Devastation in Malibu - Update from Michael Schwartz

Michael Schwartz sent this update to Anneke Silverstein

'We are doing ok. We are blown away by the support, help, care and generosity of so many friends, family, strangers - community - all around the globe. We are well aware of how lucky we are to have so many who can and have helped us when we need it now...and how shockingly frightening it must be for the vast majority of people who need help but are not as blessed as us to have a support network that can assist.

Imagine a Syrian refugee whose whole town and family are swept up in war, or a Rohinga, or Yemeni...or a homeless person on the streets with no one to aid them...

We are staying at a guesthouse in Santa Monica while we look for a new place. I am trying to focus on the community and the great need of so many - we have 15 families (from Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue) who have lost homes entirely, most of the community still cannot live in their houses, and the synagogue is still only half useable - the fire came to within two meters of the building at several points and we have a whole team of remediation experts cleaning smoke damage and the air.

Nevertheless, we held a town meeting in the synagogue last night, held a drop-in space today for kids who are still out of school, and tomorrow i am putting on a Stan Lee film festival for high school kids who are also still out of school. Tom DeSanto the producer of 'X-men' and 'Transformers' will speak about squeezing positivity out of adversity and making childhood dreams come true. We are also looking to hold group sessions, art therapy, and other ways to provide emotional and spiritual support.

I am also taking care of myself and the family. Obviously, thanks again to so many for their generosity which gives me the ability to focus both on community and family well-being, rather than freak out about the financial abyss that would otherwise have been. Thank God we will be OK. But since we do not have a new home yet, just buying underclothes and basics for now!! We are not suffering. Incredibly busy though!'

For those who would like to donate to the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue, here is the link.
They will need a lot of help to support their members and all surrounding communities and organizations that were affected by the fire. Please donate any amount you can.