Rosh Hashana Celebrated in Florida Despite Hurricane Threat

Rosh Hashana was celebrated in Fort Myers, Florida, despite warnings of the imminent hurricane. Shliach Rabbi Yitzchok Minkowitz is helping locals and has asked for the public’s tefillos.

Rosh Hashana was celebrated in Fort Myers, Florida, despite warnings of the imminent hurricane and thousands evacuating the area.

On Rosh Hashana, Hurricane Ian took a turn towards Fort Myers, Florida, as Governor Ron Desantis warned of damage to infrastructure, power lines and threat to life.

Rabbi Yitzchok Minkowicz, Director of Chabad Lubavitch of Southwest Florida, said the effect of the warning became apparent when only 1 person showed up for the Kabbala / Chasidus class at 9:00 am on Rosh Hashana morning.

“For davening we had a very small group, but we did have a minyan for shacharis, krias hatorah, shofar & musaf,” Rabbi Minkowicz said. “Our Kohen showed up, so we were able to have birchas kohanim as well.

A larger crowd showed up later for the post-davening kiddush, and they took the opportunity to daven mincha then.

That evening, enough people braved the rain to show up for ma’ariv, and a minyan was held then as well.

“There was a mandatory evacuation issued for our area, however by the time Yom Tov was over and we got word of the evacuation it was passed the time that we were able to leave,” Rabbi Minkowicz said, noting that the airport, grocery stores, businesses and schools were all closed.

On Wednesday morning, Chabad of Southwest Florida opened its doors to shelter members of the community.

Our Chabad will be opening its doors this morning at 10:00 am to Shelter people in our community. 

“We are requesting for all to add in Torah, tefilah and tzedaka for our safety,” Rabbi Minkowicz said. 

To donate to the relief efforts: Zelle to [email protected] or at

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