Jewish groups pitch in to aid bridge victims

8 08 2007

Jewish Ledger

ASHINGTON (JTA)- Minneapolis-area Jews are offering aid and solace to victims of the tragic collapse of the I-35W Bridge in that city — and giving thanks for the survival of a former yeshiva student.In a statement posted on its Web site, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas declared: “The JCRC stands ready to assist the community in any way needed.” The site has been updated with information for those seeking ways to help the victims. The bridge collapsed Aug. 1 during evening rush hour, leaving at least five dead and 79 injured. As of Sunday, eight people were still missing.Among the survivors is 20-year-old Roman Koyrakh — a former student at Torah Academy, a yeshiva in suburban Minneapolis — whose car plunged into the Mississippi River.

“There was a loud bang, and my car buckled suddenly,” he told Vos Iz Neias, a religious news Web site. “Dust and smoke shot up all around and the next thing I knew I was falling, plunging headfirst.”

Fearing the end, he said the Shema prayer, but managed to free himself from his seat belt and open the car door. He made it to dry ground and was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries.


Koyrakh credited God for his survival, telling the news site: “Hashem saved me. There’s no other explanation” for such miracles.Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis and the JCRC partnered to offer free crisis intervention counseling for victims, their families and responders, as well as survivors.



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