Samui Jewish centre badly damaged in flooding

Flooding on Samui tropical island two weeks ago has left its Jewish centre with a damage bill of around two million Baht. The rain and floods at the Chabad House left everything under shoulder level damaged and virtually unusable.

Rabbi Chaim Eliezer Ashkenazi, Chabad-Lubavitch Thailand’s country co-ordinator, said electrical equipment and fittings, books, computers and furniture were damaged beyond repair. The ark which contained the religious Torah scrolls was also claimed by the floodwaters, but staff onsite at the time managed to rescue the scrolls themselves.

After a damage inspection at the time, Rabbi Ashkenazi said that he was struggling to work out where he would get the funds from to rectify the damage. The Chabad House has an attached kosher restaurant, and both are a haven for Jewish backpackers visiting the island and the neighbouring Koh Phangan.

Chabad-Lubavitch regional director Rabbi Yosef Kantor said that the centre would open its doors again once it had been repaired. After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Rabbi led the organisation’s relief efforts on the Andaman Sea coast.

The storms and rains that hit the Gulf of Thailand coast from Samui down to the Malaysian border during the first half of November claimed several lives as waves up to three metres in height battered the coast. Samui airport flights, and ferry services to the mainland were severely disrupted by the rain and waves.

Anyone wishing to donate to the centre’s repair can make a donation at https://www.mychabad.org/.

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