an open letter to the world to help New Orleans (yes, still)

From April 10 through April 17, 2011, Emily and I will be joining a group of Rodef Sholom congregants on a mission to New Orleans where we will help to rebuild a school called Our School at Blair Grocery (www.ourschoolatblairgrocery.org) in the  Lower Ninth Ward. We visited this same school last year and were deeply moved by the wonderful work that Nat Turner, the school’s founder, is doing in this still decimated community.  Please see the photos above that I’ve attached from last year’s trip.  It’s hard to believe that 5 years after Katrina there are still areas of New Orleans that are suffering such hardship.  Our group, which includes both adults and young people (14 to 77 years old), will be working alongside Nat and his people to help re-build the school and the community. Our synagogue group is being hosted by a larger disaster recovery group called Jewish Funds for Justice www.jewishjustice.org, which works in disaster recovery in areas throughout the world.

We are writing to you because we hope to raise $500 for Our School at Blair Grocery to buy necessary items  for the school, to bring comfort and dignity to the students who learn there, and to aid the community as a whole.  We know that when we travel to New Orleans we will not be going alone.  We are going on behalf of our friends, family and our entire synagogue community.  With your help we can lighten the burden and bring healing and redemption to many broken lives.

Please send checks made out to Congregation Rodef Sholom (so that you can each receive a tax deduction).  Write “New Orleans” in the memo section of the check, and send it to Congregation Rodef Sholom, 170 No. San Pedro Road, San Rafael, CA  94903.  Or you can send a note via the comments box below and we will coordinate pick-up. 

If you are unable to support our work financially, please be assured that we understand.  We do ask for your good wishes as we travel to New Orleans again this year.

 L’shalom,
 Leslie and Emily

 The concern for justice is an act of love.
~Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

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