Gratitude and Heartbreak: Devastating Loss in Boulder
To our JEWISHcolorado Community:
We are heartened by the outpouring of support from local and international partners to help victims of the Boulder fires. While we don’t yet know the extent of loss, we do know from news reports that more than 500 structures have been destroyed, including hundreds of homes, and that number is expected to be much, much higher. Continued support will be critical in helping families and communities rebuild. Contribute to JEWISHcolorado’s Boulder Fire Relief Fund here. 100% of monies collected will go to fire relief. See additional resources below as posted by the Boulder JCC and Boulder Jewish Family Service.
“From the ground, it is very scary and apocalyptic with smoke and fire still very much in the air. We know of several families in my community alone who have lost everything. Just a devastating way to end this awful year,” said Rabbi Marc Soloway of Congregation Bonai Shalom in Boulder. Wrote another, “So sorry that Colorado is faced with this terrible and devastating fire. My cousins live there, but we haven’t heard anything from them yet. Sending prayers to all of you.”
Rabbi Brian Field, President of the Rocky Mountain Rabbis and Cantors shared, “The Rocky Mountain Rabbis and Cantors, comprising Jewish clergy serving throughout the State of Colorado, are moved to do whatever is needed to support the thousands of people whose lives have been devastated by yesterday’s fires. Scores of members of local synagogues, in particular, synagogues in Boulder, have lost everything.… Tonight is Shabbat. This week’s Torah portion includes an account of the first seven of the ten plagues, each more devastating than the other. In the wake of yesterday’s terrifying fires, we encourage all of us to gather, reflect, discern next steps, and give thanks for the blessings in our lives.”
And from across the globe, our partners from the communities in Ramat HaNegev sent this note, “We are deeply saddened to hear about the wildfires raging across Boulder County and the surrounding area. As we follow the sad events as thousands are evacuating, homes destroyed, and businesses damaged, our heart pours out to you all. As your local municipality and emergency first responders work around the clock to end these fires, we are sending our love and endless support. Today, our residents are joining the Boulder Fire Relief Fund produced by JEWISHcolorado to help send immediate support to all of you in Boulder, which we hope will provide some relief for families and residents. Ramat HaNegev Regional Council stands united in solidarity with our Partnership community in Boulder, Colorado, and throughout the Colorado community through these difficult times. Ramat HaNegev will always stand and support you and your community, now and always. Signed, Mayor Eran Doron and Partnership Coordinator Jared White.”
Please know, we stand with these communities experiencing devastating loss, displacement, and personal tragedy. We offer our resources, assistance, and our heartfelt prayers. We will continue to share updates with our community.
Rabbi Jay Strear
President & CEO
Please email Rabbi Strear at CEO@JEWISHcolorado.org with comments or questions.
Helping Fire Victims
- JEWISHcolorado has set up an emergency Boulder Fire Relief Fund to assist organizations serving those impacted by the wildfire.
- The Community Foundation of Boulder County has set up the Boulder County Wildfire Fund for people wanting to donate in relation to the #MarshallFire and #MiddleForkFire to respond to immediate and long-term needs as they emerge.
- The Boulder JCC is open today until 4 p.m. to assist fire victims. Please also check the Boulder JCC website for continued updates.
- The JCC Ranch Camp has opened to house any fire victims. Please contact Rbocchino@jccdenver.org or 303-316-6330.
- JFS in Boulder is prepared to support residents in need of services including case management, mental health services, accessing emergency financial assistance, and navigating community resources to stabilize and support family, individual, and community wellbeing. In the coming days, JFS will be updating its website to include available resources, services, and ways to support residents who have been impacted by this fire disaster.
For ongoing information, the Boulder Office of Emergency Management will have updates on evacuation zones, evacuation centers, and much more
- Public Information Map, which includes evacuation and pre-evacuation zones
- Boulder County Government websites
- Boulder County Housing and Human Services
- Proactively sign up for the Emergency Alert System Information: Emergency Alerts will be sent directly to your phone
- Animal Rescue Request Form
- Colorado Responds Volunteer Form
- Boulder County Fire Lost and Found Pets
- Housing/ Supplies
- If you have shelter to offer displaced residents, please sign up to be a vetted host at Airbnb.com and you will be alerted through the Airbnb Open Homes Program if needed.
- The YMCA of Northern Colorado is accepting donations (blankets, pillows, dog and cat food) at their location at 2800 Dagny Way in Lafayette. Please follow their updates for what supplies are needed here.
Local Mental Health Resources:
- JFS Boulder County Crisis Counseling fund: jewishfamilyservice.org/bcc
- Mental Health Partners: mhpcolorado.org/mental-health/ or 303-443-8500.
- Colorado Crisis Services: coloradocrisisservices.org/home-alt/ or 1-844-493-8255 or Text “TALK” to 38255.
- BVSD’s Trauma Support Team has been activated and will be working to offer support to students virtually in the coming days. If you know of a student who needs support during this difficult time, please let them know through this Google Form.
National Mental Health Resources:
- Disaster Distress Helpline: The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call or text 1-800-985-5990to connect with a trained crisis counselor
Guides for Coping with Disasters:
- Helping Children Cope with Disaster: American Red Cross
- Coping with Disaster During the Holidays: American Red Cross
- Taking Care of Your Emotional Health After a Disaster: American Red Cross
- Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Other Traumatic Event: Managing Stress. SAMHSA
- SAMHSA Disaster Distress Hotline