Rabbi Avi Schulman of Fremont’s Temple Beth Torah recently returned from a trip to help rebuild a home in New Orleans, and he brought back photos by another volunteer to help share the experience.
Schulman said the group he worked with, Adult Mitzvah Corps, helped out a Mrs. Lewis, 82, who is raising her 16-year-old great grandson at her house in the St. Roch neighborhood. The volunteers are shown above with Lewis at her house.
St. Roch, like many areas, was hard hit by flooding after Hurricane Katrina and still has a long way to go to recover more than two and a half years later.
Still, Schulman said one lesson he has been imparting since his return is that while trouble in the world can seem overwhelming and can lead to despair, every act of help counts toward the greater goal.
“If each of us makes an effort to repair a part of the world — it can be our homes, our community, our country,” he said, “then we are moving the world closer to a time of healing.”
In his case, he said his sole job in the week he spent working on Lewis’ house was scraping and priming.
“I literally didn’t put a single drop of paint on the house,” he said. “The next week, someone would come and carry on the work. It’s a collective effort.”
Shown below are (left to right) a dilapidated house in New Orleans, Lewis at her house, a view of the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, a house with post-Katrina markings by rescuers, another distressed house and an Adult Mitzvah Corps worker at Lewis’ house (click on the thumbnails for larger views).
The photos were taken by Robin Einstein, another volunteer.