"We're already practicing tikkun olam--repairing the world--in our day-to-day lives," says Jonathan Graboies, a resident of Moishe House in New Orleans, "so in a way we're being Jewish even without being in the synagogue."
In D'Iberville, Mississippi, near Biloxi, almost three years after Hurricane Katrina, volunteers from around the country celebrated the rebuilding of nearly a thousand homes.
As we look for signs of resurrection in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many residents along the Gulf Coast still feel neglected by local, state, and national politicians. Often, it's the faith-based institutions that are providing the majority of physical and social support. Two New Orleans pastors, Lance Eden and Jerry Kramer, say they are seeing new meanings in traditional Holy Week themes.
A new report says this year Americans gave record amounts of private charitable donations. Another report says Americans donated nearly $3 billion to post-hurricane relief efforts. Yet nearly four months after Hurricane Katrina, the magnitude of the destruction is still difficult to comprehend. In the midst of it, many people here say the themes of Christmas are echoing in new and poignant ways.