Rebuilding New Orleans

“My relationship to G-d, Judaism and the Jewish people has been restored.”
– A homeowner whose home we helped restore.

Beginning in December 2005 – four months after Hurricane Katrina – supporters of the Foundation went for the first of three trips to New Orleans to help rebuild homes. In 2005, with help from the Jewish Federation and the Reform Jewish Movement, we partnered with Temple Sinai and stayed in the homes of Jewish families. We put sheetrock on four homes that had been gutted and remediated from mold.

A Time to Plant Flowers

The following December 2006, we partnered with the Touro Synagogue and Rabbi Andrew Busch. Volunteers for America through Cathie Peterman connected us to the Vine Baptist Church and Pastor Jeanjacques, with whose help we identified two homes in the Upper Ninth Ward in need of repair. One owner took three days to come out from her FEMA trailer on the property but soon began to plant flowers in areas we had prepared.

The Work Continues…

We returned in December 2007. This time we partnered with Rebuilding Together which found us an appropriate home belonging to the Proffitts. The organization made sure that neighborhood services and a sense of real community will be renewed as well. We were supported by Congregation Gates of Prayer and Rabbi Robert Loewy. Once again, it was a week of Jewish Religious Living, combining physical work, worship and study.

Special Family, Special Help

We have made a deep connection with one of the few Jewish policemen in New Orleans. He stayed through the aftermath of the hurricanes to help others. His house had shifted on its foundation and could not be restored. When he gave an unscrupulous contractor $40,000 to start building a new one and lost it all, we raised enough money to replace it completely. We look forward to seeing the progress being made on it in December. Listen to his daughter sing a “duet” with Louie Armstrong in the video “Four Months Later.”