Jewish Journal

When Its Not About You

by Elie Lowenfeld, Jewish Disaster Response Corps

June 2, 2010 | 6:27 pm

    After a disaster, I have met many different groups who have come to aid the community in need. All of these groups find ways to work together.
We, the Jewish Disaster Response Corps, have been working very closely with the United Methodists Committee On Relief (UMCOR). UMCOR found housing for us at the General Board Of Discipleship center in downtown Nashville; they helped us find work out of the Antioch Methodist Church; and we have shared meals with them at the church. In addition, we have also been working with two Americorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) teams and one TCCC (Tribal Civilian Community Corps) team. The TCCC team is comprised of youth from the Hoopa Tribe in Northern California.  Total: 1 Jewish group, 1 Methodist group, 2 government groups, and 1 Native American group.

    Last night we added one more group to the mix: Islamic Circles of North America Relief. They are an Islamic group. We had space in our housing, so we offered them lodging. We now have a Jewish group, and a Muslim group staying in a Christian building, it almost sounds like the beginning of a joke.

    There are few places where different religious groups work together as well as we are. How is this possible?  As we discussed it, the answer became clear. The issues that divide us as separate groups or individuals are our issues, but we are not here for ourselves; we are here for the flood victims and the city of Nashville. Because we are here for the sake of others, we do not let our issues get in the way of helping the people who we came here to help. We overcome our differences and work together because it is not about us.

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