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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

New Orleans Chesed Trip 2019/5779: Day 2

On our second day in New Orleans we began our chesed activities by partnering with the NOLA Tree Project at the KIPP: Leadership Elementary School. There, we were split into different groups to help out in different areas of the school.
Some of us decorated bulletin boards, hung up school decorations, separated answer sheets for state exams, diagnosed computer problems, organized the library, and more. We also had the opportunity to learn about the amazing work of NOLA Tree Project in restoring the beauty of New Orleans.
We then traveled to southern Louisiana where we enjoyed a thrilling airboat tour. We saw alligators up close and even were able to hold some! The experience was exhilarating.
The next stop was a tour of the Lower Ninth Ward and Jewish cemetery. We saw the destruction of Hurricane Katrina - even fourteen years later. We saw the houses that were rebuilt as well as those that have yet to be restored. We stood next to the levees that played a huge role in the destruction. We then visited the Jewish cemetery where the community members buried Sifrei Kodesh and Sifrei Torah that were damaged during the hurricane. It was touching to see how the community cared for these holy works like fellow fallen community members, burying them next to their loved ones.
After dinner, we went to the French Quarter and waited in anticipation for the famous Jazz Concert at Preservation Hall. Once inside, we realized our wait was well worth it. The  musicians gave it their all and everyone in the room was tapping and swaying to the sounds of their instruments and voices. It was a great end to a very long day.