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Jewish families evacuated from their homes after Australian brush fires destroy houses

By Mason White 4:07 PM October 24, 2013
Firefighter battling a brush fire 

By: Ryan Lee Hall
(Scroll down for video) Hundreds of Jewish families fled from their homes after large brush fires destroyed many houses, according to fire officials in Australia.

Huge wildfires in Australia have forced many families to evacuate.

About 30 fires are still raging, and the fires have already burned 300,000 hectares of forest. Two hundred homes were also destroyed.

“All my belongings were burned. It is difficult and emotionally traumatic,” David Lake, whose home in the Blue Mountains, not far from Sydney, was destroyed.

He managed to save a kiddush cup, which was completely black but is still usable.

“Is this not wonderful?” He said, adding that the mezuzah on the front door was also spared.

Jewish groups and volunteers are helping the victims of the fires.

“We are coordinating and helping relief efforts and calling on all members of the community to participate, either as a volunteer or donate,” Pinchus Feldman, the chief rabbi of Chabad in Sydney, said.

Chabad is offering counseling and housing assistance.