As many of you know, Reb Zalman’s basement library, prayer room and office were severely damaged in the recent floods in Boulder. For weeks, a steady stream of volunteers from all across the community (some even coming up from Denver) worked in his house, pumping water out of the basement, carrying up furniture, office equipment, as well as thousands of books, photographs, papers, and ritual items. While some volunteers organized these items in the garage and put books out on the lawn to dry, others set about the difficult and messy work of cutting-out and carrying up the ruined carpet and drywall. Most of these volunteers just showed up, without being asked, and started to help with whatever was needed. Unfortunately, we never learned most of their names, though each and every one of them has our gratitude. Especially helpful were a group of volunteers organized and led by Stephanie Yuhas of the University of Colorado Archives (where Reb Zalman’s own collection is held) in conjunction with the Program in Jewish Studies, which arranged for a storage POD to be placed in the driveway of the house. Other volunteers helped to make sure that Reb Zalman would still be able to observe the holiday of Sukkot (happening at the same time), setting up and decorating his sukkah and taking it down again when the holiday was over.
At this point, Reb Zalman has a temporary office set-up in a spare room on the main floor of his home while professional workers have sealed off the the basement and work on reclaiming it from the flood damage. He is understandably drained from the stress of the situation, but is doing well and is in good spirits. He would like to thank all of you for your prayers and offerings of support. Shortly after the damage was known, the Yesod Foundation and ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal sent out requests for donations to help off-set the costs of repair, as Reb Zalman, like most flood victims in Boulder, does not have flood insurance. The response was overwhelming and the donations he received will go a long way in helping him repair his home and replace many of the items that were irreparably damaged. However, it is expected that the cost of repairs will be more than what has currently been collected. So if you would be interested in donating to Reb Zalman for this purpose, please feel free to go to the donations page to use the donation button or the address for donations found there.
— Netanel Miles-Yépez