Two Jews in New York killed in Hurricane Irene


NEW YORK (JTA) — A Brooklyn woman and an Orthodox Jewish man were among those killed in separate incidents during Hurricane Irene.

Rozalia Gluck, 82, was trapped in the Valkyrian Motel in Fleischmann’s, N.Y., approximately 140 miles north of New York City, when the motel was uprooted and swept away by torrential water, VIN News reported. Onlookers could hear Gluck’s cries for help until around 3:30 PM, when the cries faded, the report said.

Gluck had been visiting friends from the Brooklyn Hasidic community, investigator Jeffrey Moore told the Associated Press.

Gluck was found dead by the fire department in neighboring Broome County some hours later, Yeshiva World News reported. The motel’s occupants, including her husband, had been evacuated earlier in the morning. It was not immediately clear why she did not leave as well. 

David Reichenberg, a 50-year-old Orthodox man in Spring Valley, N.Y., died after being electrocuted while rescuing a 6-year-old boy and his father from a power line felled by Hurricane Irene, the N.Y. Daily News reported. Reichenberg pulled the father and son away before falling into an electrified pool of water. Both father and son survived.

As of 3 PM Monday, the Associated Press was reporting 33 deaths attributed to Irene spread over ten states.

Before the hurricane’s arrival, some neighborhoods that are home to large Jewish communities in New York were evacuated by order of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The areas spanned the city’s five boroughs and included heavily Jewish neighborhoods such as Brighton Beach and portions of Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn and Far Rockaway in Queens.

The Orthodox website Vos Iz Neias posted halachic guidelines from the Orthodox Union, Agudath Israel of America and others for what to do on the Sabbath in the event of a hurricane. Among other things, the guidelines specify that one may leave a radio on in a room of the house that is not generally used if there is concern for safety.

“The rabbis are getting a lot of calls today,” Dov Hikind, an Orthodox New York state assemblyman from Brooklyn, told Reuters last Friday.

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