Some Jews living in Wichita falls, the scene of one of the worst tornadoes which hit the Texas-Oklahoma border last week, suffered injuries but none were killed, according to the Texas Jewish Post. The tornadoes killed at least 41 people, injured 1000 others and triggered a wave of looting in Wichita Falls, according to town officials. In addition, two shopping centers and several residential districts were levelled.
The information about the impact of the tornadoes on the estimated 50 Jewish families in the north Texas city was provided to the Jewish weekly by Air Force Chaplain Elliott Weinschneider, who serves Jews at the Shepard Air Force Base as well as the Jewish families in Wichita Falls.
Two amateur radio operators, Herbert Bogart and Dr. Irving Rapfogel, sought contact with Jewish sources in Wichita Falls. After seven hours of effort Bogart was able to contact the chaplain at his home a few hours before the first Seder for a report on the effect of the tornado on Wichita Falls Jews. Bogo### relayed the information to a Texas Jewish Post reporter here.
Weinschneider said he had visited all the hospitals, finding only one Jewish injured person, Rebecca Seligson, who was released soon after the chaplain’s visit. The chaplain was asked if Passover supplies were adequate and said all needs at the base were satisfied and that he had received no requests for Passover foods from Jewish families in the stricken area.
The chaplain said he had not been able to learn whether any Jewish homes or businesses had been damaged because Wichita Falls streets were barricaded and deserted. He said authorities asked residents not to travel and said that any persons trapped in the area during the storm were in community shelters.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.