Birgit Sacher, member of Santa Rosa's Congregation Shomrei Torah, comforts Nicholas and Zoe Miller who lost their home to the fires, Oct. 11, 2017. (Photo/Norm Levin)
Birgit Sacher, member of Santa Rosa's Congregation Shomrei Torah, comforts Nicholas and Zoe Miller who lost their home to the fires, Oct. 11, 2017. (Photo/Norm Levin)

Rabbis appeal to community for temporary housing for fire victims

Rabbis from a Santa Rosa synagogue located close to the fires that devastated Sonoma County are asking the Bay Area Jewish community for help providing temporary long-term lodging to 30 families who lost their homes in the blazes.

Rabbis George Gittleman and Stephanie Kramer of Congregation Shomrei Torah  are asking people who own vacation properties in Sonoma or Napa County (or near other impacted areas) to make their homes available to displaced families for up to two years, either rent-free or not.

“Families remain stranded at hotels, moving from house to house, and in shelters, with all of their worldly possessions stuffed into their cars, and with no idea whether they will have a roof over their heads tomorrow, next week, next month, and beyond,” the rabbis wrote in an email alert to the community.

“We can’t undo the trauma, and we can’t rebuild people’s lives. But we can put roofs over their heads. We can give them the security of a home base while they figure out how to put their lives back together.”

The rabbis stressed that short-term housing and spare rooms are not needed, and that long-term rentals are the priority.

Those willing to offer their second homes to fire victims should write to fire@cstsr.org.