(Photo: Lewis)

(Photo: Lewis)

By Cathryn J. Prince - September 27, 2017

Originally appeared here in the Times of Israel 

NEW YORK — Of all the homes in all the flood ravaged neighborhoods in Houston, the group of Jewish volunteers from New Jersey walked into the Khourys’.

“The first thing I heard when we arrived was the accent of the mother. She hugged the rabbi who was wearing his black yarmulke and tzitzit. ‘We’re Palestinian. You’re Jewish. This is the best country in the world! This is America!,’” said Scott Wisotsky, describing the moment he and his fellow good Samaritans arrived at Victor and Mary Khoury’s home.

Wisotsky had traveled to Houston with the New Jersey chapter of Mesorah, a network for young Jewish professionals. The chapter’s director, Rabbi Yehoshua Lewis, led the group of 11 volunteers to help with flood recovery in homes destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.

Now back in New York, Wisotsky said the team is still amazed that of all the homes they could have been placed in — the August 25 hurricane damaged over 100,000 houses in the city — they ended up helping Palestinian Americans. For many of the Jewish volunteers it was the first time they ever stepped foot inside a Palestinian family’s home. Read More