Hollywood, FL – Three World Bnei Akiva (WBA) emissaries who were just dispatched to the Jewish community in Hollywood, Florida were given 45 minutes to evacuate earlier this week as Hurricane Dorian was approaching. The emissaries, all of whom are just high school graduates landed in Hollywood just two weeks ago.Join our WhatsApp group
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“We began with news of the approaching storm, but the meteorological service does not actually know until the last minute about the hurricane’s level of severity or whether there is a need to prepare for absorption or evacuation,” the emissaries said. “Automatic evacuation is usually not encouraged in the community. Instead, it is preferred to be prepared as much as possible and to remain as long as there is no real danger. We were therefore instructed to fill our home with water and other supplies because regular sources of water and electricity lines typically fail during hurricanes. It is somewhat like being in a kind of a siege for several days until it finally passes.”
World Bnei Akiva and its Israeli branch, along with the Jewish Agency, took great care and concern for the safety and security of the emissaries. As such, when Dorian was upgraded to a category 5 hurricane, WBA and the Jewish Agency called the emissaries and told them to pack their bags within a 45 minute time-frame and to go to Fort Lauderdale. From there, the emissaries were picked up by a couple of emissaries who took the three of them to Atlanta, a trip that lasted approximately 10 hours.
As Hurricane Dorian ended up veering north and passing Hollywood, the emissaries were notified last night that they were permitted to return to their home. Matan Eliyahu, one of the three young emissaries, said: “At first when the extent of the storm was still unclear, we wanted to remain with the community. We thank World Bnei Akiva, the Israeli branch of Bnei Akiva and the Jewish Agency for taking responsibility in looking out for our safety, and we are happy to return to Hollywood in peace.”
The three young emissaries have been dispatched this year to participate in a program, the first of its kind, that is managed by World Bnei Akiva and its Israeli branch in collaboration with the Jewish Agency. The emissaries will be placed in various educational settings in Hollywood’s Jewish community and will coordinate and operate with the local Bnei Akiva branch.