Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff of Houston, Texas, is in the running for the Jewish Community Hero Award after a local resident nominated him for his work as co-director of the Chabad House serving the city’s Uptown community.

Operated by United Jewish Communities, the Jewish Community Heroes competition highlights the efforts of leading individuals in their local communities. Some 43 people have been nominated through the program’s Web site, where visitors can vote for their hero; Lazaroff is currently in ninth place.

This fall, judges will select five finalists from the top 10 nominees; a winner and four honorees will be announced at the annual UJC General Assembly in November. The winner will receive $25,000 to use in his or her charitable endeavors.

Lazaroff’s nomination offered the Chabad House’s work in the wake of last year’s Hurricane Ike, which left thousands of Houston residents without power.

“Everyone was devastated and many were without power for a long time,” writes the person who nominated the rabbi. “They brought in kosher meals for [Shabbat] for all the people [without] power.” …