Members and alumni of Young Judaea, the Zionist youth movement of Hadassah, are organizing a Caravan for Katrina that will bring four 24-foot trucks to communities around the eastern United States, with the ultimate destination being a United Way relief center in Jackson.

Two trucks will work their way around the Southeast, and two in the Northeast, starting Nov. 10. Each truck will be stopping along their route at local Young Judaea groups to pick up relief supplies. Kids, parents, families and community members will be meeting the trucks with dozens of boxes filled with donated items. Donations will include supplies such as non-perishable food, blankets, new children's books and toys.

The members of Young Judaea see this project as an inherent responsibility. "It was a terrible thing that happened to the people of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi," said 17-year-old Elana Rothenberg, president of the New Jersey region of Young Judaea, "and I believe it is the duty of the youth of this country to rise and up and participate in the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast region."

Sara Sands, a 17-year-old New Orleans resident and president of the Southern region of Young Judaea, agrees. "Judaeans are compelled by nature to become involved in the world. I speak for the entire community when I say that any initiative, food drive, clothing drive, or new shelter is a good and necessary thing. The power of a single act should not be underestimated."

The first truck will pull out from the Jewish Educational Alliance in Savannah, Ga., on Nov. 10, heading to Charleston, S.C. and Durham, N.C. Another truck will start in Miami, Fla., and work its way north.

Northern trucks will start in River Edge, N.J. and Waltham, Mass.

On Nov. 20, the caravan will arrive at the Marcus Jewish Community Center in Atlanta at 8:30 a.m. The caravan will travel to Agudath Israel/Etz Ahayem in Montgomery, where it will stay from noon to 2 p.m., then Springhill Avenue Temple in Mobile from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

The caravan will arrive in Jackson on Nov. 21.

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