NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The remnants of Hurricane Ida barreled through New York in September. A synagogue situated in a low-lying area of Long Island suddenly found itself swamped in 6 feet of water.
Now, months later, it is still trying to recover, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported Wednesday.
The spiritual home for 250 families of Temple Tikvah in New Hyde Park is trying to recover from unprecedented shock.
Rabbi Randy Sheinberg and temple president Andrea Comerchero showed CBS2 the devastation from the remnants of Ida.
Most of the temple was drowning in floodwaters. Fish swam down Hillside Avenue from a nearby pond. A beloved sanctuary was destroyed.
"My grandparents were founding members of this building in the 1950s and my parents were married here. My husband and I were married here. My children were mitzvahed here," Comerchero said.
Remediation crews estimate $1 million in damage and more millions to remove mold, asbestos and rebuild.
"It's a massive undertaking. So much damage here. We've never seen something like this before," said Eric Magnuson of IPMC.
The temple, which is situated in a slight valley, found itself surrounded by water from Ida.
"I tear up because it has just been a tremendous blow," Sheinberg said. "I've been rabbi of this congregation for 18 years."
Three nearby temples are offering space for displaced congregants to meet and hold services, as Tikvah fundraises, prays for donations, and applies for emergency funds amid fears that the congregation may have to sell the building.
"We are going through the process of FEMA. Unfortunately, we don't know what that will yield," Comerchero said.
The word "tikvah" means "hope" in Hebrew, filling the temple's leadership and members with optimism that they will be able to rededicate their synagogue sometime in the new year.
"Part of my job is to keep the community together, to keep us maintaining our hope. And at the same time, we are grieving," Sheinberg said.
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