The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 21, 2013

Jewish, Muslim volunteers join together on Rebuild Joplin projects

JOPLIN, Mo. — Disasters knock down buildings.

They also knock down barriers between people.

Elie Lowenfeld, founder of the Jewish Disaster Response Corps, said that is a key principle of his organization, one of three groups of Jews and Muslims from New York working together this week on projects with Rebuild Joplin. The others are Bridges: Muslim-Jewish Interfaith Dialogue at New York University, and ICNA Relief, part of the Islamic Circle of North America.

“You see it everywhere there’s a disaster,” Lowenfeld said of neighbors helping their neighbors regardless of background. “You see the community join together to overcome adversity.”

The groups are working on homes in Joplin at 2839 E. 18th St. and 1901 S. Illinois Ave., and in Duenweg at 1320 S. Prigmore Ave. The home on 18th Street was Rebuild Joplin’s 24-hour build project.

The volunteers were bundled up on Monday as they endured below-freezing temperatures while they worked to build or restore houses to replace those destroyed in the May 22, 2011, tornado.

Lowenfeld said the first time the JDRC worked with ICNA Relief, volunteers stayed together in a church, and he thought how unique the situation was. He then thought that it shouldn’t be unique.

“It should be the norm,” he said.

Mia Applebaum is a 20-year-old sophomore at NYU and co-leader of the trip with the Bridges group. Her first volunteer trip with Bridges was last year to Birmingham, Ala.

“This trip is a fantastic opportunity to fully experience what Bridges offers,” she said.

She said the project is rewarding in many ways.

“I not only feel I’m helping the people of Joplin, I’m becoming a more worldly, open-minded individual,” Applebaum said.

Ali Ali, the treasurer for Bridges, said the idea behind working together on disaster relief is to create connections.

“The goal of our club is to build connections that aren’t there in other parts of the world,” said Ali, who is Muslim. “It ties people together.”

Adina Remz, volunteer coordinator for the JDRC, said she had been in touch with Rebuild Joplin and others in Joplin including tornado survivors in the weeks leading up to the trip. She said the people in Joplin have been very welcoming.

“It’s just been really meaningful work,” Remz said. “It’s physical labor, and it’s an incredible bonding experience.”

She said some of those with whom she has visited told her they had never met Jews before.

“I hope this will build long-lasting friendships,” Remz said.

She plans to return to Joplin during spring break with members of Hillel, another Jewish university student organization.

Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, with Bridges and executive director of the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU, said Bridges encourages students to pursue their ideas for volunteer and interfaith projects, even after they graduate.

King Day of Service

THE JEWISH AND MUSLIM VOLUNTEERS on Monday also were participating in the Day of Service designated to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: ‘Annie’ production is a family thing

    There’s a twist to this week’s production of “Annie” at Memorial Auditorium. The show, a beloved classic tale of an orphan girl in search of a family, is full of real-life family members.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 Band Box.jpg Jo Ellis: Carthage icon continues to play in local restaurant

    Chicago Coin’s Band-Box, also known as “Strike Up the Band,” has been a Carthage icon since the mid- to late 1950s. Any customer who frequented Red’s Diner, or Ray’s Cafe, and now the Pancake Hut is familiar with the pulsating rhythms and movements of this mechanical device.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Gubernatorial hopefuls make area appearances

    Three potential candidates for Missouri governor in 2016 made stops in the Joplin area this past week.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • shoalcreekcleanup.jpg Wildcat Glades center puts on service day at Shoal Creek

    About 20 people on Saturday pulled trash out of Shoal Creek as they paddled in canoes and kayaks from Grand Falls to Zan’s Creekside Campground in Joplin.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearts & Hammers plans annual home repair event

    Since 2003, volunteers with Hearts & Hammers of Southwest Missouri have made free improvements to more than 170 homes owned by the elderly, physically disabled, and single parent or low-income families.

    July 26, 2014

  • Money clouds farm fight

    For much of the summer, while the campaign surrounding “right to farm” has been focused on its impact on “small, family farmers,” the bulk of the money pouring into the fight has come from big agriculture interests.

    July 26, 2014

  • jameswelbornupdate.jpg Local teen completes half of solo river trip

    James Welborn, a recent Webb City High School graduate, has reached the halfway point of his solo canoe trip down the Mississippi River — just in time to celebrate his 19th birthday with family.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Neosho police warn residents of phone scam

    The Neosho Police Department has received complaints from residents saying someone impersonating a lieutenant from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office warrants division has been calling them.

    July 26, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A new provision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows qualifying districts with high percentages of students on food assistance to allow all students to eat free breakfasts and lunches. Would you agree with this provision?

Yes
No
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter