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Southern Jewish Life NEW ORLEANS EDITION


October 2017

Volume 27 Issue 10

Southern Jewish Life 3747 West Esplanade, 3rd Floor Metairie, LA 70002 Courtesy Rice seniors Mike Hua, Jake Peacock, Ethan Chan and Ilya Rakhlin; junior Belle Carroll and sophomore Maddie Bowen. See page 4.

cENTER cELEbRATiON sATuRDAy, NOVEmbER 11, 2017 music by

FOOD by 2 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017


As this issue goes to press, the High Holy Days are in full swing and Sukkot is on the horizon. With the end of this year’s holidays, communities around the region are moving into regular programming mode, with a lot of events coming up. Many groups around the region are planning major events, from galas to food festivals to the annual Delta Jewish Open the first weekend in November in Greenville. A couple of organizations were able to get on the calendar before Rosh Hashanah, like Hadassah New Orleans’ DIsco Ball, which is covered in this issue. Ties with Israel will be a recurring theme, with a major gathering held in late September in Meridian, and three major events in Alabama over a four-day period in November. In New Orleans, the Cathy and Morris Bart Jewish Cultural Arts Series gets underway, with numerous speakers, film screenings and concerts. Summer camps are asking parents to look ahead and plan for the summer of 2018. If you aren’t already signed up to receive This Week in Southern Jewish Life, email us at Our weekly newsletter will keep you informed of all these activities, along with local, regional and international news of the week. A lot happens between our print editions! We also have a robust Twitter feed, with items of interest from around the region. Follow us at @sjlmag, and Like our Facebook page for regular updates as well. With the High Holy Day season over by the time you read this, it’s very easy to keep up to date in the New Year — let us inform you, so you can take full advantage of what our communities have to offer. Have a great 5778, with only good things for us to write about.

shalom y’all shalom y’all y’all shalom Look for in the center of this issue of Southern Jewish Life

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October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 3



Maccabi USA leader praises Birmingham Games

Camp Barney Medintz sets Open Houses

I have had the honor of attending many Maccabi competitions around the world. From Israel to Australia to South America, Europe and the JCC Maccabi games around the United States and Canada,registration I have logged manyonmiles howserving sports can bethan a vehicle help build Jewish Summer starts Oct.seeing 15 for more 1,200tocampers. identity,Barney especially in our young. Camp Medintz, and there will be a “Camp Barney has created an amazing Jewish presentation about the camp at the Goldring/ community is love all about I felt honored to come to Birmingham for the first time and that fell in with adventure, not just theself-discity Woldenberg Jewish Community Campus in covery, exhilarating activities, events, but the people. You have taken Southern hospitality to a new level with your kind exciting and caring Metairie 10 atMaccabi 1 p.m. Games. an outstanding staff, and a setting that faciliapproachon toDec. the JCC The summer overnight camp of the Marcus tates every imaginable activity for campers who Led by the Sokol and Helds, hard-working volunteers were wonderful. Jewish Community Center ofyour Atlanta, Camp come from all over the South,They ” saidpartnered Director Jim with your outstanding staff, led by Betzy Lynch, to make the 2017 JCC Maccabi games a huge hit. Barney is celebrating its 56th summer season, Mittenthal. I want to take this opportunity as executive director of Maccabi USA to say thank you on behalf of everyone involved.

on the cover

I had just returned from the 20th World Maccabiah games in Israel with a U.S. delegation of The1100, “Pause Box, ” designed part of the Rice secluded, contemplative By of nesting this over who joined 10,000asJewish athletes froma80 countries. Back in Julyspace. the eyes the entire University Society’s fall boxThis within veil of airy, fabric Jewish worldArchitecture were on Jerusalem andannual the Maccabiah. pasta month with translucent 1000 athletes andan inmini-charrette, “Reimagining thebeing Sukkah, ” was terstitial is point. created, neither comcoaches from around the world in Birmingham, you cloudy becameterritory the focal the winner among entries by interdisciplinary pletely interior or exterior. With a simple parted Everyone from thestudents Jewish community and the community at large, including wonderful teams of three to six to further examine corner, to enter the sukkah is noa longer a moment police force,architecture. are to be commended. These games will go downainhard history being aout seminal short-term It was a collaboration of crossing line as between and in, but moment Rice for the Jewish community as we build the future by providing such wonderful Jewishof between Architecture, the Rice Design Alli-to instead becomes a procession through a series ance, and Houston’s Congregation Emanu El. spaces implicitly defined by the tension between memories. The team met their fundraising goal of $5,500 the inner square and enveloping diamond. Jed Margolis through donations from Congregation Emanu “The internal box is constructed of repeated Executive Director,Rice Maccabi USA El, Rice University, Architecture, and many 2x4 wood members which allow strips of light to individual contributors named on the Pause Box filter through. The semi-solid wall composition website. creates a sensewould of solitude implying supremacists like towithout see pushed back isoOn TheCharlottesville sukkah is being installed at Emanu El, lation. The wooden members into a corner and made to feel perform lesser. Wemultiple stand which most recently was recognized for hosting roles, serving as structural elements and with and praynot foronly the family of Heather Heyer, Editor’s Note: This reaction to the events in “Hurricane Harvey Day Camp” in partnership enclosing walls,standing but alsoupincorporating built-in who was there to the face of this Charlottesville, written by and Jeremy with Greene Family Camp the Newman, Evelyn Ruben- furniture. With the woven wood system furniture hate. Master of in theorder Alpha Epsilon Pi Thetacould Colony stein JCC that local children be fed on the interior can retract flush into the wall to Wefor recognize the essence of the American at Auburn University, shared by AEPi while allow and cared for in a funwas camp atmosphere a completely open space. The outer veil is narrative asfrom a two-century old struggle to rid National, which called it “very eloquent” andaris- suspended parents dealt with storm damage and other the roof, softly draped and floating issues. ing off theof ground such thatand it barely ourselves such corners, allow brushes those inthe praised “our brothers at AEPi Theta Colony at The congregation, as well Houston Hillel, is free the wind. Overall, them and the seat at to theflutter table with that they so deserve. Auburn University and… theasleadership they is earth taking of using” the structure during the the between hardthe and soft, opaqueness It iscontrasts the struggle to fulfill promise of the displayadvantage on their campus. holiday. and transparency, heaviness and Declaration of Independence, thatweightlessness, “all men are Pause Box is described as marrying “religious and lightequal… and shadow produce a dynamic yetwith delcreated endowed by their Creator tradition with architectural lyricism, proposing icate environment. ” White supremacy has been a cancer on certain unalienable rights.” We know our work an and simple design for threatening an ephemeral is far Thefrom Pausefinished, Box wasbut designed bywe seniors Mike ourelegant country since its beginning, we know will not Sukkah. withand texture and angels. transparency, Hua, Jake Peacock, Ethan Chan and Ilya Rakhits hopes,Playing its values, its better move backwards. the small,insemi-opaque struc- lin; junior Belle Carroll and sophomore Maddie The design events embeds that tooka place Charlottesville WhenSenior men and women, student fully armed, take ture within a greater shear diamond volume. The Bowen. Architecture and charrette represented the worst of this nation. Those inner core is constructed of densely woven wood organizer LarainHansmann joined the team to aid to the streets droves with swastikas and who marched onto the streets with tiki torches members, which isolate the inner box to create in organization and construction. other symbols of hate, it is a reminder of how and swastikas did so to provoke violence and relevant the issues of racism and anti-Semitism fear. Those who marched onto the streets did are today. It is a wake-up call to the work that so to profess an ideology that harkens back to needs to be done to ensure a better, more a bleaker, more wretched time in our history. A time when men and women of many creeds, welcoming country. But it should not come races, and religions were far from equal and far without a reflection on how far we’ve come. America was born a slave nation. A century from safe in our own borders. A time where into our history we engaged in a war in part Americans lived under a constant cloud of to ensure we would not continue as one. We racism, anti-Semitism and pervasive hate. The events that took place in Charlottesville served found ourselves confronted by the issue of civil rights, and embarked on a mission to ensure as a reminder of how painfully relevant these the fair treatment of all peoples no matter their issues are today. skin color. Although we’ve made great strides, Auburn’s Alpha Epsilon Pi stands with the it is a mission we’re still grappling with today. Jewish community of Charlottesville, and with the Jewish people around the country and around the world. We also stand with the minorities who are targeted by the hate that was on display in Charlottesville. We stand with the minorities of whom these white

4 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017

America was also born an immigrant country. As early as the pilgrims, many groups and families found in the country the opportunity to plant stakes, chase their future, and be themselves. Few were met with open

October 2017

Southern Jewish Life PUBLISHER/EDITOR Lawrence M. Brook ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/ADVERTISING Lee J. Green ADVERTISING SPECIALIST Annetta Dolowitz CREATIVE DIRECTOR Ginger Brook SOCIAL/WEB Emily Baldwein PHOTOGRAPHER-AT-LARGE Rabbi Barry C. Altmark CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rivka Epstein, Louis Crawford, Tally Werthan, Stuart Derroff, Belle Freitag, Ted Gelber, E. Walter Katz, Doug Brook BIRMINGHAM OFFICE P.O. Box 130052, Birmingham, AL 35213 14 Office Park Circle #104 Birmingham, AL 35223 205/870.7889 NEW ORLEANS OFFICE 3747 West Esplanade, 3rd Floor Metairie, LA 70002 504/780.5615 TOLL-FREE 866/446.5894 FAX 866/392.7750 ADVERTISING Advertising inquiries to 205/870.7889 for Lee Green, or Annetta Dolowitz, Media kit, rates available upon request SUBSCRIPTIONS It has always been our goal to provide a large-community quality publication to all communities of the South. To that end, our commitment includes mailing to every Jewish household in the region (AL, LA, MS, NW FL), without a subscription fee. Outside the area, subscriptions are $25/year, $40/two years. Subscribe via, call 205/870.7889 or mail payment to the address above. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without written permission from the publisher. Views expressed in SJL are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the magazine or its staff. SJL makes no claims as to the Kashrut of its advertisers, and retains the right to refuse any advertisement. Documenting this community, a community we are members of and active within, is our passion. We love what we do, and who we do it for.


interesting bits & can’t miss events

On Sept. 9, Hadassah New Orleans had a Disco Ball to raise awareness and research funds for breast cancer. Story, page 34.

Seth Bloom running for New Orleans City Council Seth Bloom is running for New Orleans city council because “New Orleans needs leadership right now,” especially when it comes to crime and infrastructure. With eight years on the school board, including a stint as president, and 13 years as a criminal defense attorney, “I have insight into some of these areas.” Bloom is running in District B as one of six candidates in the Oct. 14 election, with Jay Banks, Timothy David Ray, Andre Strumer, Catherine Love and Eugene Ben-Oluwole. A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Bloom attended a Jewish Day School and summered at Camp Barney Medintz. He was president of his United Synagogue Youth chapter and participated on USY Pilgrimage to Poland and Israel. He was also active in the University of Florida Hillel. He came to New Orleans in 2000 to attend Loyola University Law School and stayed in New Orleans after graduating, founding Bloom Legal in the Warehouse District in 2004. He noticed that many native New Orleanians in his peer group had left. “If your father or mother was a doctor in New Orleans and you went off to Duke, UCLA, Spelman, Harvard,

why would you go back to New Orleans?” Katrina changed the “brain drain” and until six months ago, more people were moving to New Orleans than leaving for the last 10 years. Bloom was first elected to the school board in 2008 and reelected in 2012, declining to run for reelection in 2016. He partnered with the New Orleans Pro Bono Project to help those unable to afford legal representation, and he was a New Orleans civil sheriff from 2004 to 2010. He said crime is the highest priority, and the city needs to get “smart” on crime instead of tough on crime. He noted that law enforcement needs more money, but $20,000 per year is spent incarcerating a non-violent offender. Bloom supports long-term goals, as evidenced by his co-founding of Travis Hill School, which enables kids to get an education while incarcerated. Quality of life issues are also a major concern, with basic needs like balky drainage pumps, an unreliable water supply and huge potholes to address. When it comes to potholes, “Jefferson Parish spends five times the money we do,” Bloom said. “We need to get this right the first

time.” Fixing crime, education and infrastructure will lead to commercial development, Bloom said. It “will naturally come.” And education, he pointed out, is a long-term solution to crime. Another area where he has insight is public policy regarding addiction. In August, he opened up about his struggle with opiods, resulting in a visit to a treatment facility in October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 5

agenda 2016. He had been under a physician’s care to deal with two ruptured vertebrae, and was prescribed Percodan and Vicodin. He became dependent on them to feel normal through the day, and he unsuccessfully tried several times to get off them. Realizing he couldn’t deal with it by himself, he sought help and had a good support system, but many aren’t as fortunate. “My insight into drug and alcohol addiction gives legitimacy to my position that people with drug and alcohol problems need treatment rather than being imprisoned for decades,” he said, adding that the laws need to catch up with the times. Law enforcement and the courts need to treat the people as patients rather than prisoners, he said. But on a personal level, he said, with so many other issues facing the city, that’s just a sidebar to his campaign.

Touro receiving national URJ outreach award The Union for Reform Judaism will present Touro Synagogue of New Orleans with a Belin Award at the upcoming URJ biennial in December. The awards were funded by the late David Belin, the first chairman of the URJ-CCAR Joint Commission on Outreach, and recognize congregations that have “developed uniquely innovative and effective audacious hospitality programs.” Up to eight congregations are recognized and each receive a $1,000 award. Touro Synagogue is being honored for Shabbat Dinner. Touro President Teri Hunter said the congregation wasn’t looking at winning an award, they “just set out to celebrate the fullness of Shabbat in community.” The congregation would have regular Shabbat onegs after Friday evening services, and they “almost by accident” evolved into a dinner experience “from which there is no turning back.” On a typical Shabbat evening, there all are over 100 congregants enjoying a communal Shabbat dinner, even without a special program or event. On Oct. 27 during the 6 p.m. service, the congregation will honor Executive Director Kerry Tapia and Director of Congregational Life Annahi Tapia, who have made the program happen. Now that the program is established, Hunter said the congregation is working on budgeting and staffing needs, and welcomes sponsors for the meals. Volunteers are also welcome to help prepare. At the convention in Boston, there will be a session on “Audacious Hospitality in Action” for congregations to learn from the recognized programs and see how they can be replicated. 6 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017





Lots of dough

Chabad, Hadassah teaming up for a 200-woman challah bake on Oct. 25

Dr. Randy Rossignol is an Internal Medicine physician at Crescent City Physicians, Inc., a subsidiary of Touro Infirmary. After earning his medical degree from Louisiana State University(LSU) School of Medicine in New Orleans, he completed his residency at LSU Health Sciences Center in Baton Rouge. Dr. Rossignol is a Metairie native and an alumnus of Brother Martin High School.

Chabad of Louisiana and Hadassah New Orleans are planning to have 200 women in the area participate in a Women’s Mega Challah Bake 200. The Oct. 25 event is for ages 18 and up, and will be at Gates of Prayer in Metairie, starting at 7 p.m. Registration will open at 6:45 p.m. This event is for the beginner to the advanced challah baker. No prior experience is necessary. Participants will make the dough from scratch and will learn to knead and braid the dough into loaves. The women will then choose from a variety of toppings to garnish their challah. While the dough rises, there will be refreshments and a wine bar. Each woman will receive a customized apron. The program will also feature a Woman of Valor presentation, where women from the community will have a chance to honor a loved one. Dedications will be on the event website, in the event program and in a display at the event. One dedication is $118, three are $180. There are over 30 women currently involved in arranging the event, representing a wide range of synagogues and organizations across the community. Registration is $25 by Oct. 15, and $36 after. Advance reservations are required, and sponsorship opportunities are available. Registration can be done at

Oelsner to receive Judah Touro Society award at Foundation gala

Dr. Rossignol joins practice with Dr. Lege and Dr. Occhipinti at Crescent City Physicians Primary Care Clinic on the campus of Touro Infirmary.

The Touro Infirmary Foundation will “Take a Road Trip” to honor Thomas Oelsner with the 2017 Judah Touro Society Award at its annual gala on Nov. 4. The JTS Award is the hospital’s highest honor and is voted on annually by previous JTS Award recipients. It is given annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the welfare of Touro Infirmary. Oelsner was on the Touro medical staff from 1967 to 2006. He participated on numerous staff and board committees including the Medical Executive Committee. As an outstanding Nephrologist, Dr. Oelsner developed the first Dialysis Unit in a New Orleans community hospital, which has been widely recognized for its excellence in caring for patients. Dr. Oelsner also served as Chief of Nephrology throughout his tenure on the Touro Medical Staff. The gala will be at the Mardi Gras World River Center complex. A patron party will begin at 5 p.m., with patron levels starting at $500. A cocktail reception starts at 6 p.m., with the dinner and award presentation starting at 7 p.m. Individual tickets, which include the after-party, are $200. The Touro Tomorrow post-gala party, L’Dor V’Dor, starts at 9 p.m. After-party tickets are $75, $125 for a couple. The after-party features DJ Tony Skratchere, drink stations, a wine pull and destination raffle. Ticket purchases can be directed to support the upgrade of the Wellness Center, which also houses cardiac and pulmonary rehab. The upgrade will allow Touro to create a safe, comfortable and welcoming space for individuals with spinal cord injuries to continue with exercise activities after their traditional rehab.

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October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 7

agenda Touro introduces 11th, 12th grade program Touro Synagogue has launched Atzmi, a new program for students in grades 11 and 12. The program, which launched at Shaya on Sept. 24, will meet four times per year “at good restaurants around the city” to discuss Jewish topics relevant to teens as they find their place in the community. Rabbi Todd Silverman said the program will let the teens “delve deeply into the world of Jewish lifelong learning” without the pressure of a weekly program such as Bar/Bat Mitzvah or Confirmation, “and with the comfort and companionship of old friends.” Arnie Fielkow, new CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, will be the guest speaker at Shabbat services at Gates of Prayer in Metairie, Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. The New Orleans Jewish Community Center is hosting a series, “Exploring Judaism: When Do I Sit, When Do I Stand?” The 10-week class will be led by Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Chabad rabbis, talking about their perspectives and what prayer means to them. The course is designed as an exploration of the different branches of Judaism and an introduction to prayer. The first session, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m., will be at the Uptown JCC, then will meet at Temple Sinai, Shir Chadash, Beth Israel and Chabad in Metairie. Register with Judy Yaillen at the Uptown JCC. Touro Synagogue in New Orleans will have a Viennese Coffeehouse to discuss the congregation’s social action programs, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. Activism areas include criminal justice reform, environment, hunger, LGBTQ, race and equity, refugee crisis, voting rights and more. Gates of Prayer in Metairie will have a Blessing of the Pets, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. JewCCY, the New Orleans Reform youth group for Temple Sinai, Touro and Gates of Prayer, will have a food and Saints football fundraiser on Oct. 22 at noon at Gates of Prayer. The Gates of Prayer brotherhood will be cooking for the event. On Oct. 20 at the 6:15 p.m. Shabbat service, Temple Sinai will have a blessing for the participants in the 2017-19 Katz-Phillips Leadership Development Program of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans. The group departs for its Israel mission on Oct. 22. The next TRIBE Shabbat will be on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. at the NOLA Brewery tap room. There will be appetizers, craft beer and a musical Shabbat service. The Mental Health Committee at Touro Synagogue is presenting “A Response to ‘13 Reasons Why’,” a discussion led by Rabbi Alexis Berk, Oct. 22 at 9 a.m. The recent Netflix series has prompted a lot of discussion about the topic of teen suicide. B’nai Israel in Baton Rouge will launch Wine and Wisdom, to discuss what Reform Judaism has to say about modern day issues. Starting Oct. 17, the gatherings will be every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Blend Wine Bar. Torah Academy and PJ Library are kicking off their Early Childhood development series on Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. at Torah Academy, with an interactive child yoga experience for parents and their Early Childhood aged children. Carol Le Blanc, founder of The Mindful Preschool, will give parents tools to practice yoga at home with their children. She will teach a variety of breathing techniques, poses and relaxation exercises appropriate for young children. No yoga experience is necessary. Le Blanc has coached the Torah Academy teachers in the past on how to incorporate Child Yoga into their classrooms. 8 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017

New JLI explores great Jewish debates The old saying goes that for two Jews, there are three opinions. As Jews have never shied away from a good debate, the next class offered by the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute is “Great Debates in Jewish History.” The six week course explores six fundamental conflicts that pitted the greatest Jewish minds against each other, including several that are still debated today. The course will start with the Dead Sea Scrolls — a Dead Sea sect or rabbinic interpretation? Why was the Dead Sea sect opposed to the Pharisaic approach of rabbinic authority? The second class takes on Jewish nationalism versus religious institutionalism by exploring the suicide at Masada. Maimonides’ approach was controversial in his time. The third session will build on that debate of faith versus reason, and the role reason plays in Judaism. The fourth explores attempts to reinstate the Sanhedrin as an attempt to hasten the messianic era. “Active Messianism versus Passive Messianism” explores whether people can — or should — try to bring about redemption. The fifth debate is about the foundations of Chasidism, “Divine Transcendence versus Divine Immanence,” a debate that divided the community in the 1700s. The final session is public versus private religion, in the debate over separation of church and state in the United States, in particular a 1989 Supreme Court ruling allowing menorah displays on public property. At the Bais Ariel Chabad Center in Birmingham, the class will be offered for six Wednesdays at 7 p.m., starting on Nov. 1; or Thursdays at 11:30 am., starting Nov. 2. Both courses exclude Thanksgiving week. Registration is $89 per person. In the New Orleans area, the course begins on Oct. 30, running for six Mondays at 7:30 p.m. at Chabad in Metairie, and Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. starting Oct. 31 at the Jewish Community Campus in Metairie. Registration is $70, with a 10 percent discount for multiple students or returning students.

October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 9

It’s a new dawn at Federation Starry Soiree Taken from the lyrics of “Feeling Good,” which opened the video presentation at the start of “Starry Soiree,” it was definitely a new day for the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans. And in particular, outgoing Federation President Edward Soll said he was feeling good, as Henry Miller took the reins as Federation president. “Tonight we usher in a bold new era,” with Arnie Fielkow having started as CEO of the Federation in mid-August, Soll said. The Sept. 12 sold-out event at the Audubon Tea Room was to celebrate the past year’s accomplishments while looking to the future. “Because of you we’re going to have another 100 years,” Soll said. The evening began with a mention of the flooding in Houston, and “we now have obligations to our east as well” with Hurricane Irma hitting Florida, Soll said. “Given the help we received after Katrina, it is our ethical obligation to do everything we can to help,” Fielkow said, noting that as of that evening, at least $70,000 had been raised locally and a task force was developed to respond to the crisis. Fielkow announced several “new visions” for the community as the Federation seeks to be, as he sometimes jokingly puts it, “the Jewish Archdiocese,” the “central point for everything great about being Jewish in New Orleans.” He added, “we clearly cannot be our Zeyde’s Federation any more.” Fielkow wants the Federation’s work, and that of the Jewish community synagogues and agencies, better understood by the community at large, and be a public voice for issues affecting the community. Second, he wants to refocus the fundraising aspect of Federation. “It is essential we start to elevate both our annual campaign and generate other external revenue streams through

10 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017

sponsorships and grants… because the dollars we raise are not about putting money into Federation coffers, but rather directly helping and impacting people’s lives.” After several years of campaigns in the $2.6 million range, he urged those in attendance to envision a Federation that could break the $3 million mark. He also wants to see the Federation known as a “welcoming home for all Jewish New Orleanians,” working with multi-generational natives and the large number of newcomers. “Our Federation mission is to retain our core values, but at the same time create quality initiatives so that every member of our community – irrespective of age, synagogue affiliation, gender or political belief – feels that Federation offers at least something which is personally appealing and beneficial,” Fielkow said. Miller said the New Orleans Jewish community must always be seen as an inclusive community, whether through welcoming newcomers or working with other faith communities. “It’s time to take that promise and give it real action,” he said, announcing the formation of an LGBT division at Federation, to bring Jewish LGBT members and their partners together for cultural and social activities. He also urged more business mentoring and partnership, retaining young talent for New Orleans. “We can help both New Orleans and our Jewish community prosper,” he said. In a video presentation, Maury Herman presented the Anne Goldsmith Hanaw and J. Jerome Hanaw Tikkun Olam Award for Campaign Excellence to Lisa Heller and John Haspel. Herman said “John deserves it… I think he will say maybe there was someone else who deserved it more. Well, we don’t think so.” As predicted, Haspel started his remarks by saying there were many others more deserving, but “I was happy to accept.”

He spoke of how his parents told him and his siblings how blessed they are, and “being in that position brings obligations to pass that on to help others.” Heller moved to New Orleans in 1980. Kathy Shepard said she “embodies the qualities we hope for in a campaign volunteer.” Heller “I was very surprised when I was called and told this was being offered to me.” She said the community’s stories inspire her, especially seeing how the raised funds are used to help people. “That’s my inspiration, that’s what I draw from.” Bobby Garon presented the 30th Herbert and Margot Garon Young Leadership Award to Ashley Merlin Gold, saying she is “a uniquely qualified recipient.” “She is a woman of tremendous balance and passion,” he said, and in 2012 the Federation asked her to brainstorm how to get young people involved in the community. Garon said they had a Young Adults Division and a Jewish Graduates program. “Ashley soon realized this was a duplication of resources and she helped spearhead the creation of a new division, JNOLA,” and she was asked to be one of the initial co-chairs. Gold recalled the early days of JNIOLA, saying “we were able to set the tone” for what exists today. “I’m thrilled that my work in the Jewish community continues” as she is on the Federation and Jewish Family Service boards. She called this “just the beginning of my Jewish service journey.” Emily Kupperman and Dottie Jacobs presented the Cohen-Jacobs Emerging Leader Award to Nicole Harvey. Harvey is chair of the JNOLA culture, education and service committee. “After graduating from Tulane, I decided to stay in New Orleans,” Harvey said. She joined JNOLA to be involved in the community as she had been at Tulane. “I feel fortunate to have been able to make what I hope will a lasting impact on the community, and I look forward to continue being involved,” she said. Nancy Timm and Allan Bissinger presented the Roger Bissinger Memorial Award to Joan Berenson. Timm said the award is “to honor community leaders who have contributed above and beyond, and been trailblazers.” Allan Bissinger said Berenson’s journey as a community leader began after she returned from a trip to Israel in 1961. She has been involved with the Jewish Children’s Regional Service and Jewish Community Day School, and is a past president of the New Orleans Section of NCJW and the Federation. “Her work on the committee that founded the JEF ensured the future viability of the Jewish community,” he said. “She is a leader not only by word, but also by deed.” Berenson said any Federation award would be an honor, but receiving one with Roger Bissinger’s name on it is even more so. After being women’s chair for the Federation, she made sure that future women’s chairs would sit on the Federation board “just like the men.” She noted that her husband Gerald “was the one who got me involved in Federation… and now I am getting all the credit. So dear, I owe it all to you.” Kathy Shepard and Maury Herman were honored for chairing the 2017 Annual Campaign, and Miller made a presentation to Soll. “You had the wisdom of Solomon and the shyness of Israelis,” Miller told Soll, adding that Soll holds the record for the shortest board meetings.

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October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 11

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Despite having a table full of international accolades for her World War II heroism, it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that Marthe Cohn started to speak about what she did toward the end of the war. It wasn’t that she was being modest — she felt that nobody would believe her. “I was a very unlikely spy,” she said, noting her 4-foot-10 stature. But crowds of over 200 heard her on consecutive nights at the Louisiana State University’s Lod Cook Alumni Center in Baton Rouge and Chabad of Louisiana in Metairie in mid-September. The 97-year-old Cohn was originally supposed to speak in both communities in May, but the talks were postponed because of her husband’s illness. He accompanies her to her talks, sitting next to her on stage and serving as her “prompter.” Mushka Kazen of Chabad of Baton Rouge, which sponsored the Sept. 13 talk, said Cohn has “an important message — the power of the individual to get up and do something.” Cohn’s talk, “Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany,” left the audiences spellbound for an hour and a half. The event started with a video presentation about her from the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The table filled with medals and tributes from around the world sat next to the stage. Born in Metz, France, in 1920, Cohn was one of seven siblings in the Hoffnung family. As Metz was in Lorraine, which went back and forth between France and Germany, she grew up knowing how to speak German. As the war began, the family escaped to Poitiers, but when France became occupied in 1940, all Jews were forced to register. Noting that France and Denmark were the only two countries where a majority of the Jews survived World War II, she said her family was saved “by people who risked their lives for us.” A friend made forged identity cards for them, which helped them survive. She and her sister Stephanie made contact with a French man whose property bordered occupied France and a section that the Germans did not occupy. That became a portal to freedom for many. Stephanie, who also had training as a nurse, was arrested and found to have a letter written to that land owner. In prison camp, she was the only one who could tend to the medical needs of children there. The family had a plan to rescue her sister, but she refused. “It was too important to take care of the children,” and Stephanie told her that if she were rescued, the authorities would immediately come for the rest of them. Stephanie was eventually transferred to Auschwitz, so Cohn said “I honor my sister before I tell my own story.” After finishing nursing school in Marseilles in 1943, Cohn moved to occupied Paris using her forged credentials, living with another sister. “I couldn’t work at a hospital,” she said. “They would ask me too many questions,” and it was forbidden for Jews to work. She stayed in Paris until France was liberated, after which she enlisted in the French Army. It took a while, because the French clerk immediately rejected her papers — which had been unfailingly accepted throughout the war — as forged. Though at first, with blond hair and blue eyes she was regarded “for a bimbo” and assigned to be a social worker, a commanding officer recruited her to join the Army intelligence since she knew German. She explained that all German men from age 12 to the elderly were in the continued on page 14

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Rosenwald on DVD “Rosenwald,” Aviva Kempner’s 2015 documentary about the Jewish philanthropist who enabled the construction of 5,300 schools for blacks in the South during Jim Crow days, will be released on DVD this month, with dozens of extras. In February, Kempner visited Longue Vie and Dillard University in New Orleans for a screening of one bonus feature, on Rosenwald daughter Edith Stern and her civil rights activism in Louisiana. Julius Rosenwald, who never finished high school, rose to become the president of Sears. Influenced by the writings of the educator Booker T. Washington, he joined forces with African-American communities during the Jim Crow South to build over 5,300 schools during the early part of the 20th century. In 1912, he was asked to serve on the board of Tuskegee University in Alabama. Washington urged Rosenwald to provide funds to construct six schools in rural Alabama, then Rosenwald established the Rosenwald Fund in 1917. The Fund provided matching grants for local communities, enabling the construction of thousands of schools through 1932. By then, one in three rural African-American students in the South attended a Rosenwald school. Rosenwald awarded fellowship grants to a who’s who of African American intellectuals and artists, including Marian Anderson, James Baldwin, the father and uncle of civil rights leader Julian Bond, Ralph Bunche, W. E. B. DuBois, Katherine Dunham, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Gordon Parks, Jacob Lawrence and Augusta Savage along with Woody Guthrie. The DVD will be released on Oct. 16 with 39 extras. The release comes 100 years after the Rosenwald Fund was established. The film has been screened at Jewish film festivals in Nashville and Mobile, theatrical presentations at Zeitgeist continued on page 14

Adolph Gottlieb, Untitled. 1973. Monotype in ink on paper, plate size: 18 x 24” ©️Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY


A first-generation Abstract Expressionist, Gottlieb produced the works included in “A Painter’s Hand” after a stroke he suffered left him paralyzed, though he was able to create these monotypes using his still-useful right hand. The exhibit includes 40 of the 54 made in this period just months before his death in 1974. They are striking in their use of color as well as how they relate to his earlier works. Over his career, Adolph Gottlieb also worked in sculpture, tapestries and stained glass, including 18 stained glass windows installed at the Kingsway Jewish Center in Brooklyn. “A Painter’s Hand: The Monotypes of Adolph Gottlieb” is organized by the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Inc. and will be on view at the Mobile Museum of Art from Oct. 6 to Jan. 7.

Adolph Gottlieb, Untitled. 1974. Monotype in ink on paper, plate size: 17 3/4 x 12” ©️Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 13


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in New Orleans and The Edge in Birmingham, at Tulane University, Burritt on the Mountain in Huntsville and in Montgomery. The DVD extras include a segment on Rosenwald Fund recipient Augusta Savage, a legend in African-American art history whose “Harp” was at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. Another Rosenwald Fellow, Charles Drew, became a medical researcher who did pioneering work on blood transfusions that is still used today. He also fought segregation in medicine. In 1950 he was driving to Tuskegee and unable to find a motel because of Jim Crow. He fell asleep at the wheel and was killed in a crash. Another segment talks about Rosenwald’s involvement with the Leo Frank case. Rosenwald contributed thousands of dollars to defend Frank in the notorious 1913 case that ultimately led to Frank’s lynching. Other extras include Rabbi Emil Hirsch, who influenced Rosenwald’s philanthropy; restoration of Rosenwald Courts for middle- and low-income families in Chicago; and restoration efforts for Rosenwald Schools. Only a handful of the schools remain in Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana.

> > Spy military, so any man who spoke German but wore civilian clothes would immediately be suspect. “They needed women to be spies.” She started interrogating German prisoners, getting information on the plans for retreat. Her next task was to infiltrate Germany and gather information, specifically how civilians were reacting to the war. She tried 13 times to cross the border from Alsace into Germany, but was unsuccessful. She tried again through Switzerland. “The Swiss were helping the Germans when they were successful,” she said. “Now we were successful, so they were helping us. That’s neutrality.” She had a cover story of being a German nurse who was looking for a missing fiancé. She made it to Frieburg and met up with a team of German soldiers. She walked with an SS officer who bragged that he could smell a Jew a mile away. “He must have had a very bad smell that day,” she said. She heard stories about the atrocities on the Eastern front. “That was the first time I’d heard it… we never knew anything about the concentration camps. You could not conceive of that.” When that officer fainted, she “was a good German nurse. I helped him,” earning more trust. She found out that the Siegfried Line had been evacuated by the Germans, knowledge critical for the incoming Allies. She made her way back to Frieburg, which was abandoned as everyone knew the Allies were about to invade. As Allied tanks approached, she made Winston Churchill’s “V” sign to signal who she was, and she was fortunate that the tanks were French. If they were British or American, she could not have communicated. After transmitting her information, she returned to Germany and encountered German soldiers who said they were escaping to Austria. She feigned frustration about the commitment of the soldiers, and they reassured her that there was a remnant of the German Army hiding in the Black Forest to ambush the Allies. She slipped back across the border to provide that crucial information. After the war, she returned to France, then met an American medical student while studying in Geneva. They married and she moved to the United States. She did not talk about her experiences until the mid-1990s, when she requested her French Army records. In 1999, she was presented France’s highest military honor, the Medaille Militaire, which was also presented to Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Churchill. In 2002, she wrote her autobiography. Her first visit to Germany was in 2011, “to tell them what I did to them,” she said. For the longest time, she did not want to return to Germany “as long as people of my generation lived.” But, “now they are almost all dead,” Cohn said, and “they are not guilty for what their parents or grandparents had done.”


jewish deep south: bagels, biscuits, beignets From Little Book of Jewish Appetizers. Image: Linda Pugliese



LITTLE BOOK OF JEWISH APPETIZERS by Leah Koenig Truth: the real reason so many of us like appetizers is not so much to awaken the appetite but rather to enjoy a just-because quickie nosh of something small and fun. Here we have a diminutive book chock-full of small and fun: deli faves like Chopped Egg and Caramelized Onion Spread, plus next-level bites like the Syrian-originated Muhammara (starting with a puree of roasted red bell peppers with nuts and pomegranate molasses) and a simple Moroccan Orange and Black Olive Salad. A flatbread called Lahmajun (pictured above) is topped with ground beef or lamb coated with a mixture of onion and pine nuts with a variety of spices like cinnamon and cumin, then just before serving finished with a drizzle of tahini and a splash of lemon. Yesss. And the Fried Gefilte Fish and spiraled, yeasty Spinach Bulemas are definitely being added to the rotation. Helpful additions include advice on what appetizers pair well, what could be popped in the freezer to be taken out for last-minute guests, and even what would give a fun Jewish spin to a cheese plate. Nice.

Held Oct. 22 beginning at 11 a.m. at Memphis’ Anshei Sphard-Beth El Emeth, thia is the largest kosher barbecue contest in the country. Trophies are awarded for best beef brisket, best ribs, team name, team booth and best beans. A children’s area, basketball tourney and a pickle-eating contest round things out. Almost 40 teams and over 2000 attendees make this a must for kosher carnivores.

ATLANTA KOSHER BBQ FESTIVAL The fifth year of Atlanta’s festival also occurs on Oct. 22, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Last year, 26 teams vied for the first place in brisket, ribs, chicken, beans, team booth and name. The public can purchase tickets for samples, and a raffle is held with the grand prize being a Big Green Egg.


THE GERMAN-JEWISH COOKBOOK: Recipes & History of a Cuisine

by Gabrielle Rossmer Gropman and Sonya Gropman It would have been straightforward enough to write a collection of recipes extolling the virtues of the German-Jewish food we all love, but this mother-daughter team make it a book to not only cook from but to sit down and read: what German food is, its history, its Golden Age, its ungodly interruption, to what we took from it and still make from it today from busy weeknights to holidays in this country. Sure, there are moments of “am I up for making head cheese?” But there are many more go-for-it bits, like a Passover treat of matzah and coffee — and absolutely, somebody is getting a ultra-cute hedgehog cake this year for their birthday. Give the mayonnaise-less deviled eggs a go, and embrace a delicious twice-baked potato kugel. Lots of treasures here. Although more color photographs would have been nice, we’re keen on this fabulous insight to a cuisine we think we know (but don’t know well enough).

This year, Monterey Square will be the location for Savannah’s fest, on Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Among the offerings for sale: deli sandwiches, blintzes, sizzling Sephardic lamb and stuffed cabbage.

NASHVILLE KOSHER HOT CHICKEN FESTIVAL The Gordon JCC will host the 3rd annual contest on Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and plans to have more than double the teams this year. Like their barbecue cousins, the hot chicken festival will crown best name and best booth, and grand champion overall will receive a trophy and fryer. October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 15

Salmon with Tomato Vinaigrette

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans M Bistro Davenport Lounge 921 Canal Street 504/524-1331

Recipe yields 4

4 pieces of 6-7 oz. salmon Tomato vinaigrette: 4 tomatoes 8 cloves garlic, crushed 10 basil leaves, chopped

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8 oz. olive oil 2 oz. sherry vinegar Salt and pepper to taste

To make the vinaigrette: Cut the tomato in six wedges, and using a paring knife remove the seeds. Dice the tomato and place in a bowl with the crushed garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. After 40 to 45 minutes, strain the tomato to get rid of the excess liquid. Add the sherry vinegar, olive oil and the basil. Adjust the seasoning if need be. Refrigerate until ready to serve. For the salmon: Sear the salmon in a skillet over medium heat with olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. After 2 to 3 minutes the salmon should be golden brown. Sear the other side, and lower the heat. The salmon should be ready in 7 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness. Pat dry the salmon with an absorbing paper towel to remove the excess fat. Set it in the middle of the plate, stir the vinaigrette to blend the vinegar and oil together, and drizzle a couple of teaspoons of vinaigrette over the fish. Broccolini is a perfect green vegetable to pair with the salmon.


The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans by Lee J. Green

Native Frenchman Thierry Connault brings the rich backbone of French Creole culture with some modern flavors of New Orleans to the cuisine at The Ritz-Carlton. “I feel a sense of belonging here,” said Connault, who was working for Ritz-Carlton in Jamaica when he came to the New Orleans hotel four and a half years ago. “Of course I felt a strong connection and kinship to the city. “In New Orleans, the cuisine is one with the culture and an important part of the fabric of the city. New Orleans has a rich history of food and music. It’s the heart and soul of the city. It all just goes well together,” he said. While growing up in France, food was also very much a part of the culture, family and everyday life. Connault got his first culinary apprenticeship when he was 16 years old and from then he didn’t look back. “I knew right away it was my calling,” he said. When he came to The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, Connault knew he had to keep true to the Cajun/ Creole roots of the cuisine. They do farm-to-table and support Louisiana farms, growers and suppliers as much as possible, he said. “We have some iconic foods in our style such as gumbo, jambalaya and beignets, but we also have some dishes that we do that are taking this style into some new directions,” added Connault. He and his staff have coordinated several kosher-style events at the hotel, and at least a couple that have been strictly kosher. “Places such as Kosher Cajun and the synagogues helped us out so we could make sure we were doing it 100 percent properly,” said Connault. The Ritz-Carlton restaurants and catering can customize menu items to make “just about anything kosher-style.” They also are well-educated on other specialty diets and have many vegetarian as well as gluten-free menu options. “We can do anything they want us to do,” said Connault. “For a special event, they can even give us some family recipes and we can include them. Everything can be customized to meet their desires.” The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans opened in 2000 with a restoration of the historic 1908 Beaux Arts Maison Blanche Building, the flagship location for the department store founded by Isidore Newman. The hotel features 527 guest rooms, 452 of which will be renovated in 2018. The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans also offers a total of more than 35,000 square feet of meeting space. Its in-hotel restaurants include M Bistro and Davenport Lounge. 16 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017

October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 17

community Summer camps mobilize to protect visa program for Israeli staff

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Jewish summer camps around the country are mobilizing to fight a provision that is seen as endangering the camps’ ability to have Israelis on staff each summer. According to the American Camp Association, the J-1 Camp Counselor program has been targeted as part of President Donald Trump’s April executive order, “Buy American and Hire American.” The order referred to U.S. Department of State cultural exchange programs that were viewed as taking jobs from Americans. The J-1 program is part of the J Visa Summer Work Travel program, which is used by camps of all types. “These placements are critical to the camps involved,” the ACA said. An Aug. 27 article in the Wall Street Journal indicated the J-1 program was specifically targeted for a review over the next month. In early September, the Foundation for Jewish Camp convened a meeting of the major Jewish camp movements, sending a letter to the Trump administration urging the preservation of the J-1 visa program. Jeremy J. Fingerman, CEO of Foundation for Jewish Camp, and Peter J. Weidhorn, board chair of Foundation for Jewish Camp, explained that “reduction in these vital programs will result in the loss of thousands of American jobs as camps may be forced to downsize or close, in addition to the loss of key cultural experiences and exchange efforts intrinsic to the summer camp experience.” The foundation notes that there aren’t enough Americans to fill all of the seasonal camp positions, especially in rural areas, and without the visiting workers, some camps might have to close, endangering American jobs. “Camps must compete with local businesses, internships, school commitments, and summer educational programs in order to find staff willing to work during the short camp season, often in remote and rural areas,” according to the Foundation for Jewish Camp. “This year, 65 percent of camps report facing increased challenges recruiting and retaining high quality staff compared to previous years.” While the national camping organizaAction by Trump tion is emphasizing the economic harm, Jewish camps are stressing the deep administration connections that Israeli staffers bring to camp experience. could endanger theThe Religious Action Center of ReJudaism said much of the powerful ability to bring form experience of the movement’s summer in foreign staff camps “comes from the presence of Israeli counselors and other international staff who enrich the experience each summer. Learning about Israel from Israelis and building personal connections to the Jewish homeland makes URJ camps unlike any others.” Geoffrey Menkowitz, director of Ramah Darom in north Georgia, said this summer, “the Ramah Camping Movement sponsored over 250 Israelis to serve as camp counselors, over 40 of whom worked at Camp Ramah Darom.” “Mishlachat have worked at Ramah camps for 70 years,” Menkowitz said. “They are more than just seasonal summer employees and cannot be replaced by local workers. Mishlachat are part of our family, providing our Ramah communities with enduring ties to the land of Israel — and more importantly, to the people of Israel.” This summer, the Jewish Agency’s program for summer envoys sent almost 1,350 Israelis overseas, mainly to the U.S. In a message to camp families, the Henry S. Jacobs Camp in Utica said “A summer of Jacobs Magic is not complete without our Mislachat helping prepare a falafel dinner, a photographer with an accent that isn’t Southern, our new Mexican family, and a certain Polish operations crew

Camp staff at Ramah Darom in Georgia member who does way more than just operations.” The movements are urging families to contact their Congressional representatives, State Department and the White House to support the visa program. Elan Schwartz of Chicago, a long-time camper at Ramah Darom, mentioned pride in America as a motivation for keeping the program intact. In a letter to his senators, he said the visitors’ “love and fascination with America and its people gives all of us a new sense of pride and belonging in our country.” Schwartz, son of Birmingham native Shira Raviv Schwartz, added “this simple J-1 visa program creates a sense of hope and a connection to those who are unalike us, a connection to those that are different, which I feel is one of the most important things for developing American children and teens to have.”

First-time camper grant available The Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana announced that applications are now available for first-time overnight summer campers to receive the Goldring Jewish Summer Camp Experience Incentive Grant. The Goldring Jewish Summer Camp Experience, which increased to up to $1,500 per child last summer, is administered by JEF. This program, which helps families provide their children with a first-time camping experience at a Jewish sleepaway camp, was established by JEF in 1999 and has been funded by the Goldring Family Foundation since 2001. Since its inception, 1,369 children have received grants to attend Jewish summer camp. Experts agree that one of the most effective ways to create positive Jewish identity and develop children’s commitment to living Jewish lives is to expose them to a camp experience where they will meet other Jewish boys and girls and savor the precious heritage of Jewish traditions while enjoying wholesome summer fun and sports activities. The Goldring Family Foundation makes this camp program available to every Jewish child in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle by giving a one-time-only grant of up to $1,500 per child to attend a nonprofit Jewish summer camp. Programs costing less than $1,500 will be funded up to the amount of camp tuition. “We are grateful to the Goldring Family Foundation for their continuing generosity and their commitment to making a Jewish camping experience available to so many children,” states JEF President Andi Lestelle. “This program benefits not only the individual campers, but our entire community.” To meet the criteria for funding, children must be first-time campers at a nonprofit Jewish sleepaway camp, currently in grades 1 through 9, and residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama or the Florida Panhandle. Grants are not based on financial need. Both parents need not be Jewish. Synagogue affiliation is not required. The deadline for applications is March 31 and early application is strongly suggested. Award notification will be made by May 31. For more information and an application form, contact Ellen Abrams at JEF at (504) 524-4559 or The application can also be downloaded at




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October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 19

community A Gift Forever: Hannah and Joseph Klein Education Fund endowed at JCRS by Deb Silverthorn Special to Southern Jewish Life

Hannah Leah Freeman Klein believed that education was the key — the key to a future, to joy and to success. To her dedication, and that of her husband, it will be through the Hannah and Joseph Klein Education Fund of the New Orleans-based Jewish Children’s Regional Service, that so many doors will be unlocked. “My wife’s intelligence, curiosity, and desire for a challenge were just part of what made her so beautiful to me, said Joseph Klein. “This education fund is to honor her life and her memory

20 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017

and I hope that receiving students will study hard, reach their goals, and find their dreams fulfilled. Then, she will always live on.” The Hannah and Joseph Klein Education Fund will support JCRS’ provision of grants and no-interest loans to students attending colleges and vocational training programs. JCRS’ students, who come from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas, have received hundreds of thousands of dollars. With the fall semester already unPhoto courtesy Joseph Klein derway, in 2017 JCRS has provided nearly 130 students with an average of $2,500 each. who was raised in New Jersey, were husband Hannah, a native of Waco, Texas, and Joseph, and wife for the better part of seven years before Hannah’s recent passing on May 3. The two first met in 2002 at Congregation Ahavath Sholom in Fort Worth, both “walking the walk” of the importance of education, and were there for an adult education class. When the teacher didn’t show, the two students learned more about each other. “We were friends, both involved in the synagogue’s Fort Worth Jewish archives ongoing project, but I wanted to be married to this exceptional person in every way,” said Klein, who has now moved to Los Angeles, joining his son. “We had almost seven years but I wish it had been 70.” The youngest of five daughters, Hannah was orphaned at a very young age. Her adamance that education was a priority came from her own experience. As the salutatorian of Forest Avenue High School, she was given a partial scholarship to attend Southern Methodist University. Because of the family’s situation she was unable to complete her education — a factor that still didn’t stop her success. After beginning her career at the Otis Elevator Company, she ran the Dallas office of the General Electric Heating and Air Conditioning, eventually transferring to the GE Space Division in Philadelphia where she was the chief engineer’s executive secretary for almost 30 years. Klein started his education at an electronics technical school in Philadelphia, and ultimately achieved the level of senior engineering specialist. He had a career that spanned RCA, Western Union, General Dynamics and Lockheed Fort Worth Company. Associated for more than 50 years with the Tabernacle Masonic Lodge and as a Scottish Rite Mason, he for many years ran the blood bank for the patients of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. Like his wife, a lifelong learner, he continued his education during his employment years, primarily at Texas Christian University. Klein describes Hannah as a “girlie girl” who loved to dress the part, always elegant and refined. She was a voracious reader, primarily of non-fiction, never without a book close by — the two of them often reading the same titles

community and sharing discussion over whatever the subject matter. Also an incredible pianist since she was a child, “she did not hammer the keys; she caressed them” he said. “We had lots of togetherness, but it never could have been enough.” “When Hannah and I sat to write our wills, JCRS and the children it serves — many who are in the same position she was many years ago — was her first bequest,” said Klein. “It was because she couldn’t finish her education that she always wanted to make a difference for someone else and now, together, we can do just that and create our legacy.” “JCRS is honored to be remembered by Joseph and Hannah with their generous gift and establishment of an educational endowment fund, said JCRS Executive Director Ned Goldberg. “Gifts such as these help new generations of Jewish youth while also fulfilling the donor’s intention as a memorial, and truly a legacy to Hannah and her respect of education.” Most freshman and sophomore students receive scholarship grants, while juniors and seniors generally receive a combination of grants and no-interest loans with a generous payback time frame. Most educational programs, other than gap year and study abroad programs, are eligible for support.

Jacobs Camp touring region The Henry S. Jacobs Camp is touring the region. There will be a program at Beth Israel in Jackson on Oct. 15. On Oct. 21 in New Orleans, grades 1 to 5 will meet at Audubon Park on Oct. 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. for games, crafts, snacks and more. Grades 6 to 8 will hang out with favorite staffers from 6 to 8 p.m., with the location being emailed to those who make reservations. There will be a Jacobs Camp Shabbat on Nov. 17 at Temple Sinai in New Orleans, and a visit to the Temple Sinai religious school on Nov. 19. Visits to Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham and Touro Synagogue in New Orleans are scheduled for Dec. 3, and Beth El in Pensacola and B’nai Israel in Baton Rouge are scheduled for Dec. 10. In January, visits are scheduled for B’nai Israel in Little Rock on Jan. 7, B’nai Zion in Shreveport on Jan. 21 and Beth Shalom in Baton Rouge on Jan. 28.



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Ramah Darom will be having an open house at the camp, located near Clayton, Ga., on Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The open house is for prospective campers and their families from around the region. There will be tours, a chance to climb the tower, learn camp dances, roast marshmallows over the campfire and meet the staff. Registration is available at open-house.


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October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 21


Merrick, Roger to be honored by ADL The Anti-Defamation League South-Central region, based in New Orleans, announced that Robert Merrick and Arthur Roger will be this year’s honorees at the A.I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Award Dinner. “Award recipients are people who care not just about themselves today but about the children and grandchildren of tomorrow,” says Michael Botnick, former ADL regional board chair and selection committee member. “They care about the greater good and translate that caring into action, they strive to build a brighter future in which all people share the fruits of democracy.” “Robert Merrick and Arthur Roger are powerful leaders, who have huge footprints in our community,” said Jonathan Lake, ADL South-Central regional board chair. “Their steadfast dedication to equal access and LGBTQ rights have made New Orleans a better place for everyone, and their leadership keeps New Orleans as a cutting-edge city and pace-setter on many civil rights issues.” The award will be presented at the annual A.I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Award Dinner at the Hyatt Regency on Dec. 5. Merrick’s dinner chairs are Joseph Exnicios, Richard “Rick” Hasse, Alan and Sherry Leventhal, and Hardy Fowler. Roger’s dinner chairs are Timothy Francis, Jack Sullivan and Marc Behar. Tickets are available at or by contacting the local ADL office at or (504) 780-5602. The New Orleans ADL office covers a territory including Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. Merrick formed his own company in 1973 and then, in 1986, purchased Latter & Blum, Inc./Realtors, one of the largest and oldest full-service real estate companies in Louisiana. After this initial acquisition, he acquired numerous brokerage firms and incorporated a mortgage firm, a title company and insurance agency. In 2015, Merrick was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans. In the same year, he was honored as the Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Southeast Louisiana Council of the Boy Scouts and as the New Orleanian of the Year by Gambit Magazine. In 2014, he became the first Louisianan to join the United Way Million Dollar Roundtable, a national membership reserved for million-dollar donors. In 2005, the American Red Cross named him the Humanitarian of the Year. Merrick has served as the campaign manager for the United Way of Southeast Louisiana and the March of Dimes. He has served on Business School advisory boards at the University of New Orleans and University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and as a board member for the Ruth U. Fertel 22 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017

Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, Salvation Army, and WYES-TV, among others. Merrick is also committed to the higher education of his employees’ and associates’ children, granting 15 scholarships each year. This scholarship Robert Merrick fund has now granted over $500,000 to these young adults. “Bob is truly a visionary leader, who has helped Louisiana grow. His example inspires us to do the same,” said ADL Interim Regional Director Lindsay Baach Friedmann. Arthur Roger Roger is the owner and director of the Arthur Roger Gallery, located in the Arts District of New Orleans. A native of New Orleans, Roger worked in art galleries in the French Quarter while attending high school and college. In 1978, he opened his gallery on Magazine Street, establishing a national and local reputation as the director of a leading New Orleans art gallery and for his efforts supporting emerging female artists, African-American artists and artists from the LGBTQ community. In 1988, Roger moved the gallery to its current home on Julia Street. After Hurricane Katrina, Roger played a pivotal role in the revival of the visual arts scene in New Orleans and now has a second studio — Arthur Roger@434 near his Julia Street gallery. Roger has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Contemporary Arts Center, Louisiana Children’s Museum, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and The Mayor’s Arts Commission, and as an officer in the New Orleans Arts District Association. He originated Arts Against AIDS, benefitting NOAIDS Task Force, and played a leading role in Halloween in New Orleans, the principal fundraising event for Project Lazarus. In 1995, Roger received the Paul Plauche Award for fundraising. Among other honors, Roger received the Young Leadership Award in 1994, the Junior Achievement Role Model in 2009, and the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Award in 2016. This year, he donated paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures from his personal collection to the New Orleans Museum of Art, which are currently on display in the Museum’s exhibition “Pride of Place: The Making of Contemporary Art in New Orleans.”

October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 23


Visit the nation’s largest outdoor

Cascading Chrysanthemum Display The partnership of ZBT, Tulane Chabad • 251.973.2217 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road Theodore, AL 36582

November 4 – November 22 * visit for peak bloom times

On the first Friday of a semester, most fraternity leaders are busy making sure that their fraternity will have the best possible party for that all-important first impression. Harrison Napell, a Tulane University junior from New Jersey, by contrast, spent much of that late August morning rounding up Zeta Beta Tau brothers to perform their weekly community service of setting up Shabbat dinner at Chabad. The first Friday night of the semester at Chabad is a big event, with over 200 students attending, and the brothers worked hard to set up tables, chairs, place settings and food for all of the guests. The ZBT-Chabad relationship is a long-standing one at Tulane, going back to the 1970s, when Rabbi Zelig Rivkin, then director of Tulane Chabad, recruited a group of ZBT brothers to form the Chabad intramural football team. In the last few years, since ZBT returned to campus and held their chartering ceremony at the Chabad House, that relationship has strengthened. Eli Weitzman a Tulane junior from California who served on the Chabad board and was also Jewish heritage chair at ZBT, started the weekly tradition of ZBT brothers performing community service by volunteering at Chabad. “As a Jewish fraternity, we pride ourselves on our connection with Judaism and the Jewish community,” said Weitzman, “and as a social fraternity we focus on our network of students and brothers. Working with Chabad combines these focuses and allows us to connect with our heritage while having a great time! We believe that giving back to the Jewish community results in positive outcomes and lasting friendships.” Many students that attend Tulane come with high expectations of the quality of Jewish life that they will find, said Rabbi Leibel Lipskier, director of undergraduate programs at Tulane Chabad. What is available at Tulane often exceeds expectations, he added. Weitzman commented, “I expected to have a decent amount of access to Jewish religion and culture, but I had not realized how ingrained Jewish life is at Tulane. Being in ZBT has certainly strengthened my bond with the Jewish community and my Jewish identity. Chabad has only added to my Jewish connection, as Rabbi Leibel and Mushka provide a second home for my brothers and me.” The Lipskiers deeply value the Chabad-ZBT relationship as well. “The guys from ZBT are like a part of our family,” Rabbi Lipskier said. “Their help means so much to us, and it’s really great to know that they are getting a lot out of their experience at Chabad as well.”


205.877.8677 24 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017

Tulane ZBT brothers helping out at Tulane Chabad


An Official Publication of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans



October 2017 | Tishrei 5778

JEWISH FEDERATION AND OSCAR J. TOLMAS CHARITABLE TRUST ANNOUNCE NAMING RIGHTS AGREEMENT FOR THE OSCAR J. TOLMAS L’DOR V’DOR LOBBY In September, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust announced an agreement to name the third-floor lobby of Metairie’s Goldring-Woldenberg Jewish Community Campus the Oscar J. Tolmas L’dor V’dor Lobby. The lobby will be fitted with a curated exhibit displaying the biography of Tolmas’ life in New Orleans, as well as highlights of his posthumous philanthropy through the Trust. The Trust will also continue to generously fund the Federation’s next-gen engagement initiative, JNOLA. “In Hebrew, L’dor V’dor translates to ‘from generation to generation,’” noted Jewish Federation CEO, Arnie Fielkow. “What better way to memorialize Oscar Tolmas’ life for generations to come than through a progressive exhibit exploring his life? We’re so grateful to Lisa Romano and Vincent Giardina, trustees of the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust, for their ongoing commitment to both sharing Oscar’s legacy and enhancing the outreach of nonprofit organizations here in New Orleans.” During his lifetime, Tolmas firmly believed in the Jewish value of tzedakah, which encourages charitable giving to those most in need. Oscar passed away on December 2, 2013. In his last will and testament, he formed the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust to help other tax-exempt charities with their missions. He left all of his estate to the trust. “We are thrilled to create a permanent memorial to Oscar’s life,” said Jewish Federation President, Henry Miller. “It’s our hope that his life story and the impact he made on our community, both Jewish and non-Jewish, will be celebrated through this exhibit for generations to come.” Archival research is ongoing to assemble the exhibit—a reception is planned for early May to introduce the permanent display.

Did you know Oscar personally? Do you have stories or artifacts to share about his life? If so, please contact Caitrin Gladow at the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans at 504-780-5614 or at

October 2017 • The Jewish Newsletter 25

S y r o r i r a e t e S

Starry Soiree, the 104th Annual Meeting of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana, was held Tuesday, September 12 at the Audubon Tea Room. The Federation celebrated the success of the 2017 Annual Campaign, thanking co-chairs, Kathy Shepard and Maury Herman, and held its annual election, welcoming incoming President, Henry Miller. Outgoing Federation President, Eddie Soll, was likewise celebrated. The 2017 award winners—Joan Berenson Ashley Merlin Gold, Nicole Harvey, John Haspel and Lisa Heller—were also honored. (See more about our award winners in Southern Jewish Life’s coverage of the event.) The event also introduced incoming CEO, Arnie Fielkow, who shared his vision for Federation. Learn more about Henry Miller and Arnie Fielkow’s hopes and plans for the Greater New Orleans Jewish community on the next page.

Top left: Eddie & Karen Soll Top middle: Kathy & Hal Shepard Top right: Maury Herman & Cristina Wysocki Center: Lisa & Gary Zoller

26 The Jewish Newsletter • October 2017

Bottom Left: Peter Seltzer, Nicole Harvey,Julie Green, Rabbi Robert Loewy, Sarah Schatzmann, & Tana Velen Bottom right: New CEO, Arnie D. Fielkow, receives a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd



I hope we can elevate and enhance our Federation “brand” both within and outside our Jewish community. I want the work of Federation, together with the tremendous work of our synagogues and agencies, to be better understood by the community at large. And, along with our synagogues and agency partners, to be the public voice for all matters affecting our local Jewish community, Judaism in general, and our love for the State of Israel.

Federation and our Jewish community must always be viewed as an inclusive organization—a pillar of the ethos of the Jewish community for generations has been supporting equal rights for all people. As President of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, it is time to take that promise and give it real action, backed by real resources. To this end, I am announcing the establishment of the Federation’s LGBT Division. This new division seeks to bring our Jewish community members and their partners in the LGBT community together for Jewish cultural, social and community activities.

We Jews in New Orleans are part of a relatively small community and our image will be elevated through outreach with other ethnic and religious groups. By doing so, we will not only be fulfilling our mission of Tikkun Olam, but also enhancing our opportunities for new financial partnerships by being seen as a community-wide participant. This will also involve more Jewish and Israel education and advocacy, as well as a more impactful role played at the federal, state and local governmental levels in shaping policy on matters of interest to our Jewish community.

In addition, our Jewish community needs to continue to attract and retain members both young and old with programs that help retain and create job and business opportunities. There are also young professionals and entrepreneurs throughout the Jewish community who are looking for guidance and help as they build their careers and business here in New Orleans.

Second, Federation, at its core, is a fundraising organization and it is essential we start to elevate both our annual campaign and generate other external revenue streams through sponsorships and grants. Why is this important? Because the dollars we raise are not about putting money into Federation coffers, but rather directly helping and impacting people’s lives! This is what Federation is truly all about.

The Jewish Federation has an interest in the long term success of start up businesses and professionals in New Orleans, which is why I am excited to announce a new Business Mentorship Program. It is my hope that such a program will engage our community, build ties between generations, and help retain our youth here in the city. By sharing on an on going basis our mentors’ many years of business and professional experiences and contacts here in New Orleans with new entrepreneurs and professionals, we can help both New Orleans and our Jewish community prosper.

Third, I want our Federation to be seen as a welcoming home for all Jewish New Orleanians. We have a unique gumbo of diversity in greater New Orleans, especially post-Katrina, with a community comprised of both multi-generational residents together with a large influx of “new” New Orleanians who have relocated or returned the past decade. What an incredible opportunity this presents! With diversity, also comes a broad spectrum of views on a multitude of topics—our mission is to retain our core values, but at the same time create quality initiatives so that every member of our community – irrespective of age, synagogue affiliation, gender or political belief – feels that Federation offers at least something which is personally appealing and beneficial. By unifying in this way, we will break down walls and create a community which is truly “One Jewish New Orleans!”

I look forward to the next 2 years to enhance our community by implementing these programs. My measure of success during my term will be an expanding Federation membership and involvement in community activities (which includes federation, constituent agencies, beneficiary agencies, Jewish organizations and spiritual centers) and creating an economic environment to attract, retain and sustain economic opportunities for the community.

October 2017 • The Jewish Newsletter 27

JNOLA is part of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, consisting of young Jewish adults between the ages of 21 – 45. This program hosts a wide variety of events, centering on community connection, professional networking, social action, and Jewish life in New Orleans. JNOLA is proudly sponsored by the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust.


Save the date for JNOLA’s Jews, Brews, & BBQ on Thursday, November 2 at The National WWII Museum. This lively event will feature an open bar brought to you by Sazarac, music from Gal Holiday, BBQ from Chef Alon Shaya, and entrance into the museum. Tickets go on sale soon so visit—or email Tana Velen at for details.


We know all too well the pain and shock of disaster, and as Jews, we believe in tikkun olam - that it is our responsibility to help repair the world. Recovery will take years for those in storm-ravaged parts of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, and as a community, we pledge to stand with those who need our help. To date, our community has contributed nearly $75,000 to hurricane relief efforts administered through the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). JFNA has worked tirelessly to assist the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. If you are able to help, please know that not only does your charitable gift provide near-immediate relief for those affected in the Jewish communities in storm-damaged areas, it also helps the wider community. JFNA’s network of local and international partners enables us to respond quickly and effectively. JFNA funds urgently needed basics like food and medicine, and long-term needs like trauma counseling, and provides resources to emergency service providers so they can help where they’re most needed. After Hurricane Katrina, JFNA’s fundraising efforts led to more than $29 million allocated to both Jewish and non-Jewish relief organizations and area non-profits. There are overwhelming needs in Houston where the scope of damage to individual homes and communal institutions poses serious risk to an entire community’s stability and sustainability. The more recent hurricanes have left whole island communities already suffering from abject poverty, mired in a desperate battle to meet the most basic needs.

Visit now to help—and thank you!

Find a doctor close to you. When you need to find a doctor in New Orleans, Touro makes it easy. Visit, or talk to us at (504) 897-7777.

TO U RO.CO M/FI N DADOC 28 The Jewish Newsletter • October 2017

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We are excited to introduce Tulane Hillel’s new in-house restaurant, Rimon! In Hebrew, Rimon means pomegranate, which symbolizes wisdom and knowledge. With these values in mind, local restauranteur Chef Daniel Esses serves delicious, seasonal kosher cuisine to Tulane students, professors, and members of the greater New Orleans community. Rimon’s eclectic menu features locally sourced entrees and snacks drawing inspiration from around the world, with an emphasis on Israeli and Korean flavors. Some favorite menu items include: Avocado Toast, Falafel Sandwich, Fish Tacos and Cold Fried Chicken Cobb Salad. Located inside The Goldie and Morris Mintz Center for Jewish Life, Rimon is open six days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rimon also features a full catering menu, and they are available to cater your next private event, dinner party, or holiday celebration! For more information visit Rimon’s website:

October 2017 • The Jewish Newsletter 29

Jewish Community Center Party Under the Stars at Center Celebration

Kindergarten Readiness Forum and School Fair

Get questions answered and learn about the different elementary The J is jazzed for Center Celebration, the JCC’s annual fundraiser. school options at the Parenting Center’s annual School Fair, held for This year’s event will showcase the beautifully expanded Uptown JCC the first time at the Uptown JCC, on Tuesday, Oct. 24. facilities, including the brand new The fair will be preceded by the Kindergarten ReadiGoldring Woldenberg Sports and ness Forum, which is once again being sponsored by the Wellness Complex and the Oscar J JCC and the Jewish Community Day School. Both events Tolmas Aquatics Complex. are free and open to the community. Tour the new facilities and join Beginning at 6 p.m. in the Grant Board Room, the us poolside for cocktails as we celreadiness forum is designed to demystify the kindergarten ebrate with music by popular local enrollment process, which can often be confusing and brass ensemble The Soul Rebels. stressful for families. It features panelists from the public An open bar, signature drink and and private school realm who will talk about all areas of buffet dinner round out this dethe kindergarten enrollment process. lightful evening. Culinary delights are being provided by James Beard Topics include the New Orleans Public School OneApp process, award-winning restaurant Shaya, and Rimon, the new restaurant from faith-based school choices, acclaimed Chef Daniel Esses. private school admissions Center Celebration tickets may be purchased online at or testing, and kindergarten by calling (504) 897-0143. readiness. After the presentation, panelists will be available to answer individExpand your knowledge of Judaism in “Exploring Judaism: When ual questions. Do I Sit, When Do I Stand,” a class for adult learners seeking an introWhile the forum and duction to prayer and an exploration of the branches of Judaism. For school fair are designed for 10 weeks students will learn with local Reform, Conservative, Ortho- parents currently looking at dox and Chabad Rabbis about their denomination and what prayer kindergarten options, the means to them. The first session will take place at the Uptown JCC on information will be useful Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. to all families of young chilOver the following weeks, the group will meet at Temple Sinai, Shir dren who have questions Chadash Conservative Congregation, Congregation Beth Israel and about the application and Chabad Jewish Center of Metairie. Rabbis Matthew Reimer, Deborah Sil- enrollment process. ver, Gabe Greenberg and Mendel Ceitlin will help navigate the journey.

Exploring Judaism Class Begins Soon

For more information or to register, please contact Judy Yaillen at (504) 897-0143 or

Free Screening of “The Women’s Balcony” In “The Women’s Balcony,” the first film in the Cathy and Morris Bart Jewish Cultural Arts Series, an accident during a bar mitzvah at an Orthodox synagogue in Jerusalem leaves the congregation in crisis. Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways and tries to take control. This tests the women’s friendships and creates a rift between the community’s women and men. A rousing, good-hearted tale about women speaking truth to patriarchal power, the film was nominated for five Ophir Awards, including Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. It will be shown on Monday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Uptown JCC’s Mintz Auditorium, and movie snacks will be served. This event is free and open to the community.

30 The Jewish Newsletter • October 2017

Jewish Family Service Your financial support helps those in need reach their full potential Last year Meyer’s wife of 51 years passed away, leaving him with lingering medical debt and feelings of depression and isolation. Jewish Family Service provided him compassionate care in his time of need through financial, social and housekeeping services. Meyer is one among thousands of lives impacted each year by JFS. Turn to the JFS 2017 Impact Report Meyer, 79 in this issue (starting on page 41) to read the details of Meyer’s transformation and of other clients whose lives were touched through your caring support.

Senior Care Planning Making informed decisions doesn’t have to be overwhelming

Because of YOU, Jewish Family Service provides high quality, professional guidance to vulnerable community members like Meyer every day. Your support of the annual Friends of JFS campaign impacts their lives and so many other people for the better, and allows JFS to offer our services on a sliding-fee scale based on household income. We cannot do it without YOUR help. Please make your caring contribution today. Visit our website to learn more and to donate!

Navigating life transitions can be overwhelming and emotional for families with aging loved ones. Senior Care Planning at JFS can help you determine the best resources and services to plan for your family’s future and care. Learn more about area resources for: • • • •

Home-based Services Financial Planning Health Insurance Mental Health Services

• • • •

Residential Care Options Downsizing and Real Estate Alzheimer’s Resources Caregiver Support

This program is offered on a sliding-fee scale, based on household income. Phone and Skype appointments are available for caregivers residing outside of the Greater New Orleans area.

Positive Discipline Workshop: Parent Discussion Series

Contact Rachel Lazarus Eriksen, LCSW, or Fran Dinehart, LCSW, at (504) 831-8475.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Goldring-Woldenberg Jewish Community Campus 3747 W. Esplanade Ave, Metairie

Social Workers, Counselors, Mental Health Professionals:

Register Today for the 2017 Fall Continuing Education Series at JFS

Join Laura Kulick, LCSW, in a workshop for parents and others interested in learning positive discipline techniques designed to prevent power struggles and encourage your child’s efforts. FREE. RSVP by email to, or phone (504) 887-4091.

• Living with Infertility. October 20, 8:45 a.m. to noon, presented by Teri Groves, LCSW • Board Approved Clinical Supervisory Training. November 17, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., presented by Amelia Doty, LCSW-BACS • Accessing Primary Emotions Using Emotionally Focused Therapy Skills. December 15, 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., presented by Michele Louviere, LMFT

JFS now accepts Aetna, United Healthcare, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Connect, Gilsbar, and Tricare insurance policies for Counseling Services. Counseling for individuals, couples, families and groups is a core community service of JFS. Licensed behavioral health professionals provide guidance and support on how to cope with interpersonal and family problems. Appointments are available at counseling centers in Metairie and the Northshore. Fees are assessed on a sliding-fee scale based on household income.

Participants will receive CEUs for each event. Pricing varies. All events located at: 3300 W. Esplanade Ave. S., Suite 603, Metairie. For more information, call (504) 831-8475, or visit http://

Appointments by phone: Metairie (504) 831-8475 / Northshore (985) 253-1619.

October 2017 •The Jewish Newsletter 31

Jewish Community Day School Louisiana Writes!

An Enchanted Evening beneath a twinkling twilight sky awaits guests of Jewish Community Day School! Join JCDS for The Gala on Nov. 5 at 3747 W. Esplanade Avenue in Metairie. Celebrate Joan and Dr. Gerald Berenson and the 21st Century Berenson Learning Lab with dreamy drinks, fine food by Chef Daniel Esses of Rimon, the magical music of Bon Operatit! (operawith-a-twist ensemble), and live-action artist Emory Nolan. For tickets call (504) 887.4091, email or visit and click Gala Giving.

Family Fun Day

The Mississippi Legend

JCDS welcomes the community each September for Family Fun Day. This year’s Sunday Fun Day did not disappoint. Over 175 guests came out to enjoy bounce houses, kosher snowballs and pizza, face painting, a bubble zone and so much more! Parents and children raved about their afternoon and are already excited for next year!

Benny D. and Josh S. were thrilled with their transformative face paint!

The Sabbath is the Queen of the Week

Talmud, Shabbat 119a

How would you like to be a Shabbat Star? Ask any JCDS Pre-K or Kindergarten student, and they will tell you they can’t wait! The expanding horizons of childhood include the deepening of our learning and delight in Shabbat. Each Friday morning our youngest students learn about the week’s Torah portion as the scent of baking dough drifts into their classroom. Led by Morah Aleeza Adelman, the weekly Shabbat party is a highlight for families, and especially for the Shabbat star, a youngster that has the opportunity to share a meaningful family artifact with the group. The entire school gathers together for Friday Shabbat lunch, where a weekly highlight is Kosher Cajun’s matzah Erik G. and Harry H. recite the ball soup and delicious warm-from-the-oven chicken! As fifth Shabbat blessings. graders lead us in lighting the Shabbat candles and blessing the wine, arms wind around friends singing L’cha Dodi, welcoming the Shabbat bride. And because JCDS families love Shabbat too, our all-school Shabbat dinners are a big multi-generational hit. We hope you will join us for the next one. Meanwhile, keep calm, and look toward Friday. 32 The Jewish Newsletter • October 2017

JCDS is thrilled to announce that two of its students have won top prizes in the Louisiana Writes! Youth Writing Contest. Open to students in all grades from Kindergarten to 12th, 4th grader Sam Shaya and 3rd grader Isaac Morales took first and second prizes, respectively in the 3rd4th Grade Poetry Category. According to their proud teacher, Mrs. Liz Amoss, “The process of cultivating great writers has to do with helping students open themselves to both the beauty of language and their own imaginations and creativity… and editing!” Sam and Isaac’s entries were among 900 submitted by students across the state. The contest is managed and judged by volunteer teachers from the National Writing Project, including Ava Leavell Haymon, poet laureate of the state of Louisiana. The excited students will be awarded prizes during the Louisiana Book Festival that takes place later this month in Baton Rouge. Mazel tov Sam and Isaac! Wide Cranky in the morning brown sky Craving café au lait Catfish, river shrimp, alligators, sparrows Water snakes, golden ribbon snakes Wildlife endangered Stir the river to this gumbo day. Fishermen still fish here and tell legends of the river Wild and numb with freedom The flow of the Mississippi drags people down And lets them up in pieces Then pulls them down again. They breathe in the water, And when they get to land They are at the pet dog graves And follow the ghosts Dancing through the weeping willow trees At the water’s edge — Isaac Morales


Infinitillion is a number of the 1000th power It has lots of zeroes As many as the stars in the galaxy Or how many galaxies are in the universe Infinitillon grains of sand on our planet There are infinite possibilities with infinitillion It’s possible because our universe is infinite It doesn’t matter if one thing isn’t Another thing may be Infinitillion looks like a world that never ends Or a world that keeps looping You go to one side and end up on the other As if the world has never ended Always something to explore New creatures Infinite possibilities You can actually touch it — Sam Shaya

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Outpatient surgery services, Pediatric Imaging Center, laboratory services, specialty care clinics and After Hours care

October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 33

Hadassah New Orleans Frees the Tatas at Disco Ball

Hadassah New Orleans launched a Disco inferno to help blaze new trails in breast cancer research. The Free the Tatas Disco Ball was held on Sept. 9 at The Cannery, benefiting Hadassah’s breast cancer and genetic research programs. The ball included the “Big Reveal” of artwork from Free the Tatas Paint Day in March. A group of 19 volunteers, many of them breast cancer survivors, had their torsos painted by local artists, with the results photographed. The images, which were transferred to canvases, were unveiled at the Disco Ball. The event also honored Cathy Bart and Judy Lieberman, who were at the forefront of preventative treatments against breast cancer over 15 years ago. Before the BRCA2 gene mutation was widely known, they took a progressive approach to preventative treatment of breast cancer. Over 30 local restaurants provided the cuisine, Crescent City DJ spun 1970s tunes, and there was a performance by Trixie Minx.

34 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017

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At Total Skin & Beauty Dermatology Center, our mission is to provide you


with the most comprehensive skin care services available. We work with people of all ages, who have various skin conditions or concerns about their

an annual SJL special section

appearance that can be helped through modern dermatologic techniques. Most importantly, our physicians and staff

Paul Finebaum and Mike Slive at the launch of the Mike Slive Foundation

work with you one-on-one to ensure you’ll have healthy skin for life.

Former SEC commissioner launches prostate cancer foundation JAMES M. KRELL, MD A. MICHELE HILL, MD


by Lee J. Green Former Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive, motivated by his own personal journey from diagnosis to remission, wants to help others beat prostate cancer. On Sept. 14, during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, The Mike Slive Foundation for Prostate Cancer Research officially launched in Birmingham. The mission of the foundation is simple — saving lives by funding cutting-edge prostate cancer research. Prostate cancer follows only skin cancer as the leading cancer among men and it is the second leading cause of death from cancer in men. Typically occurring in older men, prostate cancer will be diagnosed in approximately 1 of every 7 men. Despite being one of the most common types of cancer, prostate cancer receives the least funding per new case. Slive and attorney Ed Meyerson, both involved members of the Birmingham Jewish community, started the foundation earlier this year. Paul Finebaum of the SEC Network emceed the kickoff event. “They asked me if I would lend my name and support to this effort,” Slive said. “I was honored and flattered. It was something of great importance to me because I went through it and wanted to help others.” Slive retired in 2015 after serving as SEC commissioner since 2002. He was first diagnosed in 1996 and had his prostate removed. He had treatments in 2001 and 2006 after tests showed elevated PSA levels. In 2014, after he suffered extreme pain in his abdomen, a tumor was found on is spine, squeezing his spinal cord. He had surgery the next day, then a long protocol of radiation and chemo treatments, along with rods placed in his spine. His cancer is currently in remission and he is living a normal life. “We want this to be the beginning of the end for prostate cancer. I think we can find a cure,” Slive said. “This foundation will provide research, support and funding to lead us toward this goal.” Meyerson has been involved in this battle for years. Fifty years ago, his father was diagnosed with an aggressive case of prostate cancer when he was in his 60s. The treatments done then would not be done today, and





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Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men


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though he lived into his 90s, his quality of life was greatly diminished. Meyerson started supporting the UAB Comprehensive Cancer center 28 years ago. “When I saw that we were making such strides through the Breast Cancer Research Foundation at UAB, that was my impetus to start the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama, which has become the Mike Slive Foundation,” he said. Meyerson said he reached out to Slive “because I knew that together we could make a contribution to help end prostate cancer. Mike’s story is an inspiration to us all.” The Mike Slive Foundation for Prostate Cancer Research will focus on education as well as support for both men and the important women in their lives, said Slive. “Men get prostate cancer but it affects the women in our lives so much. They are supporting us and they need more support. Everyone’s lives are disrupted by prostate cancer, not just men.” Slive recommends that men of a certain age determined by their doctors get a PSA screening. “Prostate cancer is asymptomatic. You may have the symptoms and not feel it. When the pain hits it is already too late,” he said. The foundation includes a 20-person board and some major sponsors to help spread the word. About half of the board comes from the Jewish community, as well as a large proportion of the initial “Allies in the Fight.” Meyerson said “those of us who are joining the Mike Slive Foundation are supporting this research so our children and grandchildren won’t have to go through the apprehension and the side effects. They deserve better.” Slive said since college football is so big in the South, they plan to use that and the conference he formerly led as visibility platforms to plead for more support in the fight against prostate cancer. “That is a great way for to raise awareness since many of the people we want to reach are football fans,” he said. Meyerson said “What our doctors do here  in Alabama has a global impact on ending prostate cancer for good. More funding is crucial to make  the important advancements and discoveries that will save even more lives, and The Foundation was created to ensure the needed funding is secured.” Slive said he is “healthy, active and feeling great.” When asked if he still travels around regularly to check out SEC athletic events, he said with a smile, “I just watch everything on my 75-inch television at my home here in Birmingham. That’s the best seat in the stadium.”

Tulane advances on movement disorders treatment by Lee J. Green


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The Movement Disorder Division of the Tulane Center for Clinical Neurosciences focuses on advancing treatment, care, education and support for those with movement disorders, most especially Parkinson’s Disease. Dr. Sarah Perez, a southern Louisiana native and LSU graduate who did her residency and fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, started this past July with Tulane. Perez is a board-certified neurologist who specializes in movement disorders and is an assistant professor in the Center for Clinical Neurosciences. “We want to continue the advancement of research, education and therapies that we hope someday in the near future we can find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders,” said Perez. “While there are many clinical trials in Birmingham and Houston, there are very few here in New Orleans. We’d like to change that.” She received an undergraduate degree in music performance at LSU in 2004, specializing in clarinet. Perez’s clinical interests are the diagnosis and treatment of tremor, Parkinson’s disease, dystonia. Ataxia and Huntington’s disease. She has expertise in the placement and management of Deep Brain Stimulators for refrac-

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tory tremor, Parkinson’s disease and dystonia treatment. She also performs botulinum toxin injections for dystonia. “I got into this line of medicine because I always admired ‘old school diagnostic professionals’,” she said. “With neurology and movement disorders a lot of diagnosis can come from the physical exam through observation, listening. Plus, I think it is a medical science that is on the verge of several exciting breakthroughs.” Tulane hopes to lead the way and work in the New Orleans community for programs that can benefit those with movement disorders. Currently the New Orleans Ballet Association is offering free dance classes for persons with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers, friends and family. The classes are on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. from Oct. 4 through Dec. 13 at the Uptown Jewish Community Center. The Louisiana Walks for Parkinson’s event will be Oct. 14 in Metairie’s Lafreniere Park. “Rock Steady Boxing, creative moment and other specialized exercises are excellent therapies we recommend to all of our patients,” said Perez. “We also recommend foods rich in anti-oxidants with Omega 3 and Vitamin E, including fish as well as a Mediterranean diet. Zero-carb diets are also advised as ways to help combat neurodegeneration.” Perez divides her time between clinical responsibilities at Tulane and the VA Medical Center; educating medical students and residents, as well as the activities of her husband and three children. While Perez misses Birmingham, she is happy to be back in their native New Orleans area. Will she be getting her clarinet out again to play in perhaps the U.S. city where the instrument shines the most? “We are looking at some ways in which we can start some programs that can entertain with great music, then educate and support those with movement disorders,” said Perez. “Putting those together is a perfect fit.”

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St. Charles Vision does comprehensive eye health by Lee J. Green The word “vision” in St. Charles Vision doesn’t just refer to sight, but also to the New Orleans area optometry clinic’s vision to help as many people as possible by providing total eye health services. St. Charles Vision has been serving New Orleans since 1976 and today offers six locations across the metro area. Dr. Jonathan Lappen has been with the company for six years at the Uptown St. Charles Avenue location. Lappen said regular eye exams, at least once a year, are important not just to maintain proper eye health, but in some cases, to detect other diseases and even some cancers. “We can detect some signs of possible glaucoma and a few cancers even with the lack of symptoms present” he said. “Even if someone does not have any eye pain, irritation or vision change, there could be something we could find in an eye exam that could point to a serious health issue.” Lappen said the “big three” that an eye doctor can detect are diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Among patients who wear contact lenses, Lappen said “daily disposables have really gained popularity in recent years. The lenses on the market today cover all the parameters. Those who have astigmatisms, need multi-focal lenses, have chronic dry eyes and all levels of (near-sightedness or far-sightedness) can wear daily disposable lenses. Plus they are the best from a hygiene perspective.” Lappen said that there are high amounts of allergens in the Deep South, so if contact lens wearers have gone from wearing contacts 15 hours a day to only a few hours per day comfortably, they should consult their eye doctor. For those wearing glasses, St. Charles Vision continues to expand the lines and varieties of eyewear carried. Lappen, his wife Michelle and his two sons are involved at Gates of Prayer in Metairie. He also is part of the Katz-Phillips young leadership group.

October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 37

health and wellness

Lowering Your Breast Cancer Risk by Touro Infirmary October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month — 31 days devoted to raising awareness of the disease. With all of the information, you may need help to sort out the facts about breast cancer.

Factors You Can’t Change For starters, it’s true that breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among American women. It’s also true that some risks for this disease cannot be changed. For instance:

Age matters. You’re more likely to develop it as you

get older. In fact, women older than age 50 make up most advanced breast cancer cases.

Family ties. Those whose mothers, sisters or daughters have had breast cancer also face a higher risk.

Ethnicity’s role. Breast cancer develops more often in

Caucasian women than in African-American, Hispanic or Asian women.

Factors You Can Change One fact about breast cancer that you might not know is you might be able to lower your risk for this disease by following some smart lifestyle strategies. Try the following:

Scale back. Obese women are more apt to get breast cancer than women who are at a normal weight.

Stay on the move. Studies indicate there’s a lower rate of breast cancer in women who exercise.

Don’t tip your glass too often. Having one to two alcoholic drinks a day can increase your risk.

Clear the smoke away. A study found that the rate of

breast cancer among current smokers was about 24 percent higher than in nonsmokers. When women quit, they reduced their risk for breast cancer by nearly half that of current smokers.

Cut the fat. Your risk for breast cancer rises along with the

amount of fat in your diet. Limiting fat, especially saturated fat, may curb your risk. When breast cancer does strike, it’s important to catch it in its early stages, when it’s most treatable. Mammography can help, but its benefits and limitations vary based on factors like age and personal risk. Talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors before making a decision about when to start getting mammograms or how often to get them. Also, ask your doctor if you need a clinical breast exam. To schedule a mammogram at the Touro Women’s Imaging Center, please call (504) 897-8600. For more information on breast cancer prevention, screening, treatment and support visit Visit every day during October for breast health information, inspiring stories, daily giveaways, events and more. 38 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017

health and wellness

It Isn’t Just

Tay-Sachs Any More

When Lindsay Baach Friedmann, interim South Central regional director for the Anti-Defamation League office in New Orleans, was getting married in 2014, she “did what I felt I was supposed to do” and went to her doctor for genetic testing. After all, there are numerous genetic diseases that are more prevalent in Jews than in the general population, such as Tay Sachs. If both parents are carriers, any children will be at greater risk for having the disease. After numerous vials of blood and the requisite wait for results, “everything came back okay” on the 18 diseases in the screening. And then came the surprise. After her bloodwork was “exceptionally low” during a routine physical several months later, she was referred to a fertility doctor, who started asking her about a genetic disease that she hadn’t been screened for and nobody in her family had showed signs of — Fragile X. More blood work was done, with a two-week turnaround for the results. A week later, she had a positive pregnancy test. Then the next week, the screening results showed she was a carrier of Fragile X. She found herself “very newly pregnant and very unaware of what Fragile X was.” According to the National Fragile X Foundation, it is a condition that “causes intellectual disability, behavioral and learning challenges and various physical characteristics.” Fragile X is also the most common known single gene cause of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Today, she and husband Josh have a healthy 22-month-old daughter that does not have Fragile X. “She’s a double miracle,” Friedmann said. One-fourth of women who carry Fragile X have a condition that causes premature ovarian failure. “It was incredibly challenging to learn when I was 33 that the door could close at any minute,” she said. She wants others to learn from her experience, and is an advocate for genetic screening through groups like J Screen. JScreen is a non-profit community-based public health initiative headquartered at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, dedicated to preventing Jewish genetic diseases. The JScreen “spit kit” is easily ordered online, used at home, and then mailed in so that clinical geneticists can test the DNA. If a person or couple’s risk is elevated, certified genetic counselors will privately address their results, options and resources. “When a couple is unaware of diseases they carry, the results can be devastating” said Hillary Kener, Assistant Director of National Outreach for JScreen. “Any young adult planning to start a family or grow their family in the future should get screened. The history of Tay-Sachs in this country shows how genetic testing can positively influence people’s lives and the health of their children.” Currently, 80 percent of babies with genetic diseases are born to parents with no known family history of that disease. Cutting-edge technology enables geneticists to look closely at people’s genetic makeup to identify their risk for more than 200 different diseases, including those that are predominant in the Jewish community. Traditionally, Tay Sachs carrier screening required blood enzyme test-


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JScreen tests for 200 genetic diseases, with more added annually

WE ARE COMMUNITY. Hillel, Auburn University’s Jewish student organization, was the recipient of the 2015 AU Student Involvement Award for Overcoming Adversity.

October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 39

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ing, but today’s sequencing method allows highly accurate testing to be performed on saliva. One in 30 Ashkenazi Jews are carriers of Tay-Sachs, and one in 300 people of the general population are carriers. While there is no cure for Tay-Sachs, genetic testing can determine who is a carrier and whether their child will be at risk for this and other diseases. For the small percentage of couples who are at risk, there are many options to help them have healthy children. Since the 1970s, the incidents of babies being born with Tay-Sachs has fallen by more than 90 percent among Jews because of scientific advances and increased screening in the Jewish community. JScreen detects nearly two times as many carriers of genetic diseases in people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent compared with the general population, and one in three Jews is a carrier for one of the Jewish genetic diseases. But Friedmann notes that what she has, Fragile X, isn’t more prevalent in the Jewish community, so she uses their experience “as a soapbox” to urge everyone to have genetic screening. “We feel passionately about the need for information,” after which a couple can decide what to do with that information when it comes to starting a family. “It’s common for the Jewish community to talk about genetic diseases because of Tay Sachs, but there is so much more out there,” she said. In June, she spearheaded a “What’s In Your Genes” JScreen program at Temple Sinai. She and her husband did the 200-disease panel and found that she carries two additional disorders and he has one — but not the same ones. Still, the results have led to serious conversations with their siblings. “Knowledge is power,” Friedmann said. If someone has a positive test for carrying a disorder, Friedmann said the JScreen genetic counselors “are fantastic” and helpful in providing a wealth of information and resources. A saliva kit can be ordered online at With private insurance, the cost is $149, and financial assistance may be available for those without insurance. Gift certificates are also available.

Advocare cares about health, fitness by Lee J. Green Getting healthy and having more energy is a Brees with Advocare. New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees is the national spokesman for the national company based in Dallas and founded over 20 years ago. Advocare provides world-class energy, weight-management, nutrition, sports performance products as well as education. A few years ago, a friend introduced Birmingham’s JoEllen Brown to an Advocare 24-day challenge when Brown told her she needed more energy. “I gained energy, I lost 12 pounds and I just felt great,” said Brown. “I needed more energy when I came home from my job to devote to my kids. It really worked for me and I wanted others to feel better too.” In the spring of 2015, she became an independent distributor and started building a team. “I never intended to sell, but with Advocare it is about building relationships and providing people with products that contribute to their well-being,” she said. Brown said she can work with anyone in the region. Customers can become members and purchase all products at discounts. If they want to take it up another level, they can sell the products as well as use them, to make additional income. The products range from energy bars to powders to shakes to supplements. Brees has his own line of products within Advocare called DB9. For those in the Birmingham area, Brown will soon be scheduling some free nutritional workshops that offer attendees free health and wellness advice. For more information go to

OUR MISSION Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans is a social service agency dedicated to preserving, strengthening, and enhancing the well-being and self-sufficiency of individuals and families at every stage of life. Jewish Family Service is a constituent agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and a community partner of United Way of Southeast Louisiana.

OUR HISTORY Jewish Family Service (JFS) was initially created when the Jewish Children’s Home closed in 1948. JFS became a separate organization, with its own 501(c)(3) status granted in 1976, and opened its doors to people of all faiths in 1982. JFS now serves Greater New Orleans regardless of race, religion, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. Services are available through private insurance and on a sliding fee scale, based on household income. Jewish Family Service is a “whole person environment.” JFS strengthens the community by helping families and individuals reach their full potential through various programs and services. These include providing individual and group counseling, educating our young people about depression and suicide prevention, promoting independence for the elderly, providing case management, and assisting in adoptions.


President Laurence Manshel

Treasurer David A. Dultiz, MD

First Vice President Betsy Threefoot Kaston

Secretary Julie E. Schwartz

Second Vice President Ian H. Zlatkiss, MD

Immediate Past President Julie Wise Oreck

Bradley Bain Allan Berger Brook Bissinger Lauren Bombat Aviva Bowman Gilbert N. Braunig Sophie Burka Vivian Cahn Darrah Caplan Sue Daube Michael Dodd Mara Force Meyer Gertler Dov Glazer, DDS Ashley Merlin Gold Howard C. Green Barbara B. Greenberg Ellen Widen Kessler

Rabbi Robert H. Loewy Sanford Pailet, MD Debbie Pesses Henry M. Rosenblat Louis Shepard Ben Swig Patty C. Ungar Michele Varon Judge Miriam Waltzer Lynne Wasserman Arthur S. Waterman Lorraine Williams

504-831-8475 50 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017




Dear Friends: Thank you for your partnership with Jewish Family Service (JFS) this past year. Together, we impacted the lives of more than 4,800 individuals, families, seniors and teens that needed help! After 69 years of operation, JFS proudly continues to provide compassionate care at affordable rates to everyone. The core community services JFS offers include Counseling, Case Management, Teen Life Counts (TLC), Homemaker, and Lifeline. Notable accomplishments of this past year include: • Senior Care Assessments were launched to provide seniors a greater range of care and referrals as needed. • The Agency increased the number of health insurance providers in order to expand the number of clients we serve while reducing their out-of-pocket expenses. • The Behavioral Health Intern Training Center flourished in its second year of operation; hiring a full-time supervisor, increasing the number of participating masters-level social work and counseling interns to nine, and serving a growing number of clients. • Continuing Education Workshops for professionals plus community groups, continue to meet monthly in our new conference room at the Metairie Center. Our vision for the coming year is one of stability and sustainability. Senior Services will continue to be strengthened to further support the independence and safety of older adults aging in place. The Teen Life Counts program will expand its adult “Gatekeeper” component to train a greater number of school faculty and staff members to support teens in crisis, in response to recent state legislation enacted to further reduce teen suicide. We are grateful for your generous continued support to ensure in the coming year that thousands more vulnerable people receive the dignified help they need from Jewish Family Service. Thank you!


Executive Director

Larry Manshel

Roselle M. Ungar



October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 51


TOTAL $1,590,598

GRANT INCOME $ 453,328







13% 3%





TOTAL $1,597,991






CHANGE IN NET ASSETS Change in Net Assets

$ (11,028)


Beginning of Year (1/1/2016)

$ 2,319,243

Accounts Payable

$ 7,454

End of Year (12/31/2016)

$ 2,308,215

Accrued Vacation

$ 30,456

Jewish Federation Loans Payable

$ 16,910


$ 54,820

ASSETS Cash and Cash Equivalents

$ 121,468

Accounts Receivable

$ 16,659


Grants Receivable

$ 24,783

Unrestricted - Undesignated

$ 153,093

Unconditional Promises to Give

$ 39,898

Unrestricted - Board Designated

$ 2,098,224

Prepaid Expenses

$ 30,725


$ 2,251,317

Notes Receivable

$ 15,923

Temporarily Restricted

$ 56,898


$ 2,308,215


$ 2,363,035

Funds Held by Jewish Endowment Foundation

$ 2,098,224

Israel Bonds

$ 6,000

Property and Equipment, Net

$ 9,355


$ 2,363,035

504-831-8475 52 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017




Carol* has lived in the same house for more than 40 years. It is where she and her late husband raised their daughter Abby,* and Carol now lives alone on a limited budget. Abby paid her weekly visits but worried about her mother’s safety. Whenever Abby attempted to discuss the possibility of her mother selling her home and moving into an assisted living facility, Carol dismissed the idea and insisted on her continued independence. She remains determined to stay there as long as possible with her cherished dachshund.







145 CEU




Abby discussed her concerns with a friend who recommended a medical alert button. After reviewing her options, she was most impressed with the personalized, local service provided by JFS Lifeline. Carol was enrolled and began wearing her personal emergency response button at all times – even in the shower. Three months later, Carol suffered a mild heart attack while home alone and pushed her Lifeline button to summon help. Abby was called and grateful to learn that her mother was on transport to the hospital by ambulance. Abby rushed to meet her and was relieved that her mother quickly got the help she needed to make a swift recovery. Carol soon returned home.



Carol and her entire family are pleased with the reliable service Lifeline provides to support her continued independence.




JFS has licensed, professional staff specialized in working with children, adolescents, adults, and couples. Counselors provide guidance and support on how to cope with interpersonal and family issues. Counseling services are offered in Metairie and on the Northshore through private insurance and on a sliding fee scale, based on household income.

*Names were changed in order to protect client privacy.

The Behavioral Health Intern Training Center serves additional clients by training masters-level Social Work and Counseling graduate students from area universities. A full-time Intern Supervisor now manages the program which has grown to 5-8 interns at any given time.


Professional Case Management staff is highly trained to help clients and their families meet life’s challenges with compassion and objectivity.


JFS provides current information and referrals regarding a wide variety of mental health resources and social services available in our community.



October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 53


Lifeline is a personal emergency response system providing subscribers assistance 24-hours a day, 7 days a week for emergency services. The system is easy to use and designed to reduce the risks of living alone. In the event of a fall or an emergency, immediate help is available at the push of a button. No contracts are required. Customized plans are available, including wireless GPS technology.


The JFS Homemaker program provides in-home assistance for disabled or older adults. Since 1975, JFS homemakers have helped people with tasks of daily living, and ensured both the safety and independence of individuals aging in their homes. Homemakers are sensitive to each client’s needs and conduct visits either once a week or twice a month for a period of 2.25 hours. Visits are set for a regular time each week and there are no age restrictions. The cost is on a sliding fee scale, based on household income.


This program assists families with older adults who are facing transition and possibly in need of specialized care. Clients confer with a Senior Care Planner who provides information and resources for home-based services, caregiver support, financial planning, residential care options and more. The program is offered on a sliding fee scale, based on household income.


Senior Care Assessments were launched this past year to determine the unmet needs of senior clients and provide them helpful information and referrals. Professional staff conducts assessments during on-site home visits which includes a questionnaire, discussion, and observation of a client’s ability to complete daily activities. Where health or safety concerns are present, appropriate information and referrals are provided

Brian* witnessed his father struggle with depression and substance abuse when he was young. He blocked out the worst of painful childhood memories including verbal abuse from his father when he was intoxicated. Brian prayed his past would not affect him and took strides to distance himself from his family. For years he relished life as a dedicated husband and father with a steady job. This included steadily saving for his son’s Hebrew lessons and future bar mitzvah.


Brian’s mental health faltered after learning of his father’s death, and he plunged into a deep depression. Withdrawn from his family and friends, Brian lost motivation to do much more than stay in bed and sleep. As a result, he lost his job and talk of divorce loomed. His wife urged him to get help but the family’s limited budget went towards the mortgage, utilities and groceries in place of his treatment. Soon the family was broke and facing eviction. On the brink of hunger and homelessness, Brian arrived at JFS asking for help. In need of immediate assistance, he received intensive case management to fill a medical prescription, pay rent and utilities, and buy groceries. Brian worked with his case manager during the following months to steadily accomplish steps to turn his life around, including taking his daily medication, securing a new job, and meeting regularly with a therapist and psychiatrist. Through the compassionate care JFS provided Brian in his greatest time of need, he has stabilized and has begun to mend things with his family. The family looks forward to celebrating his son’s bar mitzvah together. *Names were changed in order to protect client privacy.

which may be of help – such as resources for sitters, transportation, medical equipment/home modifications, and emergency response systems.


Post Release Service to Unaccompanied Minors. The USCRI program serves foreign-born children who are fleeing dangerous situations in their home countries and arrive in the United States as unaccompanied minors. Clients are referred by

504-831-8475 54 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017


PROGRAMS & SERVICES USCRI, and are USCRI, and are typically in need of typically in need of services including: services including: safety assessments, safety assessments, securing school securing school placement, counsel-placement, counseling, legal support, anding, legal support, and evaluation of caregiver. evaluation of caregiver.

Her eight year old grandson was traumatized and it broke her heart. Rebecca* and Gil* were left to raise Adam* since losing his mother to drug addiction months ago. He was still angry, frustrated, and hurt that his mother was gone and he was forced to live in a strange, new household with aging grandparents. Unable to find the words to express his rage, TRAFFICKING VICTIM TRAFFICKING ASSISTANCE VICTIM ASSISTANCE Adam often lashed out with screams and kicks when his grandmother tried to comfort him. Rebecca was PROGRAM (TVAP) PROGRAM (TVAP) The TVAP program serves The TVAP foreign-born program victims serves foreign-born of victimsalso of hurt and angry but tried to hide it. She got little help from Gil who was disabled sex and labor trafficking. sex and Clients laborare trafficking. referred by Clients USCRI areorreferred by USCRI or and unable to keep up with Adam. Overwhelmed caring for both of self-referrals. They are self-referrals. provided comprehensive They are provided casecomprehensive case them, her mind was full of worry and she could barely sleep through the night. Would Adam ever heal and become a happy child? management including management legal support, including housing, legal clothing, support, food, housing, clothing, food, How long could she manage her emotions? How much longer could safety, medical services, safety, ESL, medical and counseling. services, ESL, and counseling. their limited budget support the three of them? What would happen if she became ill?



Rabbi noticed her changed demeanor and recommended Rebecca Established in 1984, Teen Established Life Counts in 1984, (TLC) Teen is aLife school-based Counts (TLC) is aThe school-based look into family counseling services at JFS. Putting her grandson first, suicide prevention and suicide awareness prevention program. and awareness Experienced program. Experienced Rebecca enrolled Adam in weekly therapy. By his fifth session of play mental health professionals mental health and trained professionals volunteerand educators trained volunteer educators therapy, he teach the TLC suicideteach prevention the TLCprogram suicide in prevention area public, program in area public,had undergone a remarkable change. Adam was more verbal, calmer, and cooperative. private, parochial and private, charter parochial schools.and charter schools. The transformation in her grandson made Rebecca realize she might

Students in the TLC program Studentslearn in thehow TLCtoprogram identifylearn warning how to identify also warning benefit from counseling. No longer able to tamper her feelings of signs of depression and signs suicide, of depression how to talk andto suicide, a troubled how to talk toanger a troubled and frustration, she felt near her breaking point. JFS Counselors friend, and where to friend, go to get andhelp. where They to are go to also gettaught help. They the are also taught the and Adam the professional guidance and support provided Rebecca importance of breaking importance a secret of to breaking save a lifea and secret thetodanger save a life and thetodanger needed strengthen their family. Rebecca qualified for discounted based on the sliding-fee scale, which allowed both family of alcohol and substance of alcohol abuseand by substance those who abuse are depressed by those who fees are depressed to get the help they needed to enhance their relationship. or suicidal. TLC also or provides suicidal. training TLC also to adults, provides “Gatekeeptraining to adults,members “Gatekeepers,” who are trusteders,” school whofaculty are trusted and parents. school faculty and parents. *Names were changed in order to protect client privacy.

JFS is proud to continue JFS is a second proud toyear continue of partnering a second with year of partnering with area universities to recruit area universities masters-level to recruit social masters-level work studentssocial work students to serve as TLC Volunteer to serve Educators. as TLC Volunteer Educators.


Bikur Chaverim, which Bikur literally Chaverim, meanswhich “Visiting literally Friends,” means is “Visiting a Friends,” is a volunteer-based program volunteer-based designed toprogram bring support designed and to bring support and companionship to those companionship who are isolated. to those who are isolated.



JFS Counseling Groups JFSprovide Counseling support Groups and provide education support to and education to attendees. JFS has expanded attendees.the JFS variety has expanded and frequency the variety of and frequency of



October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 55

PROGRAMS & SERVICES groups offered. Twelve were held during the past year, and included Girl Power, Caregiver Support Group, Parenting Teens, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.


The Catch-A-Cab program is designed to supplement the cost of transportation for members of the Jewish community who are 65 years of age or older. Participants receive discounted coupons for use with local taxi companies. There is no financial pre-requisite to participate. In celebration of Passover, JFS organizes an annual Passover Food Basket Distribution. Dozens of eager JFS volunteers come together each year to sort food items, pack boxes of kosher-for-Passover food, and deliver them to those in need in the community. The Jewish Family Service Financial Resource Center (JFSFRC) offers small grants and loans to Jewish individuals and families.


JFS provides adoption home studies, pre-adoption counseling, and post-placement studies. The service educates families about the adoption process and the special issues that adoptive families face.


JFS offers high quality continuing education seminars on relevant and innovative topics for social workers, counselors, and mental health professionals in the community. These sessions are open to the general public, but are specifically offered for the benefit of colleagues and peers who are required to receive educational credit hours to stay apprised of current practices and modalities.

His wife of fifty one years passed away following her battle with cancer. This left Meyer* with lingering medical debt and feelings of depression and isolation. With no relatives living nearby, he had no support system. Within six months, his formerly active lifestyle had changed dramatically. Meyer forced himself to leave the house twice a week to buy groceries on Wednesdays and attend Synagogue on Saturdays. It was there that his fellow congregants and the Rabbi noticed his sharp weight loss and depression.


Soon his Rabbi arranged to visit with Meyer at home one afternoon. He apologized for the mess but it was evident the house was neglected and that he was starved for companionship. Before leaving, the Rabbi called Jewish Family Service and asked them to help. Meyer consulted with JFS and confirmed he could use housecleaning help and welcomed the chance to socialize more. He also revealed his struggle to pay several medical bills. He openly shared his worries that he would be forced to skip medications and reduce groceries in order to pay those debts. It was quickly determined that Meyer would benefit from a grant from the JFS Financial Resource Center, to resolve the medical debt left by his late wife. Meyer also enrolled in two JFS programs which enriched his life. First, he was paired with a volunteer friend through the Bikur Chaverim program. Sophia* began calling and visiting twice a month to get to know him better. The two soon discovered a shared love of classic movies and included movie rentals in their visits. Meyer also enrolled in the JFS Homemaker program in order to keep on top of his house chores. His friendly Homemaker chatted with him while washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, washing the laundry, and vacuuming each time she visited. It was a tremendous help since Meyer moved slower these days but wanted his house in order for visitors. Four months later, his depression had lifted and Meyer awoke each morning feeling positive. The financial, social, and house cleaning services JFS provided served as Meyer’s lifeline – delivering compassionate care in his time of need. *Names were changed in order to protect client privacy.

JEWISH COMMUNITY DAY SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP For the past four years, thanks to funding from the Jewish Endowment Foundation and Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, Jewish Family Service has offered workshops for parents, taught classroom sessions with students in all grade levels, held one-on-one sessions with students, and consulted with faculty and administration. Additional funding from the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust has allowed JFS to staff a part-time counselor on site at the Jewish Community Day School three days per week.

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Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

Sandra P. Heller Judge Jacob & Vicki Karno New Orleans Artists Against Hunger & Homelessness (NOAAHH) Rick and Debra Rees H. Britton Sanderford, Jr. Ellie & Bruce Wainer Judge Miriam Waltzer and Mr. Bruce Waltzer Lynne & Michael Wasserman Whitney National Bank Carol Wise

$1,000 - $2,499

$25,000 - $49,999

The Cahn Family Foundation Goldring Family Foundation Jewish Endowment Foundation Pratt-Stanton Manor Fund United Way of Southeast Louisiana Woldenberg Foundation

$10,000 - $24,999

Bissinger-Timm for the Benefit of Jewish Family Service Donor Advised Fund Mrs. Adele K. Cahn Joe W. & Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation GPOA Foundation The Estate of Irwin Isaacson Sara Matile Schwarz

$5,000 - $9,999

Marjorie Bissinger Ferber Family Foundation of Houma Alan & Diane Franco Mrs. Robert B. Haspel Louisiana Children's Trust Fund RosaMary Foundation Harold Wainer

ANONYMOUS (2) Allan & Nikki Berger Shelly & Benay Bernstein Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Daniel & Melanie Bronfin Burkedale Foundation Marcy & Mike Gertler Gertler Law Firm Dr. & Mrs. Harley Ginsberg Jere Glaser Margie & Dov Glazer Howard & Susan Green Sean and Diana Greenberg John Haspel & Amy Gainsburgh-Haspel Dr. Harris & Barbara Hyman Hugo & Lis Kahn Jeno & Monica Kalozdi Jeffrey & Betsy Kaston David Kerns Dr. & Mrs. Rene Koppel Jonathan & Fran Lake Dr. & Mrs. Stephen Levine Renee & Rusty Levy Bobby Garon & Robin Levy Laurence & Elizabeth Manshel

$2,500 - $4,999

The Hon. Patricia Brister Burkenroad Foundation Sue & David Daube

John & Susie Meltzer Julie Grant Meyer Marshall & Julie Wise Oreck Sanford Pailet, MD Sarah & Joe Pasternack Jr. Dr. & Mrs. Gary Reiss Resource Bank Dr. and Mrs. Gary Rich Henry & Susan Rosenblat Joshua L. Rubenstein Julie Schwartz & David Radlauer Dr. Ivan Sherman Robert & Pamela Steeg David Stern Sara B. Stone Dr. & Mrs. Rian M. Tanenbaum Stephen & Nancy Timm Patty & Randy Ungar Stanley & Roselle Ungar Joel & Toni Waltzer Art & Martie Waterman

$500 - $999

ANONYMOUS (2) Diane Africk Cathy & Morris Bart Mr. & Mrs. Jack Benjamin, Sr. Valerie Besthoff Aviva & Craig Bowman Wayne & Millie Buras Dr. & Mrs. Aden A. Burka Vivian & Richard Cahn David & Kristen Dulitz Jonathan & Leslie Fawer Joshua & Mara Force George & Laura Fuhrman The Hon. Robin Giarrusso Cathy & Charles Glaser Barbara Greenberg



October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 57


Wally & Ginger Gundlach Ann & Steve Harris Maury A. Herman Susan & William Hess Jean Horn Dr. Jack Hudson & Ms. Sybil Kline Julanne Isaacson David & Jill Israel Sharon Jacobs & Leonard Davis Jewish Children's Regional Service Robin & Allen Kanner Dr. & Mrs. Wynn Kapit Celia L. Katz Ellen & Stan Kessler Allen Kirkley Betty & Ira Kohn Foundation Robert & Jennifer Koppel Marilyn Kullman Betty & Harry Lazarus Andrea & Terrence Lestelle Sherry and Alan Leventhal Family Foundation Dr. & Mrs. Louis Levin Drs. Walter & Laura Levy Ruth & Joel Loeffelholz Rabbi Robert & Lynn Loewy Anne Lowenburg Ellen & Stephen Manshel Marrero Land and Improvement Association Toby & Joel Mendler Ira J. Middleberg Herbert Miller Ted & Leann Moses Dr. Bennie P. Nobles Larry & Naomi Orlansky Ann & Larry Rabin

Candy & Wally Rosenblum Edie & Paul Rosenblum Robert Salus Madalyn & Robert Schenk John & Ellie Schroder Kendra Scott LLC Kathryn & Jeff Scurlock Dana & Louis Shepard Kathy & Hal Shepard Robert I. Shepard Dan & Jackie Silverman William & Jane Sizeler Karen & Eddie Soll Edgar & Kay Starns Rodney & Jane Steiner Bernard Van der Linden Beverly & Lester* Wainer James Weiss & Audrey Browne Lorraine Lake Williams Marie & Robert Wolf Robert & Kathy Zatzmann, Jr. Dr. Ian Zlatkiss Mr. & Mrs. Roy Zuppardo

$250 - $499

ANONYMOUS (1) Jack & Phyllis Alltmont Michael & Stephanie Allweiss Sabina & James J. Altman Cindy Ashkins Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Bain Joan & Gerald Berenson Rabbi Alexis Berk - Touro Synagogue Brook Bissinger Gilbert & Jody Braunig

Debra L. Bresler Sandra Burstein Mr. & Mrs. Robert Caplan

Cecile Weil Usdin Endowment Fund Michael & Tracey Dodd Dr. & Mrs. Lester Dulitz Gordon Dumont Eagan Insurance Agency Michael Eckstein Dr. & Mrs. Elliot Finkelstein Leslie & Nathan Fischman Professor Robert Force Mr. & Mrs. George Freeman, III Mr. and Mrs. Jacob M. Fried Jr. Mr. & Mrs. Frank Friedler, III Reuben & Marlene Friedman Deena Y. Gerber Mr. & Mrs. Louis Gertler Scott & Ashley Gold Mr. & Mrs. David Greenberg Karen Gundlach Harriet Handelman Seth Harris & Julie Schwam Harris Mitchell J. & Susan Hoffman Andrea & Jeffrey Huseman Jane F. Kahn Richard & Lisa Karlin Beverly Katz Charel W. Katz Ralph Katz Nancy & Herman Kohlmeyer Susan B. Kohn Mrs. Mildred Krieger Ruth & Larry Kullman Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Kupperman Dr. & Mrs. Barry J. Leader

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OUR SUPPORTERS $100 - $249

June P. Lestelle Saundra K. Levy Mr. & Mrs. Sanford R. Maslansky Marjorie McCants Mary McCormick Robert Mintz Dr. & Mrs. M. Bert Myers Max Nathan, Jr. Marilyn Lake Neumann Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Opotowsky Rochelle Pearl Debbie & Leon Pesses Jill & Louis Plotkin Sue & Fred Preis Arthur & Sandra Pulitzer Joyce & Sidney Pulitzer Ron-Del Floor Service Beth B. Rosenthal Mr. & Mrs. Jacques Roy Barbara Samuels Warren Schultz Nanette Shapiro Cathy Shepard Leopold & Karen Sher Scott & Julie Silbert David R. Silvers, M.D. Toledano Entertainment & Arts Law Jacqueline Toledano Touro Infirmary Foundation Irving Warshauer Wegmann Dazet & Company Jerry White Mrs. Frances Wolff Cynthia Yeates Marilyn Pailet Zackin

ANONYMOUS (4) Suzanne Abramovitz Dawn Amacker Mr. Brian Bain & Ms. Julie Koppman Joan Banks Charlotte Barron Hertha Bart Sue & Herbert Barton David Berins Jane Berins Marvin & Marilyn Bernstein Clara Berry Bonnie & Harris Blackman Joe & Lee Blotner Helaine & Bill Braunig Kelley & Guy Brenner Broadmoor Improvement Association Inc. Sue Rae Brown Stanley Caron Allen Casey Rachel E. Clement Dr. Gerald Cohen Congregation Anshe Sfard Congregation Beth Israel Congregation Gates of Prayer Eddie Connick Dr. Laurence Cortez Michael Davidson Martin Drell, MD Emily & Evan Dvorin Mark & Rochelle Effron Mr. & Mrs. Alan Emerman Mr. & Mrs. Chad Eriksen Mark & Janet Fagan Mr. & Mrs. Martin G. Falchook

Mrs. Toby Feibelman Mr. & Mrs. Julian Feibelman Jr. Drs. Leron & Julie Finger Trey Folse Irina Foxman Margot Garon

Gates of Prayer Sisterhood Ben & Civia Gerber Ana & Juan Gershanik Mr. & Mrs. Jan Glade Dr. Leonard Glade Dr. & Mrs. Mel Gold Tim & Sheila Gold William E. and Sandra Chass Goldsmith Mark Goldstein & Peggy Usner Rabbi & Mrs. David Goldstein Jeff & Linda Green Leon Greenblatt II Mr. & Mrs. Ricardo Guevara George & Elaine Haas Lauren Haas Jo Lynn Hall Katherine Haspel, Paul Silver & family Sherril Herman Daisy & Ron Heumann Michelle Horton International Alliance of Theatrical & Stage Employees Local 478 Mr. & Mrs. Stanley Jacobs Mr. & Mrs. Terry Jacobson Mark & Barbara Kaplinsky Ellen Katz Susan Kierr Dr. Kenneth L. Klein Steve & Pat Klein Kim Kline Gary & Suzy Lazarus Rene Lehmann Donald I. Levy



October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 59


Linfield Hunter & Junius, Inc. David Margolin Michael & Nancy* Marsiglia Mr. & Mrs. Stanley B. Marx Daniel Mayer Elaine Mendel-John Mr. & Mrs. Maury Midlo Jan & Henry Miller Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Miller Mr. & Mrs. William Mimeles Elaine Mintz Harry & Marion Mohre Andrea Morris Barbara & Robert Namer National Council Of Jewish Women Richard & Carole Neff New Orleans Jewish Community Center Mrs. Ruthie G. Nierman Susan Norwood Mr. & Mrs. Russell S. Palmer Carolyn Plescia Pflug Mr. & Mrs. Randal Pick Sharon Pollin Sarah A. Rabin Dr. Karen Weissbecker Remer Mr. & Mrs. William Rippner Cynthia N. & Leon Rittenberg Jr. Mr. & Mrs. Leon Rittenberg, III Mr. & Mrs. Steven Rittvo Arlene Roberton Aaron Rosekind Mark K. Rosenbloom Meryl Rosenbloom Marilyn Rosenson Mr. & Mrs. Frank Royerre Andre & Robbie Rubenstein

Laurence Rudman Lauren Rudzis Nita-Joan Sams Mr. & Mrs. David L. Schlakman Mark & Diane Schleifstein Jane Schramel Dori & Jack Schulman Stanley Schwam Helen Siegel Rabbi Deborah Silver Maxx Sizeler Betty & Ed Smith Stephen & Caroline Sontheimer St. Paul's School Peggy Stafford State of Israel Ministry of Finance Mr. & Mrs. Paul Sterbcow Dr. & Mrs. Louis H. Stern Eric & Jayne Stillman Jon B. Strauss Rick & Ann Streiffer Ben Swig Matthew & Sherri Tarr Dr. & Mrs. Henry Threefoot Hal & Lauren Ungar Dr. Linda Usdin Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Varon Dr. Susan Vogel Lee Vorisek Ms. Vickie Wakefield Mrs. Eileen Wallen Mrs. Jenna Walsh Dr. Nathan Wexler & Mrs. Helen Katz Ginny Wise and Kevin Wilkins Monica Woods Moises & Martha Yoselevitz Patricia Zindulka Gary Zoller & Lisa Pulitzer Dr. Jack Zoller *deceased

SPECIAL THANKS TO Betsy & Jeff Kaston Congregation Anshe Sfard Congregation Beth Israel Congregation Gates of Prayer Congregation Gates of Prayer Religious School Dorignac’s Food Center Fred Preis, Senior Partner, Labor/Employment Section, Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. Jewish Community Day School Jewish Endowment Foundation Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans Kosher Cajun Deli and Grocery Larry Manshel & ITC Promotions Lowe’s of Metairie Mike Gertler, Gertler Law Firm Moishe House National Council of Jewish Women New Orleans Jewish Community Center Northshore Jewish Congregation Religious School Osem USA and Howard Sanders Shir Chadash Religious School Temple Sinai Religious School Touro Infirmary Foundation Touro Synagogue Religious School This list represents contributions of $100 and above to Jewish Family Service from July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017. We regret any errors or omissions in this publication. Please contact the Development Office to update your records so that we may recognize you appropriately in the future. THANK YOU TO ALL OUR JFS SUPPORTERS!

504-831-8475 60 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017



You Become a Friend when making a general or designated gift. Your contribution enables JFS to offer our sliding-fee scale, keeping our programs and services affordable and accessible to everyone. You may designate your gift to support: • General/Unrestricted Fund • Children and Families • Other programs as specified • Older Adult Services

MAKE A GIFT IN HONOR OF SOMEONE You can make a difference for someone in our community with a meaningful gesture that will be appreciated by both the gift recipient and the person served by JFS.


Updating your portfolio? Consider donating shares of stock or an Israel Bond to benefit DONATE YOUR VEHICLE JFS. Call 504-831-8475 for more information. Jewish Family Service accepts charitable donations of vehicles through CARS (Charitable Adult Rides & Services), with sales proceeds dedicated to support a variety of MAKE A GIFT IN MEMORY JFS programs. CARS will help you handle all of the details OF SOMEONE of your automobile (or other motor vehicle) donation. Pay tribute to loved ones who were Receive a tax credit, and avoid the hassle of advertising or an important part of your life with a beautiful expression of haggling with a car salesman. Visit our “Support Us” online remembrance. page to learn more.

THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS Several programs at Jewish Family Service depend upon a corps of dedicated volunteers working closely with staff in order to ensure the best care for the people we serve. JFS recruits year-round for volunteers in the following programs. Interested in giving of your time and talents? Please call 504-831-8475.


Experienced mental health professionals and trained volunteer educators teach the TLC suicide prevention program to students in grades 7-12 in area public, private, parochial and charter schools. Volunteer educators receive specialized training through the Teen Life Counts Coordinator. Once trained, they participate in workshops teaching students to break the code of silence when concerned that a friend or a classmate is at risk for suicide or self-harm.


Bikur Chaverim volunteers, called “Visitors,” are paired with “Friends” who are seniors either homebound or semi-homebound. A volunteer visits their Friend in person every other week, and calls the Friend on the weeks in between. The goal of the program is to keep older adults from becoming isolated and alone and to keep them engaged and interested. Close bonds between volunteers and seniors often form and are mutually rewarding.


Lifeline is a personal emergency response system providing subscribers access to emergency services 24 hours per day/ 7 days per week. The system is easy to use and designed to reduce the risks of living alone. In the event of a fall or an emergency, immediate help is available at the push of a button. Volunteers call clients once a month to encourage them to test their equipment to ensure everything is in perfect working order.



October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 61

O U R S TA F F *Former JFS Staff member as of August 2017


Roselle M. Ungar, CFRE Executive Director

Rachel Lazarus Eriksen, LCSW-BACS Director of Clinical Services

Julie Finkelstein Steinhaus Director of Business Services

COUNSELING/CASE MANAGEMENT Stephanie Crowder, LPC, LMFT Therapist, Adoption Home Studies

Fran Dinehart, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Case Manager

Andrea Garcia, BA* Bilingual Case Manager


Lifeline Community Liaison

Jan Miller

Lifeline Office Support Staff

Kim Nonenmacher Lifeline Program Manager

Harrison Wool

Lifeline Field Support Staff


Amanda L. Hembree, M.S., LPC* Teen Life Counts Coordinator

Melissa R. Stewart, LMSW Teen Life Counts Coordinator


Katherine C. Godshall, LCSW

R. Sofya Spector, MA

Laura Kulick, LCSW

Lenna Blaser, BA*

Bethany Linville, BA, MA

Lauren Rudzis, BA

Intern Program Supervisor

Licensed Clinical Social Worker Bilingual Case Manager

Kate Melman, BA, MA* Bilingual Case Manager

Lauren Miller, LMSW* Counselor/ Case Management

Grants and Communications Coordinator Development Coordinator Development Coordinator


Client and Donor Services Specialist

Emily G. Morgan, LMSW*

Denise Dirks*

Lisa Preminger, BA

Erin Grauel

Natasha Ramer

Abigail Leven*

Candice Rosenblum, LCSW

Sarah Villien

Case Management

Bilingual Case Manager

Resettlement Case Worker Clinical Social Worker, Northshore Office

Jennifer Schneider, MSW, RSW* Geriatric Specialist

John S. Shalett, LCSW, BACS, LMFT-S* Intern Program Supervisor

Ludmila Talley

Resettlement Case Worker

Matthew T. Watson, M.S., LPC, NCC, PLMFT*

Administrative Assistant Administrative Assistant Administrative Assistant Client and Donor Services Specialist

HOMEMAKERS Melinda Ferrell Shirleen Jefferson Renee Johnson* Valerie Vaughn

Clinical Therapist

CONTACT INFORMATION 3300 W. Esplanade Ave. S., Suite 603, Metairie, LA 70002 (504) 831-8475 |


Sarah Applebaum, Meghan Berger, Elizabeth Black, Katey Blagden,Taylor Bonnette, Carey Gilchrist, Jennifer Glynn, Emily Jasper, Melanie McClellan

504-831-8475 62 Southern Jewish Life • October 2017


rear pew mirror • doug brook

High Holy Mays

month, Torah style. In the middle of the month prior comes the frivolous frivolity of Purim, where Jews are commanded to drink until they can’t tell the difference between CNN and Fox News. Barely two weeks later would be Rosh Hashanah, with all the requisite preparation that comes with it. Unlike today, where Rosh Hashanah comes soon after school starts, this timing could frequently coincide with spring break. Ten days later comes Yom Kippur, in a very familiar way. However, five nights later is no longer the first night to sup in the sukkah under the stars. That night is now the first Seder, begging the question of which is more arduous: five days to put up the sukkah, or five days to shop, clean, swap dishes, and carb cleanse for Passover. After Passover comes seven weeks of the Omer, culminating in Shavuot. While this is the commemoration of the giving of the Torah, it’s not typically as festive or observed today as Chanukah. Also, the Omer itself has its constraints, which can seem even more burdensome than seven weeks of Chanukah shopping. One similarity between the two timeframes is their most significant difference. After door number one, Chanukah, comes months of cold winter. After door number two, Shavuot is followed by months of hot summer. The similarity? The complaining. Just interchange “hot” or “cold” after “too.” So, five days to prepare for Passover rather than for Sukkot. No festival of gift giving two months after the main holidays. One far less observed — despite being more important — celebration of the Torah. Perhaps the rabbis knew something after all, keeping the High Holy Days separate from Passover. Next time the High Holy Days or Passover seem burdensome, consider how much more arduous this alternate schedule would be. This lesson is summed up in one of the most famous tenets from the long lost, recently discovered Mishnah tractate Bava Gump: Be careful what you wish for, even if you might not get it.

The sukkah is still up, though it could have come down by now. The last thing one would expect is another anecdote about the High Holy Days. But what if the fall season’s falling of palm fronds didn’t coincide with the end of the Days of Aww-You’re-Wearing-White-After-Labor-Day? Instead of Jewish clocks falling backward soon after Yom Kippur, what if the Jewish world sprang forward just before Rosh Hashanah? In the Torah, the first day of the first month is the first of Nisan. Nisan is Passover’s month, as well as the manufacturer of the all-new Altima. What if Rosh Hashanah were on the first day of the first month, per the Torah’s reckoning, instead of the first day of the seventh month, as observed today? (Or, several days ago.) First, consider the way things are. School starts, and Rosh Hashanah comes in a matter of days or weeks — or IMAGINE, months, given how so many schools start needlessly early in August now. Family. INSTEAD OF Meals, Sermons as long as family meals. SUKKOT, THAT Sermons at family meals about how long PASSOVER CAME sermons are. The remainder of the Ten Days of ReFIVE DAYS AFTER pentance culminate in Yom Kippur, the unfastest fast day on the Jewish calendar. YOM KIPPUR… Before Calgon can take anyone away, the sukkah must go up. After all, everyone needs a place to eat away from all the dishes piled up in the house from two days of Rosh Hashanah, one break-the-fast, and an Alabama game or two in between. Eight days of Sukkot, including Sh’mini Atzeret (Hebrew for “the day nobody knows what it’s for”). One day of biceps workout on Simchat Torah, rolling Torahs back in the original scrolling action that preceded MacOS. Then there are nearly two shopping months until Chanukah, with no Doug Brook is not high, not holy, and while once he could run like Mays holidays in between. Breathing room after what many consider a holy day melee, despite the wondrous celebration of life, love, and lulav that they’re that was a few potato kugels ago. That is, years. To read past columns, visit For exclusive online content, like intended to be. Now, consider if Rosh Hashanah were on the first day of the first rearpewmirror.  

Metairie Oncologists Jayne Gurtler, MD • Laura A Brinz, MD & Janet A Burroff, MD

Welcome to the Practice Dr. Melanie Sheen, MD Specializing in breast cancer treatment, genetic breast cancer risk counseling and treatment options

3939 Houma Blvd Bldg 2, Ste 6 Metairie, LA 70006 504-885-0577

October 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 55

SJL New Orleans, October 2017  

October 2017 New Orleans edition of Southern Jewish Life, the official publication of the Jewish community of Greater New Orleans