During the High Holidays, we celebrate God’s creation, including ourselves. We read Genesis on Rosh Hashanah, in which God calls to us to be stewards of the world.

With Temple Israel building a new home, it seems appropriate that we help build a home for others. Temple Israel has joined Habitat for Humanity’s Carpenter’s Crew coalition, a group of 12 religious institutions that have committed to building a new house and strengthening a North Omaha neighborhood. Our members are volunteering their labor and raising funds so that a deserving family can purchase this new house through Habitat’s no-interest loan program.

This year we are helping a family open doors to numerous possibilities for themselves. In 2009 Ebenezer Wee, Say Klo Paw and their seven children made the journey from a jungle camp in southeast Asia to Omaha. Since arriving in our community as political refugees from Burma, they have been living in an old apartment in serious disrepair.

After several years of hard work in a local food processing plant, they applied and were accepted into Habitat for Humanity Omaha’s Homeownership program in March 2012. Ever since, they have been working almost every Saturday with other families to build not only their home, but other homes as well. They enjoy framing, dry walling and participating in Habitat’s educational workshops, and are looking forward to working with our coalition to build their home.

Temple Israel has pledged to raise $5,000 from its members to go toward not only the construction costs, but the cost of furnishing the house as well. Will you help this family and consider making your Yom Kippur donation to this project?

May our efforts at Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) help to inscribe us in the Book of Life for a sweet, healthy and peaceful New Year.