On Wednesday we worked on the Rebuilding Together site at Betty Johnson's home in the 7th Ward, glazing and painting the exterior of her family home that has been passed down through her family over many generations. Through talking to Ms Johnson and other New Orleans residents, I got to see firsthand how much pride and sense of home is connected to the city, and how many peoples' identities are engrained in the very fabric of the city's architecture, food, and culture. This city's character is something I've never seen in any other American city, and it reminds me so much of my time in Israel, because both places are more than just people of similar backgrounds living side by side. The very existence of New Orleans as a city and of Israel as a country is the product of an inalienable connection to one's roots, and without these connections, communities like these wouldn't be possible, and would either be swept up by commercial development or forgotten about.
By Noah Soloman