STAMFORD - Florida Gov. Rick Scott urged 1.5 million people to evacuate Thursday, including Jewish people in the height of their holiest time of the year.
Rabbi Daniel Cohen at Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford says Hurricane Matthew hit at a challenging time, with many Jewish people celebrating the High Holy Days.
Rabbi Cohen says it is devastating that so many people in Florida have had to leave their homes during a period between Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, and Yom Kippur, which provides many the opportunity to think about their goals in the upcoming year.
He says since the hurricane has displaced people during the holiday, many aren't celebrating in their normal synagogue.
Rabbi Cohen says the doors to Congregation Agudath Sholom and others across the country are open to those in need.
Rabbi Cohen's sister, Chanie Kirschner, lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She says she has temporarily relocated to Atlanta, Georgia during the storm.
"We have four little kids. It wasn't just so much the storm as it was being without power," says Kirschner.
Kirschner says the lines at gas stations have been so long her husband drove a half-hour out of Boca Ratoon to get gas.
Rabbi Cohen says once damage assessments are done, he believes Congregation Agudath Sholom will start accepting donations to help those in need after Hurricane Matthew.