New York – In Video Appeal MBD Turns To Public On Behalf Of Seagate Residents


    Yitz Engel walked with Mordechai Ben David through the ravaged streets of Seagate and he showed some of the hardest hit areasNew York – As residents of Seagate struggle to cope with the aftermath of last week’s hurricane, the waterfront community’s most well known resident is appealing for help in the face of the utter devastation and destruction that struck the private gated community that is home to 250 Jewish families.

    In a sixteen minute video, Mordechai Ben David displays the remnants of his famed recording studio, which was completely destroyed by the floodwaters that inundated the basement of his beachfront Oceanview Avenue home. The entire basement and its contents, including the walls, floors, ceilings, ruined equipment and thousands of CDs are a total loss.

    Yitz Engel walked with Mordechai Ben David through the ravaged streets of Seagate and he showed some of the hardest hit areas.

    In the video, MBD clutches a flashlight and a waterline, several feet off the ground, shows the level to which the water rose during the storm. The walls of the studio, decorated with pictures and other paraphernalia, include photographs of many prominent Rebbes, including the Ribnitzer Rebbe and the kever of the Baal Shem Tov. Incredibly, the water line stops just below the many pictures of the Rabbonim.

    According to MBD, everyone in Seagate had a minimum of four to five feet of water in their basements and as he conducts a video tour of the peninsula community, the damage to the area is nothing short of catastrophic. Making matters worse is the fact that insurance companies do not provide coverage in the area for any property located below street level.

    MBD praised Simcha Felder for providing Seagate with a truck from Borough Park Shomrim, which provides the only electrical source and operational phone line in the area and is set up with a charging station outside for residents to plug in cell phones as well as providing food and drink to all area residents. The command center is staffed round the clock, taking calls from storm-weary residents, providing volunteers to help pump basements and provide other aid to the locals.

    For Seagate residents, the process of rebuilding their lives will be long and costly, and neither FEMA nor insurance companies are expected to come through with desperately needed funding for months.

    A fund has been set up to provide financial assistance to Seagate residents, who need everything from the most basic items, including clothing and food, to assistance paying for boilers and repairs to their homes. According to BSSP volunteer Chuny Dembitzer, only two to five percent of Seagate residents have flood insurance.

    “We cannot actually believe we are in America,” said Seagate resident Shmilu Follman, coordinator of Borough Park Shomrim. “It looks like a third world country.”

    To make a donation to the Seagate Hurricane Emergency Fund, which is being administered by Rabbi Pinchos Meisels, Dayan of Seagate, go to

    VIN News, photographer Eli Wohl visiting Sea Gate On Nov 1 2012

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    1. I want to donate and help my seagate brothers but only on condition they move elsewhere.
      There’s been flooding there every few years, although not as severe as Sandy. Anyone willing to rebuild and take the risk again should be aware that they’re on there own and financial help will rather be distributed to those in true need.

    2. My wife went to SG this morning to try and help.. Regrettably much has been lost and there wasn’t much for her to be able to do. We had a case of baby wipes and Granola bars so she left it there.. Heartbreaking!

    3. Is takkeh true that most people have no flood insurance? How irresponsible is that? To live in a flood zone and not have flood insurance is negligence. I also dont understand why people store valuables in their basements. Even people who do not live in Seagate know that Seagate has a tendancy to flood. And we has a full week warning of this storm.

      In any case, these people deserve our help in any way we can give it. But at least let’s learn from this.

      • can you please them know which insurance sells flood insurance from water that is coming from the ocean to a house that is less then 1 mile from the ocean? because there are a number of insurance agencies that live in seagate and the don’t know anyone that does.

      • the article said that ins companies don’t insure homes for FLOOD damage that are below STREET LEVEL! also, ins companies often don’t offer flood insurance to areas located in FLOOD risk zones…it’s penny wise for them – you get it? ins companies are around to “make money”, not to give it away! they gamble on you that you won’t need them! that is how they make they millions! most people pay for all kinds of ins – from medical to disability to car to theft to home to travel, etc., and the majority NEVER file claims. in the long run – the ins companies are the winners. they’re NOT stupid. and when one does file a claim, they will fight you tooth and nail to try to find a way to discredit your claim, so that they don’t have to pay out… and they will take their time doing this. been there, seen it…
        regarding the week’s notice of the coming hurricane, i bet most people didn’t believe it would really happen or that it would be as severe as it was – that’s human nature – never pro-active

    4. or they can see this as a sign from God & move to Israel where they really belong (as long as they do their duties such as serve in Tzahal & support themselves)

      • What about the tens of thousand of rockets that keep on hitting allot of communities in Israel for the last 20 years, is this also a sign from God to move elsewhere? and maybe not to do serve in Tzahal & support themselves?

      • You are worse than Levin and Leiter with their toieva marriage comments. What is the sign from Hashem every time someone dies thanks to the carnage on the roads in EY?

      • The stupidest comment yet! If this is all the help you are willing to give, move yourself to Israel and go into the army. you shouldn’t be living among ordinary citizens. perhaps you can be of use with ammo.

      • I think that in general, our entire generation in America is focusing on the smaller picture of their small issues and missing the genuine issues and greater focus – after the Holocause, Hashem gave us a great treasure – Eretz Yisrael. If we cannot live in Israel, at least thank Hashem for this gift. Educate yourselves and your children about this greatest miracle in 2,000 years. Focus on the gift for which our fathers prayed for centuries. Feel achdus with your brothers in Eretz Yisrael, and join in their fate. And ultimately, it is true. We do NOT belong in America, and this galus too will end, as all the other ones did.

    5. for all you people who blame the seagate residents for x having insurance or living there..the worst flood in seagate history was 20 years ago and that didnt do 10 percent damage like sandy just did so you really cant blame them for living there and as far as insurance goes it cost around 6,000 dollars a year for flood ins. not everyone has that money to pay especially if they never imagined something like this can happen.. ps and most residents do not live on the water

    6. His words: “We helped Yidden and Non-Yidden”; That part was very apealing and inspirational.
      We should continue being Mechanech our children, to love, care for, and Daven, and worry about, the well being of Yidden and Non-Yidden.
      Being Mispallel only for ourselves, can indicate a sense of selfishness, and does not portray us as true Baalei Chesed in the eyes of HKB”H.

    7. The Deeper Message of Hurricane Sandy (Algemeiner)

      “Or perhaps they may just be humbly reminding us – smack at the end of a billion dollar Presidential campaign – who is really in charge.”

      Yes, G-d is indeed the Master of the Universe. At the click of his fingers the seas churn and the earth trembles.

      P.S. The role of the Na’vi is an interesting one. They are both prophets of future events and also interpreters of current day events. They are also empowered/inspired/directed to warn a group of people who are following a certain course of actions that may lead to disaster.


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