Jewish group cites Beauvoir for aid to neighbors


"Beauvoir United Methodist Church has always had a good relation with Congregation Beth Israel," says the Rev. Marilyn Perrine. "When their facilities were heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina, we invited them to meet in ours." 


Perrine and the Beauvoir congregation were surprised when the church received an allocation of $5,000 from B'nai B'rith International Disaster Relief Fund.


Founded in 1843, B'nai B'rith has members in more than 50 countries and has responded to disasters in the United States and around the world since 1868. The application, made by Congregation Beth Israel on Beauvoir's behalf, was awarded to Beauvoir in May.


In a statement from B'Nai B'rith, Harold I. Steinberg, chair of the Center for Community Action located in Memphis, wrote of the special relationship that exists between Beauvoir UMC, Congregation Beth Israel, and the Jewish community of Biloxi. "B'nai B'rith International is proud to be a part of this connection.  We are most grateful to you for the work that you and your congregants do."


“We are very honored to be so recognized," Perrine commented. 


"At the same time, many other churches have done the same, opening their doors to displaced congregations, to volunteer groups, for use as meeting places for civic organizations. Our own effort is only one of many."


To Perrine and the members of Beauvoir UMC "it wasn't a big thing to do. Our church came through the storm with light damage, and we wanted to help any one who needed a place to meet." Beauvoir UMC contacted several organizations, both religious and secular, to offer meeting space. "It was just the right thing to do," Perrine said.