Sandy flooding closing offices of Forward, several Jewish organizations ‘for months’

NEW YORK (JTA) — A Manhattan office building that houses the Jewish Daily Forward and several Jewish organizations may be closed for several months due to flood damage sustained from Hurricane Sandy.

Citing an unnamed disaster recovery company official involved with the building, where the newspaper has an office on the eighth floor, The New York Times reported Monday that 125 Maiden Lane may remain closed for months while transformers, boilers and other equipment are replaced.

Forward publisher Samuel Norich reportedly said he heard from building management that 8 million gallons of water were pumped from the basement of the building.

“We had prepared for an emergency,” Norich told The New York Times. “The emergency we had prepared for was an act of terrorism, not this."

Forward reporters who had power at home worked remotely throughout the hurricane and into the weekend, and managed to publish its Yiddish and English paper the weekend after the storm.

Makom Hadash, an office sharing-initiative led by the Jewish environmental group Hazon, has leased space in the Forward’s office since 2010. The initiative’s partner organizations, which also are affected by the building’s closure, include Limmud NY, Moving Traditions, Storahtelling, Nehirim, B3: The Jewish Boomer Platform and the Jewish Greening Fellowship, an initiative of the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center.

JTA, whose New York-based employees have been operating remotely since shortly before Labor Day, is expecting additional delays in moving into its new Manhattan office on West 30th Street.

Several synagogues, Jewish day schools and other Jewish organizations sustained serious flood damage when Hurricane Sandy swept through the greater New York area on Oct. 29.

Among the organizations that sustained damage to their facilities from direct flooding were the Russian American Jewish Experience (RAJE), the Mazel Day School and the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, all in Brooklyn, as well as the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach on Long Island.

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