In This Section:
Answering The Call: Days of Community Service
Biloxi, MS - May 2006
With almost two dozen NAASE members and friends in the group traveling to Biloxi for three evocative days in May, came a whole host of tentative expectations, varied reactions on the ground, and differing perspectives. We thank all of the participants who shared their thoughts and their experiences with us via the ExecNet and in writing and through poignant photographs following their return. We hope to have captured even if only a small part of these three days of outreach and compassion, expressed through their individualized, unique and very compelling perspectives on these pages.
We Will Do, Then We Will Come To Understand
With those words, NAASE President Glenn Easton, FSA, ATz, began his recent message to the 300 Association members upon the delegation's return from this historic visit.
"Never before, had I truly understood in personal terms, the meaning of the Hebrew name of our association, Na’aseh, more clearly than following the recent Board meeting and days of community service in Biloxi.
"I shared the initial skepticism about the purpose and value of such a trip at this time, as voiced by others. But in retrospect, our work in Biloxi was truly an example of Na’aseh v’nishma. While seventeen colleagues accepted "the call" and engaged in various assignments to perform the mitzvah of tikun olam, it was not until later, when we met the owner of the home we were helping to repair and joined the members of Beth Israel Congregation in Biloxi for shacharit, that we fully understood and appreciated our mission and our work...
"Let me just add how proud I am of our Board of Governors, our member colleagues who joined us, and our association for seeing a need, accepting the responsibility, and generously contributing the energy and resources of NAASE, our home congregations, and the Jewish community. I would like to thank our colleagues Nadine Strauss, Harry Silverman, FSA, and Rabbi Moshe Edelman for their assistance in planning and guiding our Biloxi mission."
Excerpted from the NAASE Connections (June 2006) President's column
From Broadway to Biloxi
The annual Spring meeting of the NAASE Board of Governors has for many years been convened on the campus of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in upper Manhattan, in New York City. But this year was different - overwhelming support and encouragement were given for the relocation of this meeting to Biloxi, Mississippi. Part of the three-days' events were held at an airport hotel, the balance in the Biloxi community, and at the devestated site of Congregation Beth Israel.
The move from comfortable New York City for this meeting and its enveloping clean-up and rebuilding activities, prompted NAASE Executive Vice President, Neal Price, to describe it to a reporter traveling with the delegation, as taking the group "from Broadway to Biloxi".
Personal Journals and Reports
We invite you to read and be inspired by some of the extracts of personal journals and reports by particpants in this marvelous three day journey, and to be awed by the photos that chronicle the encounter.
- "Halo Av Echad L'kulanu? Have we not all one Father?"
by by Robert Hill, FSA
- Helping Hands... And The Power Of Their Tools
by Michael Simmons, FSA, ATz
- Imagine... Just Imagine
by Gilbert Kleiner, FSA
by Nadine Strauss
Yasher koach to each of them and to all others less visible, who perfom the holy work of tikkun olam.
You may wish to read how simple but resolute actions inspire others... how caring has never gone out of style... and how a team of NAASE Executives and Friends made a difference in our time! Read the original article from the Washington Jewish Week: Broadway to Biloxi.
You may also wish to read about the on-going work of the Hands On Network.
We thank our colleagues David Rothenberg and Harry Silverman for sharing their descriptive photographs with us as visual reminders of the intense and lasting experience you see depicted here.