Today, a group of Young Judaea teens worked alongside the CSED (Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development) assisting residents of the lower 9th ward with the reconstruction of dilapidated homes. My group helped a woman paint her house and do yard work leveling soil and cleaning the yard.

After finishing our tasks, we decided to explore the surrounding areas of the lower 9th. While walking around, we noticed multiple sites of devastation which gave us a new perspective on the destruction of August, 2005.  One site in particular triggered emotional responses from everyone.  The ceiling of the  home had caved in, the wooden beams inside were rotted and the front door still hung off its hinges. This was just one example of how much work still needed to be done in the lower 9th ward. Even the small tasks we did, such as leveling soil, can have a huge impact on the lives of the residents. CSED demonstrated to the YJ teens what a great community of people live in the lower 9th. As an organization YJ strives to educate teens, not only about the aftermath of Katrina, but about community service and giving back to society.

~ Allie Kaplan, 10th Grade, Englewood, NJ

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