A group of 500 Jewish fraternity students from around the world will gather August 5 to volunteer in New Orleans’ most prominent park.Student volunteers representing Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), the international Jewish fraternity, will participate in a service project at New Orleans City Park in conjunction with AEPi’s 97th Anniversary Convention. B’nai B’rith International will sponsor the project.
The three-hour painting and landscaping project will take place in and around the park’s Tad Gormley Football Stadium, just in time for football season.
“Tikkun Olam means repairing the world,” AEPi Executive Director Andy Borans said. “As AEPi is the International Jewish Fraternity, it is our responsibility to give back to the community. We are very happy to go to New Orleans with over 500 AEPi brothers from across the world and to team up with one of our partner organizations, B'nai B'rith International. During our convention we are taking time out of our fraternal business to not only fulfill the duty of our fraternity but of our faith as well.”
Since Hurricane Katrina severely damaged the park, volunteer projects, including AEPi’s effort, are helping to bring it back to life. As the most prominent recreation destination in the city, this project will have a lasting impact on the entire New Orleans metropolitan community.
“Partnering with 500 Jewish young men to help rebuild New Orleans’ main park is truly special,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said. “B’nai B’rith has been deeply involved in helping New Orleans for five years. This project will have an immediate impact on the community, and will also teach valuable lessons to the AEPi brothers about giving back.”
B’nai B’rith’s active history of sponsoring disaster relief programs in New Orleans began shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city—raising more than $1 million for the Gulf region. B’nai B’rith also demonstrated its support of the Gulf Coast by holding its annual policy conference in New Orleans in 2006.
The New Orleans City Park project marks the end of a five-year effort to assist in rebuilding homes, houses of worship, and other projects in states devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
“This project is the culmination of a long-term commitment to helping the Gulf Coast rebuild,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “We hope the citizens of New Orleans enjoy the park’s upgrades and that it becomes a great symbol of the rebuilding efforts in the region.”
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