Hurricane Frances might have caused power outages, broken windows, and downed trees last September, but it also built bridges within the South Florida community. When Rabbi Moshe Scheiner closed Palm Beach Synagogue and fled with his family to the Hilton Palm Beach Airport Hotel to seek shelter from Frances, they found kindness everywhere.
About 30 people gathered for services, including some non-Jewish guests looking for comfort. Hotel patrons shared food and flashlights during the storm, while children played bingo in the lobby. And when Frances blew pebbles that cracked car windows in the parking lot, volunteers helped tape up the damage.
Even before Palm Beach Synagogue suffered minor damage as a result of the storm, there were calls of concern from across the country. A Jewish youth group from Miami even offered volunteers to help clean up.
"There was something positive that came out of this," says Scheiner. "We will remember the caring and concern and outpouring of kindness."