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Looking Beyond Our Noses

06/24/2019 11:07:33 PM


Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss


Repair the World/One America painting project crew

Allow me to introduce you to some friends of mine: This is a picture from last week in the 5th Ward with my One-America colleagues (from left to right): Rabbi Steve Gross, Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism; Harvey Clemons, III;  Reverend Steve Quill, Founder, “TRUTH;” Sacha Bodner, Program Manager, Act Now Houston; Edith Washington, homeowner; Areesa Somani, Program Associate, One America MovementSandylane Oquenda, Housing Counselor, Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation; and me.

Not present at the time of this picture are other colleagues from the Muslim and Christian traditions.

For the past six months or so, I have had the distinct privilege of getting to know and work closely with these amazing people, under the auspices of the visionary organization “Repair the World/One America.” Based in DC, One America seeks “... to build bridges and solve problems. We bring Americans together across racial, religious, political and geographic divides to address pressing social problems—poverty, opioids, racial tension and more.”

We are a group of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim clergy and lay leaders from throughout Houston, and we gather monthly for a day filled with hands on post-Harvey repair work, followed by lunch, engaging discussion, tons of listening, and lots of learning. In the process, we build real camaraderie, which is the main goal of this effort. And because several of our participants have deep ties to Puerto Rico, we will travel in October for a mission trip, during which we will work with leaders on the island to learn about and help with their post-Hurricane Maria efforts.

I share this with you because

  1. I want you to know that this rabbi isn’t scared of working outdoors in the summer heat.
  2. I am grateful for my job and the way it avails me to really get my hands into the work of bridge building
  3. After this painting project, I feel like Ralph Macchio! (if you have read this far and you got the joke, email me and I’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in my next blog!)


Always remember there are, every day, big and small ways that you can make a difference in the lives of others. Just think beyond your nose and you’ll see them.

P.S. Ms. Washington asks everyone who comes to help her to sign the back pages of her Bible. These names are part of her prayers.

Ms. Washington's Bible

Events for the Week of 6/10/2019

  • Friday Evening Shabbat & Oneg - Friday, June 28 - More Info
  • Saturday Morning Kosher Pretzel - June 29 - More Info
  • 50s & 60s Jewish Singles Wine Tour - Sunday, June 30 - More Info +
  • CSK Women's Brunch - Sunday, July 13 - More Info
Sat, August 8 2020 18 Av 5780