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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Tree felled by Sandy kills Jewish teacher, college student

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Hurricane Sandy on October 25, 2012, with winds of 90 mph

 Two young Jews were killed in Brooklyn by a falling tree during superstorm Sandy.

The pair were out walking a dog Sunday night in the storm's high winds.

The dead were identified by The New York Observer as Jessie Streich-Kest, 24, the daughter of Jon Kest, executive director for New York Communities for Change, who worked as a high school teacher in the city, and Jacob Vogelman, a student at Brooklyn College. The two had been friends since middle school, according to the Observer.

They were discovered dead Monday, crushed by the fallen tree. The dog was taken to an emergency veterinary clinic.

At least 45 people in the United States and 68 outside of the U.S. have been killed in the one-of-a-kind storm, and more than 7 million people in 13 states were without power.

Meanwhile, Jewish institutions on the East Coast began to open up again. The UJA-Federaion of New York announced on its website that its offices in Manhattan and Westchester would reopen, though its Long Island office would remain closed.

John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Newark International Airport in New Jersey were scheduled to reopen at 7 a.m. Wednesday with limited service, though New York's LaGuardia Airport remained closed.

Thousands of Israeli airline passengers and Americans in Israel trying to return home had their flights to the United States canceled on Monday and Tuesday. Israelis trying to get home also remained stranded in New York, New Jersey and the D.C. area. In all  more than 14,000 flights reportedly were canceled due to Sandy.

According to figures released Tuesday by the Long Island Power Authority, more than 930,000 families -- 90 percent of all island residents -- are without power after Hurricane Sandy wrought havoc Monday night across the northeastern United States. Among those 930,000 are an estimated 139,000 Jewish households

The greater New York area, home to the largest population of Jews in North America, took a harsh hit as severe winds and flooding toppled trees, triggered electrical fires and flooded public transportation systems. The result: mass evacuations of apartments and dormitories, widespread school closings and damaged homes and community institutions.

Jewish institutions throughout the eastern United States remained closed Tuesday.

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