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Florence Washes Out Yom Kippur At Wilmington's Temples

Temple B'Nai Israel on Chestnut Street had some trees down and roof damage that affected the sanctuary.
David Boraks
/
WFAE
Temple B'Nai Israel on Chestnut Street had some trees down and roof damage that affected the sanctuary.

Wednesday was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It's one of the holiest days in the Jewish calendar. But Hurricane Florence has forced synagogues to cancel services. The sanctuaries at both Temple of Israel and B'nai Israel were damaged in the storm.

Rabbi Julie Kozlow of B'nai Israel was with her kids in Los Angeles. She said 70 percent of her members evacuated and most aren't back yet. The city's nightly 8 o'clock curfew ruled out evening services Tuesday.

Kozlow said this Yom Kippur is "surreal."

“One of the things that I recommended to them was just stop and feel this," Kozlow said. "Slow down. Life is very frail and uncertain, and right now we've lost the trappings that allow us to pretend it's not. But this is really exactly what Yom Kippur is about."

She told members in an emailed message to honor the day any way they can, and to reach out to those who need help more.

Other temples outside Wilmington have invited local temple members to join them, and there are online observations.  

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.