Hindus and Jews Collaborate to Help Homeless Children
On Sunday, August 19th, more than one hundred Jews and Hindus of all ages gathered at the Dell Jewish Community Center to assemble back-to-school kits for children in Manor. Six hundred kits were put together for homeless children. This was the first group community service project jointly put together by Hindu Charities for America and the Jewish Community Association of Austin.
The school supplies were funded by donation drives by Hindu Charities For America, a charity with the mission of promoting collaboration between Indian and other communities, to work together to help with the education of homeless and impoverished children in the US. As founder Harish Kotecha said, “Education is important to us and is a passion for us, and we will continue to support students in our local communities. We are extremely appreciative that the Jewish community has stepped forward to partner with us in this mission.”
Jay Rubin, CEO of the Jewish Community Association of Austin was thrilled to be involved with this project. He said, “We’re deeply grateful to Harish Kotecha and Hindu Charities of America for reaching out in partnership to the Jewish community and enabling us to participate in this wonderful ‘mitzvah’ project for children in need in the Manor Independent School District. Jews and Hindus in America have a great deal in common, especially a commitment to building community, maintaining our heritage and traditions and serving humanity. We look forward to sharing many celebrations and collaborations with the Hindu community in the future.”
To expand collaborative efforts and raise funds to provide more school kits to students next year, a “Bollywood meets Borscht Belt” event is planned for 2013. At this event, Hindus and Jews will come together to share a vegetarian meal with dishes from their various cultures and learn to dance a little in the Bollywood and Jewish folk styles. Proceeds from the event will help fund the 2013 school kit project.
Photography by: Ken Nordhauser