Xavier rabbi and local restaurant owner team up to host benefit for Haiti earthquake relief

Andy's Mediterranean Grill is hosting the five-hour event of food and entertainment | February 12, 2010

Xavier’s Office of Interfaith Community Engagement and the Student Government Association are teaming up with Andy’s Mediterranean Grill to host an evening of good food and entertainment to benefit the relief effort in Haiti.

The Benefit for Haiti is being held on Tuesday, Feb. 23, from 5:00-10:00 p.m., at the restaurant, 906 Nassau St., off Gilbert Avenue in Cincinnati. All sales and tips generated during the event are going to two organizations that are dedicated to improving health and living conditions in Haiti—Partners in Health, which provides medical care, and La Maison des Enfants de Dieu, an orphanage in Port-au-Prince.

Andy's is the creation of brothers Majed and "Big Andy" Hajjar, natives of Zahle, Lebanon. The restaurant is decorated with Mediterranean-themed art and has a collection of hookahs, smoking pipes for flavored tobaccos. The menu of Mediterranean food uses spices to enhance flavor rather than fat and salt.

Entertainment for the event includes Andy’s belly dancers and the band The Fabulous Cheap Suits which includes several Xavier faculty members. Rabbi Abie Ingber, founder of the Office of Interfaith Community Engagement, helped coordinate the event with Andy and student Daniel Francis.

Partners In Health, founded by Dr. Paul Farmer, has been in Haiti for more than 20 years and brings modern medical care to poor communities in 12 countries. It has three goals: to care for patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease in their communities, and to share lessons learned with the world. Based in Boston, Partners in Health has more than 11,000 employees, including doctors, nurses and community health workers, most of whom work on site.

La Maison orphanage is the group from which Xavier theology professor Chris Pramuk and his wife recently adopted two children. Sophia and Henry David were united with their new family on Jan. 27. Many children in Haiti still need the services of La Maison and other agencies.

This is the second benefit created by Rabbi Abie Ingber and Andy Hajjar. The first, in 2006, raised more than $10,000 for hospitals in Lebanon and Israel.