Printed from

Rabbis Blog

Rabbis Blog


Shalom from New Orleans

I will be attempting to update this every day. In the mean time check out the central site for videos and blogs of the last mission.

For updates from the orginizers checkout

I cried today for the first time since I got here. I was piling sludge that used to be books from one house into a wheelbarrow to be carted out to the garbage when one pile fell open and I realized it was a wedding album and a baby scrap book. You couldn’t make out any of the pictures but the covers still had names on them.
That house happened to be right by the levy and the owners haven’t even come back yet. They could face what had become of their house but they begged us to please preserve whatever we could. Unfortunately that wasn’t much. Most of what used to be their furniture and belongings had to be shoveled out. I tried to be more delicate with anything that could be sentimental a
Today I took a much more behind the scenes roll. Picking up dinner for 60 students from down town, getting 100 cardboard boxes for the students helping an elderly lady pack here belonging and move them out so they could start the demolition and coordinating students moving from site to site and tomorrows rides for some to the air port. And not least of all watching Rafi and Shmuel while Bracha worked and transported students from place to place.

The biggest issues we had to deal with Today was transferring students from the Habitat for Humanities site when they called couldn’t accommodate the amount of volunteers that they told us they wanted (there where plenty of people that where m
Today some of the traffic lights are starting to come on. I also got a chance for the first time to see how diverse the different sections are. On one block you can see houses that are crumbling and a mile later you can see functioning neighborhoods with people going to work and returning to their houses with their families at night.

Today we split up into 8 groups each one helping a different family. It must have been hard for the organizers to decide which people to send help to. I know they got more calls and they had to turn some requests down. They actually agreed to help someone who had already cleared all the mold out so that students who have allergies can work better. But it
Today is the day when it really sunk in.
Of course last night just staying in Rabbi Rivkins house where two rooms got so destroyed everything including the walls had to be replaced and every room needs air purifiers 24/7 to keep down the smell of mold. Made us realize what had happened to this city during that horrible storm. Yet nothing could have prepared us for the destruction and devastation that we saw today.
Driving to the shul where we worked today we where confronted by what we thought was a scene out of a science fiction movie. The area we worked in today had 7 feet of water. The houses look like they where bombed and then left a hundred years to rot.
Well when I read throu
Our trip was thank G-D uneventful except for convincing delta airlines to let us check extra boxes for supplies and food for the group.

The events unfold as soon as you get here. Its just shocking how an entire city can be wrecked like this. Things are getting back to normal, but seeing uprooted trees and tons of garbage (moldy building materials) piled outside on almost every street.

Today started for us at 2am when we left New Paltz. We drove down to Brooklyn to get someone to drive us to the airport so we could be there an hour and half early for our 7am flight. After 4 hours of flying and a stopover we met up with some students from colobmia and NJIT. Most of the day was ge