Elie Lowenfed, 23, is the founder of the Jewish Disaster Response Corps (JDRC), which he started while still an undergraduate at NYU. In August 2009, he organized JDRC’s first official relief trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was a year after flooding had devastated the city (and the entire eastern half of the state), taking out ten square miles of its downtown. He and fourteen other Jewish students (seven from New York and seven from the Midwest) went to help with the long term rebuilding process. That first trip was done with a whole lot of do-it-yourself gumption. “We just grabbed some people and 300 dollars and one written page and just started going,” he noted. Since that first trip, he has organized three alternative spring break trips during his senior year.