soloway is thankful that their scrolls and sanctuary were spared from the flood waters.
"It's likely going to be months and months before we can be back here," Rabbi Soloway said.
Most of the building had to have the flooring redone, drywall replaced, and furniture discarded. Even with insurance, the congregation estimates it needs another $500,000 for repairs.
"Since the founding of this synogogue, we've never raised anywhere near this amount of money and certainly not in the timeframe," Hil said. "I am very concerned about not being able to raise that, the amount of money we need."
The $500,000 figure represents the entire yearly operation budget for Congregation Bonai Shalom.
"So many of our congregants have suffered damage to their homes," Hill said. "This whole region in the front range was affected so much by these floods that we're really trying to reach out nationally."
Bonai Shalom is working with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism based out of New York to seek financial help. If you want to donate, click here: http://www.uscj.org/
Rabbi Soloway has faith that people will provide and his congregation will have a home once again.
"On another level, it's a reminder to us that a community is stronger than any building," Rabbi Soloway said. "To say that the spiritual and emotional space that we occupy as a community have to sink in the flood waters along with our building would be just like a defeat."