By: Donny Book (‘22)

MTA partnered with New York NCSY to run a Chessed Mission to New Orleans, Louisiana on February 12th-16th with Habitat for Humanity and Greenlight New Orleans. The devastation following Hurricane Katrina was immense and this important effort to bring aid and support to the New Orleans community went a long way. A group of 17 talmidim joined Head of School Rabbi Kahn on the mission, where we began by touring the areas that sustained the most damage and attempted to comprehend the tremendous losses that the families living in these areas have endured. We spent a lot of time with Habitat for Humanity, rebuilding homes and helping to restore the community. At MTA, we have a lot of opportunities to do chessed throughout the year. However, this trip was truly like nothing else we have ever done. Physically building a home and knowing that because of our hard work, a family will now have a place to live, is an incredible feeling. We also worked with Greenlight New Orleans, an organization dedicated to the sustainable rebuilding of New Orleans, installing energy efficient lightbulbs for residents. In addition to helping others, we were also able to bond together as a group at a Pelicans basketball game and bowling. It was great getting to know kids from different grades and classes and spending time with them. We finished the trip with a meaningful Shabbos at Chabad, filled with inspirational divrei Torah from various rebbeim and reflecting on what this tremendous opportunity meant to each of us.


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