Jewish and Muslim college students come together to help Moore tornado victims

Jewish-Muslim-students-disaster-reliefAndrew W. Griffin, Red Dirt Report

MOORE, Okla. – Eight months after a devastating tornado struck neighborhoods here in Moore, the rebuilding effort continues as better, stronger homes are constructed by private companies and groups like Habitat for Humanity.

In addition, service-oriented groups have been flooding into Moore over these many months to offer their assistance and a little sweat, swinging hammers, pounding nails and painting walls.

On Wednesday, Red Dirt Report found itself on Kings Manor Drive, behind the Warren Theatre, which is essentially ground zero for the May 20th tornado. On the outside of the house, college students were steadily working on the under-construction home of Louis and Cindy Henderson.

The college students, many from New York University, were in Moore as part of an interfaith co-effort involving the NYU Muslim student group Bridges and the Jewish Disaster Response Corps.

Adina Remz, executive director of JDRC -- a New York-based Jewish faith-based group which was founded in 2009 by NYU's Elie Lowenfeld -- explained that the organization seeks to assist in the aftermath of domestic disasters while exhibiting Jewish values and a commitment to help others. ...

Saad Khan, a Delaware native and president of NYU"s Muslim Bridges group, which works on engaging in interfaith dialogue and working alongside their Jewish brothers and sisters, while learning more about one another.

"The whole idea is to get to know each other and work in coexistence with each other," Khan said, adding that he has helped in rebuilding efforts in Joplin and Birmingham.

And Adam Soltani, the executive director of the Oklahoma Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) was also on hand to help out at the bustling work site.

"One of the goals of faith is to bring people together regardless of their differences to do good in society. The NYU Jewish-Muslim Bridges students have shown Oklahomans they can do just that all the while helping rebuild our state and improve the quality of life for Moore residents," Soltani said. (Read more)


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