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Southern Jewish Life NEW ORLEANS EDITION

November 2018 Volume 28 Issue 9

Southern Jewish Life 3747 West Esplanade Ave., 3rd Floor Metairie, LA 70002 Outside B’nai Israel in Panama City after Hurricane Michael


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November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

This epic production immerses you in stories reaching back to the most distant past. You’ll explore realms even beyond our visible world. Featuring one of the world’s oldest art forms—classical Chinese dance— along with innovative multimedia effects and all-original orchestral works, Shen Yun opens a portal to a glorious civilization of unrivaled beauty, artistry, and inspiration.

We invite you to a world where philosophers and poets alike sought harmony with the Dao, or “Way,” of the universe. Where maidens danced with ethereal grace and generals fought with explosive athleticism. Where timeless tales of valor and virtue were born. Where heaven and earth intersected, and even magic was possible.

shalom y’all

shalom y’all

As this issue was wrapping up, congregations throughout the world had just read the portion Lech Lecha on Shabbat. The reading begins with God telling Abram to leave his home and go to a new land which God would show him. God also told Abram that He would make from him a mighty nation and that God would bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him. This past month, there have been several Christian solidarity events with Israel around our region, and those verses are always cited at these events. During our interview with Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson about his recent trip to Israel (see page 12), he also referred to those verses. It is fitting, then, that this is also when we announce a new publication from the team at Southern Jewish Life. Israel InSight magazine will make its debut early next year, and the new publication is for Israel’s Christian friends. Over the last decade, the Jewish world has become much more aware of the large number of Christians who have a love for Israel and the Jewish people, a love which is unconditional and based both on the Bible and the geopolitical importance of Israel to the United States in a turbulent region. Here in the South, we have been ahead of the curve as such expressions of support have been well-known for much longer. For example, in 1943 the Alabama Legislature became the first governmental body in the U.S. to call for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in the land of Israel. In the late 1940s the father of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour set up a pro-Israel group in the Yazoo City area. The new magazine will educate about what is going on in Israel and explain controversial issues. It will also have stories on groups in America that are doing

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November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life




Maccabi USA leader praises Birmingham Games

I have had the honor of attending many Maccabi competitions around the world. From Israel great thingstoinSouth Israel,America, and the Europe amazing things We also have a Facebook page which will proto Australia and the JCC Maccabi games around the United States Israel is doing around world, regular linksbuild to interesting and Canada, I have loggedthe many milesincluding seeing howvide sports can beupdates a vehicleand to help Jewish sending a team to in work hurricane recovery pieces. identity, especially ouron young. in the Florida panhandle. While the primary readership will be ChrisI felt honored to come to Birmingham for the first time and fell in love with not just the city We will also have stories about interesting tian, Israel InSight will also be a publication but the people. You have taken Southern hospitality to a new level with your kind and caring people and places in Israel, ways to support that a supporter of Israel from any faith, or approach to the JCC Maccabi Games. Israel and how the Jewish and Christian com- none at all, will feel comfortable picking up Led by can the Sokol and Helds, your hard-workingand volunteers were wonderful. They partnered munities work together. reading. with your outstanding staff, led by Betzy Lynch, to make the 2017 JCC Maccabi games a huge and hit. Israel InSight will recognize and celebrate We are excited about this new venture, I want to take this opportunity executive director of Maccabi USA to say the support Israel gets fromas our Christian invite you to journey withthank us. you on behalf of everyone friends and involved. neighbors, and hopefully will be a bridge between twofrom communities that need I had just returned the 20th World Maccabiah games in Israel with a U.S. delegation of to understand other better. over 1100, whoeach joined 10,000 Jewish athletes from 80 countries. Back in July the eyes of the entire Our world website,, Jewish were on Jerusalem and the Maccabiah. This past month with 1000 athletes and has links to our preview issuebeing and in a way to coaches from around the world Birmingham, you became the focal point. subscribe to the forthcoming print edition. Lawrence Brook, Publisher/Editor Everyone from the Jewish community and the community at large, including a wonderful police force, are to be commended. These games will go down in history as being a seminal moment for the Jewish community as we build to the future by providing such wonderful Jewish memories. Over 150 law enforcement professionals at all levels to counter the rise in hate and bigJed Margolis from Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana con- otry in our society, and to counter extremism Executive Director, Maccabi USA vened on Oct. 22 and 23 for the Second Annual in whatever form it takes,” said Aaron Ahlquist, Anti-Defamation League Law Enforcement Regional Director of the ADL’s South Central supremacists like to see pushed back Conference. In addition to a day focused on office in New would Orleans. On Charlottesville a corner and made to feel lesser. Welaw stand training around managing implicit bias in law into “We are proud to work closely with enwith and pray for the family of Heather Heyer, enforcement, experts from the ADL’s Center on forcement to combat hate and make our comEditor’s Note: This reaction to the events in who was there up to theisface of this Extremism addressed timely issues of white munities safer. standing This conference a wonderful Charlottesville, writtenthe by Jeremy Newman, hate. supremacy and extremism, as well as leadership opportunity to engage law enforcement from Master of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Theta Colony and core values. the local, state and federal levels, to create We recognize the essence of the Americanimat Auburn University, was shared by AEPi This free training, made possible by a partportant and provide information narrativedialogues as a two-century old struggle to ridand National, which called it “very eloquent” and nership withbrothers the Patrick F. Taylor resources forsuch themcorners, to use in ourselves of andfurtherance allow thoseofinthis praised “our at AEPi Theta Foundation, Colony at was at the Danna Center University them the” seat at the table that they so deserve. Auburn University and…at theLoyola leadership they in mission. New Orleans. This conference builds the success It is the struggle to fulfill theoff promise of the of display on their campus.” “In today’s polarized climate, we are seeing last year’s event, with expanded content and Declaration of Independence, that “all men are emboldened extremist organizations stepping programming. conference was chaired by created equal…The endowed by their Creator with into public spaces to push their messages of board members Caroline Good and Sarah RuWhite supremacy has been a cancer on certain unalienable rights.” We know our work hate. ADL strives Law threatening Enforcement bin our country since to its engage beginning, is farCohen. from finished, but we know we will not its hopes, its values, and its better angels. move backwards. The events that took place in Charlottesville When men and women, fully armed, take represented the worst of this nation. Those who marched onto the streets with tiki torches to the streets in droves with swastikas and 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

ADL hosts regional law enforcement conference

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


November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

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

November 2018 January 2018

Southern Jewish Life PUBLISHER/EDITOR Lawrence M. Brook ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/ADVERTISING Lee J. Green V.P. SALES/MARKETING, NEW ORLEANS Jeff Pizzo 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 504/432-2561 TOLL-FREE 866/446.5894 FAX 866/392.7750 ADVERTISING Advertising inquiries to 205/870.7889 for Lee Green,; Jeff Pizzo,; 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 2018. 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.

agenda interesting bits & can’t miss events

Past presidents of the New Orleans Section of the National Council of Jewish Women

Bobby Garon to succeed Sandy Levy at Jewish Endowment Foundation Andrea Lestelle, president of the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana, announced that R. Justin (Bobby) Garon will become JEF’s next executive director, effective Jan. 1, 2019. He will succeed Sandy Levy, who has headed the agency for 27 years, growing the overall assets of the Foundation from $10 million to around $60 million. Levy will remain with JEF for a transition period to enable a smooth, effective turnover. Garon will be retiring from his legal Photo by Michael Palumbo practice at the end of this year after 33 years in the profession. He said he is excited to begin this next chapter in his life. For the last few months, he has been taking courses to earn the designation of Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy, enhancing his resume of professional and non-profit experiences. During his legal career, he has been very active with many organizations in the New Orleans Jewish community, serving as a board member or officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family Service, Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Outreach Institute, Jewish Federation of North America, and Shir Chadash Congregation. Garon currently chairs the group that is developing the Louisiana Community Mikveh. Additionally, he has served the broader community

in significant roles on the NORD Foundation, NORD Commission, Trust for Public Land, New Orleans Citizen Advisory Panel Commission, and the Southern Institute for Education and Research. Lestelle said the search committee, which was co-chaired by Jill Israel, was looking for a “visionary, experienced, successful leader with powerful interpersonal skills who will continue to grow this important community organization, serving as an ambassador and trusted partner with donors, potential donors, and Jewish organizations. “In Bobby, we found someone who exceeds all we hoped for,” she said.

Two NOLA congregations losing rabbis Beth Israel in Metairie announced on Oct. 8 that Rabbi Gabriel Greenberg has requested that his contract not be renewed when it concludes on June 30. On Oct. 24, Temple Sinai made a similar announcement regarding Rabbi Matthew Reimer. Beth Israel President Lee Kansas said Greenberg “has become more than merely our congregation’s rabbi; he’s become a friend, spiritual guide, teacher, community leader and so much more.” Greenberg said the decision came “after lengthy conversations with Abby and family, and deep introspection and prayer.” He said while the “difficult decision” is “ultimately the correct one for our family, that does not mean it doesn’t bring with it strong emotions and sadness.” Greenberg was hired to succeed Rabbi Uri Topolosky in 2013, but Greenberg still had a year of commitment as rabbi and senior Jewish educator at Hillel at the University of California at Berkeley. The congreNovember 2018 • Southern Jewish Life


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agenda gation selected Greenberg knowing they would have to wait for a year, and in the summer of 2014 the Greenbergs moved to New Orleans. “It has been a true honor, and a deep pleasure, to serve as rabbi of Beth Israel, and I will forever treasure all of the relationships that I have formed during our time here,” he said in an Oct. 9 letter to the congregation. “We have danced together at weddings, cried at funerals, learned much Torah together, and empowered our children to grow as Jews and people.” Being in New Orleans also meant that Greenberg was able to make his television debut, playing a rabbi on an episode of “NCIS: New Orleans” in 2014. The congregation has its annual meeting and elections on Oct. 14. Kansas urged input from the membership as a search committee is formed to find Greenberg’s successor. “We all have important parts to play and know everyone will rise to the challenge.”

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On Oct. 24, Temple Sinai President Robin Giarrusso informed the congregation that Reimer “has chosen not to renew his contract” with the congregation. His contract runs through June 30. “Though we have had an exciting, productive and energetic two years together,” she said, “the

Reimers miss living near their family.” Reimer arrived in New Orleans in the summer of 2016 to succeed Rabbi Edward Paul Cohn, who had served Temple Sinai since 1987. A native of West Orange, N.J., he had been rabbi at the Shul of New York before moving to New Orleans, and had previously held other positions in the New York area. Giarrusso said Reimer “has been instrumental in enhancing the Temple Sinai experience.” He “enriched Sinai’s Shabbat culture with Saturday morning Torah study, live music on Friday nights, and birthday and anniversary blessings.” Reimer has also worked on community outreach through Passover seders for young professionals and the LGBTQ+ community, and the Temple Sinai Cares Committee, and deepened interfaith ties with churches on St. Charles Avenue. The congregation has been in touch with the Central Committee of American Rabbis to organize a search for a successor. Giarrusso concluded that “though this is difficult news to deliver, it comes at a time of great positive change for the Temple,” with the recent addition of new Executive Director Liz Yager and Director of Education Avital Ostfield. “The right senior rabbi is critical for our Temple, and we are confident that we will find the right fit,” Giarrusso said.

“People of the Image” weekend at Shir Chadash Shir Chadash in Metairie welcomes Marc Michael Epstein for a scholar in residence weekend, Nov. 9 to 11. Epstein is professor of religion and visual culture, holding the Mattie Paschall and Norman Davis Chair at Vassar College. He lectures on Jewish visual and material culture, with an emphasis on the Middle Ages. After the 6:15 p.m. service on Nov. 9, he will speak at the 7 p.m. dinner about “People of the Image: Jews and Art.” Despite the Second Commandment prohibition on graven images, Epstein says Jews are the “people of the image” as well as the people of the book. At the 9:30 a.m. service on Nov. 10, he will

speak about the weekly portion, Toldot, as the “headquarters” of Jewish-Christian relations, exploring what classical Jewish tradition taught about the broken relationship between Christians and Jews, and what challenges exist today. After lunch, he will lead a text study from his background in Slonim, Izhbitz and Radzin Hasidism, presenting Hasidus in a way which is relevant to non-Hasidic Jews. On Nov. 11 at 10:30 a.m. he will do a slide presentation, “Art Detectives: How to Use Art to Understand the Hearts and Minds of Jews in Bygone Times.” The program is geared toward families with children ages 9 to 18.

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agenda JCDS announces Nitzanim preschool to open in August 2019 Jewish Community Day School announced that Nitzanim, “the Preschool @ JCDS” will open in August 2019. According to Head of School Sharon Pollin, Nitzanim was recognized by families and board members as the perfect name for the new early childhood education program. Nitzanim means “flower buds” in Hebrew. “Our name reflects our belief that young children blossom in a thoughtfully planned nourishing setting, surrounded by caring teachers and friends,” added Pollin. The mission of Nitzanim is to inspire the natural curiosity, creativity, compassion and love of learning of children in a joyful Jewish environment; and to create a vibrant community of children, teachers and families. A team assembled by Pollin has been working on program design for more than a year. Pollin, who has deep early childhood education experience, notes that at Nitzanim, children’s intellectual development will be supported as they explore their environment and express themselves through words, movement, drawing, painting, playing, singing, organic gardening, block construction, outdoor play, and other natural modes of expression. “We emphasize curiosity, critical thinking and values-based problem solving, all necessary for a successful and meaningful life,” she explained. The school will combine best practices in early childhood education, inspired by the world-renowned early childhood model of the schools of Reggio-Emilia, Italy, and Jewish values. Three Jewish values in particular are being emphasized: B’Tzelem Elokim: Divine Image, that all are created in the Divine Image, and therefore, all are valued and respected. This perspective helps to develop empathy. Tikkun Olam: Repair of the World, that everyone has the responsibility, as well as the opportunity and power, to help make the world better. Shalom: Peace. Integrating problem-solving education into the Early Childhood experience has a positive impact on children’s social and emotional development, and reduction of behavioral problems later in life. Other special characteristics include a seamless full school day from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday with before- and after-school options available; small class sizes; the opportunity to purchase hot, healthy, kosher lunches from on-site Dvash Catering by Linda Waknin; and professional specialists to teach Hebrew language, art, music, yoga, and introduction to technology. More information about Nitzanim is available at To schedule a private tour, email or call (504) 8874091. The next Open House is Jan. 15 at 5:30 p.m., with a free pizza dinner. Children are welcome at the open house.


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Chanukah stamps should be available The 2018 Hanukkah stamp was issued on Oct. 16 and should now be available at post offices nationwide. Ronald Scheiman, who chairs The Quest for Annual Hanukkah Stamps, said he has been to several post offices that do not have them, claiming a lack of demand. He has contacted the U.S. postal service and asks for those who have difficulty finding the stamps to email him at, with the city, state and zip code, as well as any reason given for not stocking the stamps. November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life


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Gates of Prayer will formally install Rabbi David Gerber the weekend of Nov. 16. Gates of Prayer Rabbi Emeritus Robert Loewy, who retired last summer, will officiate the installation. Stuart Briefer will be the guest speaker. On Nov. 17, there will be Torah study at 9:15 a.m., with Gerber and Pastor Kennis Russell giving their perspectives on the week’s portion. Russell and Gerber have been close friends for about 25 years. The study will be followed by services at 10:30 a.m., where Russell will join with Tory May

in highlighting interpretations of the Psalms through music. A lunch will be provided by the Sisterhood. Starting at 7 p.m., there will be a reception with music by the Dapper Dandies and light fare from Dvash at M.S. Rau. There is no charge and the community is invited, but reservations are requested to the Gates of Prayer office. On Nov. 18, many of his former congregants will attend the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles, the new home team for Gerber against his previous home team.

Two Israelis were killed by a Palestinian co-worker on Oct. 7 at Barkan Industrial Park, a business center in the territories where Israelis and Palestinians work side by side. The woman who was killed is from Rosh Ha’Ayin, New Orleans’ Partnership2Gether community.

Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Myra Clare Rogers Memorial Chapel. Silver is senior director at the Tikvah Fund and the executive director of the Jewish Leadership Conference. The lecture is open to the University community and public at no charge.

Touro Synagogue will honor Joyce Pulitzer, the congregation’s first female president, at the L’Chayim Award gala on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. Pulitzer was also the first female president of the Anti-Defamation League, and is a past president of the Jewish Endowment Foundation.

Pamela Arceneaux, senior librarian/rare books librarian with The Historic New Orleans Collection, will discuss her most recent book “Guidebooks to Sin: The Blue Books of Storyville, New Orleans” on Nov. 12 at 11:45 a.m. at the Uptown Jewish Community Center. Her talk, about the notorious neighborhood, is part of the Morris Bart Lecture Series. Lunch will be available with a reservation by Nov. 8. There is no charge for members, $10 for non-members.

Rabbi David Gerber of Gates of Prayer in Metairie will be the guest speaker for the joint Thanksgiving service with St. Clement of Rome Catholic Church on Nov. 18. The 6:30 p.m. service will be at Gates of Prayer.

Beth Shalom in Baton Rouge will celebrate Americana Shabbat the weekend of Nov. 16, with Jewish Country/Americana musician Joe Buchanan and Institute for Southern Jewish Life Education Fellow Carly Abramson. Kabbalat Shabbat services on Nov. 16 will be at 6 p.m., with a dairy potluck following. On Nov. Temple Sinai will hold a blood drive with 17, there will be a 10 a.m. Shabbat service, The Blood Center on Nov. 11 from 9 to 11 Camp Shabbat at 4 p.m. and a concert starting a.m. in the auditorium. The Blood Center is a at 6 p.m. non-profit that supplies over 30 hospitals and Movies in Metairie will be on Nov. 26 at facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi, includ12:30 p.m. at the Goldring/Woldenberg Jewing Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. Anyone in good health over 16 years of age who ish Community Campus. “Shape of Water” has not given blood in the past eight weeks is will be screened. Viewers may bring a lunch, eligible to donate. Sixteen year-olds may do- movie snacks and drinks will be provided. The screening is free and open to the community. nate with parental consent. Movie Day at the Uptown JCC will be on Nov. Gates of Prayer Sisterhood in Metairie is 29 at noon, with “Fences.” holding its annual Chanukah Gift Show, Nov. In December 2015, Jordan Lawrence start11 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Loewy Lobed NJBeats, an a capella group at Tulane by. University that performs Jewish music. After Tulane University Judeo-Christian Stud- three years of growth, the group has started ies will host the Catherine and Henry J. Ga- a WaveStarter campaign to record its first isman Memorial Lecture, featuring Jonathan studio album. As of press time, the donors Silver, who will speak on “What Can the He- who have their NJBacks are $317 short of the brew Bible Teach America?” The lecture will be $3,000 goal. Rabbi Alexis Berk of Touro Synagogue will lead “Literature and Libatons,” a dinner and discussion of “Letters to my Palestinian Neighbor” by Yossi Klein Halevi. The dinner will be Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. A $10 donation is suggested, and reservations are requested.


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Hurricane Michael recovery begins for Florida panhandle communities Like their neighbors, Jewish communities along the Florida panhandle are assessing the widespread damage from Hurricane Michael, which came ashore just east of Panama City on Oct. 10 as one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the United States. Sustained winds of 155 miles per hour categorized the storm just below Category 5, the highest for hurricanes. By comparison, Hurricane Katrina was Category 3 when it hit in 2005. Lisa Rahn of B’nai Israel in Panama City said “The devastation to the community at large is unfathomable.” A few days later, Robert Goetz, a board member at B’nai Israel, said power and water had been restored in the area, but communication was still very limited, with outages continuing for Verizon and Sprint. Because of the limited communication, there were still congregants that were unaccounted for. Shortly after the hurricane passed, B’nai Israel congregant Adam Braun made his way to the small Reform congregation’s building, and found minor damage on the exterior. “She’s okay!” he reported. “There’s a tiny bit of outside damage and the Star of David above the door is gone, but other than that, she made it through the storm.” Goetz said they were trying to assess whether they would be able to start holding services the weekend of Oct. 26. The congregation started a GoFundMe page. Several members had “huge property losses, some of which are not covered by insurance,” while others were unsure when they would be able to go back to their jobs or businesses. Achdut Israel, a small Israeli Orthodox congregation in Panama City Beach, also started a fundraising page for relief efforts. Cristina Mor, who started the page, said “our community didn’t sustain major damages, all the funds will go into providing all the needs to the people in need from all over the Panhandle that suffered tremendous loss.” Experiencing his first hurricane was Rabbi Mendel Danow, who arrived in Pensacola on Oct. 7 with his wife to start the new Chabad of Pensacola. They immediately went into hurricane preparation mode, boarding their doors and windows and purchasing supplies — while welcoming the Tenenboims, who had evacuated from Destin, where they run Emerald Coast Chabad. Destin is half-way between Pensacola and Panama City. While Pensacola had wind and rain, being 120 miles west of landfall there was little damage. After the storm, Rabbi Shaya Tenenboim said “Destin is fine, thank

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WORLD CLASS. HERE AT HOME. Emerald Coast Chabad delivered kosher meals to Panama City


November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life





November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

Photo by Adam Braun

“Minor damage” at B’nai Israel in Panama City G-d.” He, his wife and 12-year-old daughter then headed to Panama City on Oct. 11 to deliver kosher meals, water, ice and gas, then prepared Shabbat meals for those still without electricity. In the days following, they delivered portable generators that had been donated. Tenenboim said most of the Jewish people they knew in Panama City evacuated. From those who stayed, he said, there wasn’t much damage to homes, but many stores owned by Israelis in the area were “heavily damaged.” A woman who evacuated to Mississippi contacted Tenenboim as her 12-year-old daughter, a student at Emerald Coast Chabad’s religious school, had stayed behind with her father in the Panama City area, and she had not heard from them. Tenenboim contacted rescuers who “had to cut through six miles of broken trees and debris” to get to them and find them “unhurt but terrified.” A Jewish doctor stayed at the Bay Medical Center with his wife and baby, and described “chaos and horror” as the hurricane heavily damaged the hospital. Tenenboim said they were evacuating the hospital after the storm, and “it’s an open miracle no one was hurt.” In Tallahassee, where winds that were sustained at 70 miles per hour toppled trees and caused widespread damage and power outages, Chabad of the Panhandle grilled up chicken for anyone who came by, of any faith. Rabbi Shneur Zalman Oreichman said the Chabad House, which was being renovated, and his house had some damage, but they had been unable to assess how much due to power outages. Tallahassee’s Temple Israel reported that the power was out at their building until Oct. 14, but the structure was fine aside from some debris outside. Shabbat services went on by candlelight and flashlight on Oct. 12 and 13, including what would be a very memorable Bar Mitzvah for Michael Rubin. The bar mitzvah had originally been scheduled for the previous weekend, but that turned

community out to be homecoming weekend for Florida State. Bob Canter, who taught him in fifth grade at religious school, made a presentation during the service, telling him the morning was “made even more special in light of the fact that you stood up to a major hurricane and refused to let it deter you from what you had worked so hard to achieve… don’t let anything — not even a hurricane — stand in your way.” The congregation organized relief supplies that were delivered to Panama City and Marianna, while the Jacksonville Jewish Center sent volunteers to do cleanup work in Quincy and Marianna. Shomrei Torah, the Conservative congregation in Tallahassee, reported that their building was intact and the Torahs, which had been removed for safekeeping, were back in the ark. A volunteer with a chainsaw cleared fallen oak limbs from the driveway, and a water oak fell and damaged the Herzl’s cypress on the property. On Oct 7, when warnings about the storm began, the Men’s Club took down the congregation’s sukkah in about 25 minutes, and commented on it as a “reminder of the impermanence of temporary structures.” Power was out at Temple Emanu-El in Dothan, and there were “lots of trees and limbs down” according to Stephanie Butler, executive director of Jewish Community Services of Dothan. Otherwise, she said, everything was fine. In Fort Walton, just west of Destin, Beth Shalom reported that “everyone is fine and so is the temple,” which is a couple of miles inland. “We really dodged a bullet this time, could have been much worse,” said Stephanie Geleta, administrative assistant at the city’s sole Jewish congregation. NECHAMA Jewish Response to Disaster was already working in the Carolinas in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. They reported “the NECHAMA Team in Horry County, S.C. felt the effects of Hurricane Michael yesterday with high winds and rain. They are back up and running today, continuing to help homeowners impacted by Hurricane Florence.” Noting that Michael was still a hurricane over 200 miles inland in Georgia, NECHAMA deployed to southern Georgia, starting with debris removal in Decatur county, around Bainbridge. On Oct. 12, IsraAID announced it was deploying to Florida and recruiting volunteers to help in the recovery effort. The emergency response team is partnering with Team Rubicon, an international response organization founded by U.S. military veterans. “Our thoughts turn again towards the southeastern United States, as towns and cities in northwest Florida have suffered large-scale, catastrophic damage at the hands of Hurricane Michael,” IsraAID Co-CEOs Yotam Polizer and Navonel Glick said. “Our team will remain in the area to help people affected by this devastating storm for as long as we are needed.” The group has a team in North Carolina working on Hurricane Florence response, and was in Florida last year following Hurricane Irma. The Jewish Federations of North America was already fundraising for Hurricane Florence relief, and added Hurricane Michael to the appeal, to “make sure that the urgent needs of the most severely impacted are met.” The Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana made a $10,000 emergency relief grant for Hurricanes Florence and Michael, and the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans made a $7,000 allocation. JEF is also encouraging those with Donor Advised Funds to make distributions from their funds. Goetz said they knew a hurricane would eventually hit, so the B’nai Israel had a disaster plan that they practice annually. “We highly recommend it” for every group. A plan includes how to account for members, and what to do regarding facilities, equipment and assets. The Torahs at B’nai Israel were wrapped airtight in thick construction trash bags to keep them safe, then they were moved from the building afterward because of humidity concerns. While the hurricane “devastated a large part of the county,” Goetz said, the real horror story will come from economic hardship and the inability of some to rebuild.

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November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life


Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, right, accepts key to Ariel from Ariel Mayor Eli Shaviro on Oct. 16

Alabama ties to historic day in Ariel Mobile mayor, U.S. ambassador make first visits as Israeli, Palestinian entrepreneurs meet

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November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

Oct. 16 was a historic day in Ariel, and Birmingham-based JH Israel was in the middle of it. David Friedman, the United States ambassador to Israel, made an official visit to Ariel, breaking a longstanding taboo on official visits to areas in the territories, beyond the pre-1967 Green Line. He attended a regional business forum at the Ariel Pioneers Museum, held to promote joint economic initiatives for Arab and Jewish communities. The forum was organized by the Judea Samaria Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which promotes commercial partnerships between Israelis and Palestinians in the territories. That same day, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson made his first visit to Ariel. Ariel is Mobile’s sister city in Israel. Stimpson’s visit began with a breakfast meeting with Ariel department heads, followed by a visit to Ariel University to discuss potential academic partnerships. Stimpson said Ariel University is about the same size as the University of South Alabama, and like USA, is a relatively new institution. Stimpson said he will reach out to USA to see if the two institutions can connect and collaborate. “There is a lot we can learn from what they are doing, and we hope there are things they can learn from what we are doing,” Stimpson said. He then attended Friedman’s address at the Ariel National Center for Leadership Development. The international audience included American business leaders on tour with JH Israel and the US-Israel Education Association. Stimpson said that those in attendance could feel that it was an historic event. Shaviro commented that it was a historic day for three reasons — Friedman’s visit, Stimpson becoming the first Mobile mayor to visit Ariel, and earlier that morning, Shaviro’s second granddaughter was born. Avi Zimmerman, co-founder and president of the chamber, said the chamber thanks Friedman “for the unambiguous encouragement that he’s given our Palestinian and Israeli business partners to continue to pursue the economic path to progress, prosperity and dignity.” He said Friedman’s visit encouraged more businesses to join the group. Heather Johnston, who heads JH Israel and UIEA, said Friedman’s visit “marks a significant breakthrough in U.S. policy to openly support joint business with Palestinians and Israelis.” She added, “We believe these partnerships are critical for fostering an atmosphere of peace in an otherwise turbulent part of the world. We are working tirelessly to see that these efforts continue.” Zimmerman stressed that the chamber views the area geographically,

community and tries to shy away from politics. After the meeting, Friedman tweeted that the business leaders he met with were “ready, willing and able to advance joint opportunity and peaceful coexistence. People want peace and we are ready to help! Is the Palestinian leadership listening?” The Palestinian Authority regards business partnerships with Israelis as illegal, and the chamber is careful not to publicize involvement of many of the 70 Palestinian businesses that take part. The meeting took place against the backdrop of an Oct. 7 terror attack in the nearby Barkan Industrial Park, where a Palestinian killed two Israeli co-workers. ”Tens of thousands of Palestinians work with tens of thousands of Israelis day in and day out across Judea and Samaria,” Zimmerman said. “Last week’s horrific terror attack in Barkan is the exception to the rule.” After Friedman’s address, there was a luncheon where Stimpson was presented a key to Ariel, and he presented Shaviro with a clock engraved with the words “it’s time.” For Mobile’s mayor, this was the first time visiting Israel. For him and his wife, “it has been on our list for a long time. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to go.” Stimpson was part of the 70-member UIEA delegation. “They have done a very good job of educating our congressmen and senators. That’s going to be very beneficial going forward with the relationship between Israel and Alabama,” he said. He said JH Israel and UIEA are “doing a great service” bringing groups to better understand the situation in Israel, and tying many of Israel’s actions to the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. On the trip, one of Stimpson’s favorite places was Shiloh, where the Ark of the Covenant had been kept. The group also visited the Western Wall. “Being able to pray there and leave some papers in the wall was very meaningful.” Other highlights included visiting the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, and Tel Elah, where David killed Goliath. Their tour guide, Arie Ben-David, dramatized it with a slingshot. “He was incredible,” Stimpson said. “He made you feel like you were there” in Biblical times. Another highlight was spending Shabbat dinner with a family in Jerusalem, hearing the father talk about his journey from South Africa to Israel. After “being there, walking it, seeing it, feeling it and getting an understanding of it,” Simpson said while he “believed it before,” it is even stronger now. He strongly recommends visiting Israel and said he’d love to talk with anyone who wants to hear about the trip. “Seeing the places you’ve heard about all your life puts it in a different perspective.”


U.S. Ambassador David Friedman speaks in Ariel November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life



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Next Gen proposal charts road map for Jewish Birmingham’s future Greater collaboration, unified education, community CEO among recommendations Four years of discussions that began with Reimagine Jewish Birmingham culminated with the presentation of a “Road Map: Toward a Vibrant and Sustainable Jewish Birmingham” on Oct. 15. The proposal was developed by a 14-member “Next Gen” group of under-40 board members from local Jewish agencies. The group, which was organized in January, met every other week with facilitation by community planning professional Lakey Boyd. The group started with identifying the purpose of the plan, which is “to serve, grow and sustain a cohesive Birmingham Jewish community.” The report calls on greater cooperation and collaboration among agencies and congregations, streamlining and sharing duplicated resources, and hiring a CEO to head “Jewish Birmingham United,” the current working title for a structure that would unify local agencies. Greater community-wide interaction was also a priority, including unifying religious education offerings for all ages, and specifically for children in different segments of the community to get to know each other. Representatives of the six local Jewish agencies and four synagogues, including current rabbinic and cantorial leadership for all four, attended the presentation at the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School. Over the next few weeks, the group has asked to speak to each of the 10 boards and invite them to be part of the process. Those meetings began the morning of Oct. 16 with the Birmingham Jewish Foundation board. Each organization is being asked to appoint two lay representatives and one professional to a joint committee of organizations, to coordinate the next steps, including the specifics for hiring a community CEO. The joint committee will be headed by Donald Hess and Jesse Unkenholz. Unkenholz was co-chair of the Next Gen board, along with Robin Bromberg. That CEO search is envisioned for early 2019, with implementation of JBU in coordination with the joint committee and participating organizations, led by the new CEO, starting next summer. The united group would then be formalized by the end of 2019. The concept of a CEO overseeing the effort is part of the desire to eliminate “siloed” and “duplicative” efforts in the community, updating the organizational structure to serve the needs of today, in a time of limited resources and donor fatigue. The CEO is seen as being a “dynamic, engaging leader” to unify the

Next Gen members await presentation of the report 14

November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life



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community and “be a champion for Jewish Birmingham United,” Boyd said. The United office would have directors of communication, marketing and talent; directors for community service areas, and shared back office operations for all agencies. The synagogues would be able to choose whether to participate, and the shared back office is seen as reducing overall community staffing costs. Service delivery areas are listed as facilities, programming, fundraising and allocation, family services and education. In all, Boyd said, there are 380 full-time and part-time employees at the 10 organizations, and a little over 170 board seats. Each agency would retain its own identity under the United plan. The goal is to free directors of each organization to focus on their respective organization’s core mission, while the United office handles general operations. In early 2016, a survey was done to determine the size of Birmingham’s Jewish community. While the official figure had hovered around 5,200 for many years, the study came back with an estimate of 6,300 in 2,600 households. A year ago, a survey was sent to those in the Jewish community who are age 45 or younger, to get a better sense of desires and priorities. About 200 responses were received. The study showed low synagogue attendance, but a desire for “a cohesive community” socializing beyond denominational lines and synagogue membership, and greater social justice opportunities. Among those responding to the survey, 93 percent contribute to at least one of the 10 local organizations. Boyd said this year’s report used a lot of information from that study. A financial analysis of the organizations was conducted during the summer, which stated that in the short term, the community is operating in the red, with nearly all organizations operating at a loss or just breaking even. That position is “unsustainable in the long term.” Conversely, the long-term position is seen as positive, with “substantial assets” in the community, including approximately $50 million in endowments, $30 million in additional planned bequests, and real estate assets between $20 million and $40 million. Among the assets is the Levite Jewish Community Center site, which is being recommended as the Jewish community campus, unifying all six agencies. Four of the six agencies are already housed there — the JCC, Birmingham Jewish Federation, Birmingham Jewish Foundation and Day School. Collat Jewish Family Services is located nearby, and the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center is on Arlington Avenue. While in 1993 there was an effort to move the LJCC over the mountain, this report recommends maintaining the current site as centrally located, with plenty of land for development, and neighborhood revitalization of areas to the east and toward downtown. The report recommends “significant facility improvements” to the LJCC, to make it market competitive, and coming up with creative uses for additional revenue streams. While there is no anticipation that any of the four congregations would relocate to the campus, the report recommends opportunities for the congregations to have a presence on the campus for some of their programs and events. A major emphasis in the report is keeping Judaism at the core and center of every organization, to bolster Jewish life and to be an educational resource for the community at large. To foster a welcoming community, there are several areas of empha-

“There has to be action. We can not keep talking about this.”

community sis — hospitality outreach to newcomers and transplants, reaching out to include those who are not members of any particular organization in programming, serving the needs of interfaith families, engaging in more hands-on social justice programs in the greater community, professional networking to build connections and recruit newcomers, and create ways for multiple generations to work together. Lisa Engel said the presentation is a “starting point and recommendations.” David Sher, who Engel called “the first Reimagine Jewish Birmingham visionary” started the conversation four years ago with what became Reimagine Jewish Birmingham. Sher also produces The Comeback Town, which pushes for more cooperation among the municipalities in Birmingham and visioning to improve the metropolitan area. “Never have I been more proud of our Jewish community than I am at this moment,” Sher said, for getting together across all community lines “to figure out what the future of our community looks like.” He said it was particularly rewarding to see the under-40 generation take the lead in this process. “We have great young leadership,” he said. Bromberg, who grew up at Temple Beth Or in Montgomery, said when she saw Sher at a Federation board meeting, “I knew this was something I wanted to be involved with.” At age 70, Hess said, “I’ve seen this community ebb and flow. I’ve seen this community raise unbelievable amounts of money and I’ve seen giants of leaders.” Turning toward the Next Gen board, he added, “tonight, I see giants of leaders coming down the road.” Hess said the group that produced the proposal “has no authority” to implement it. That rests with the congregations and agencies. He likened the proposal to a bus heading down the road. “We’re going

to ask you to join us on the bus” and stay on the bus, “as difficult as the ride might be.” There were no questions fielded at the Oct. 15 meeting. Hess explained that “you have more questions than we have answers right now,” but the board presentations would be the forum for questions and concerns. “We will be good listeners, we will be honest brokers,” he said. Boyd said the proposal “is aggressive, and this is on purpose,” to “set expectations high.” She said there is a sense that community members will be patient as the process unfolds as long as they feel progress is being made. Several of the Next Gen members spoke about their views of the proposal, and the need to strengthen the community that their children will grow up in. Brooke Kaplan said “we’re all in,” and related the process to the recent acquisition of her family business, Schaeffer Eye Center by MyEyeDr. Maintaining the local identity of Schaeffer was very important to her, and similarly, “the agencies will not lose their identities” through the United effort. “Everyone can focus on what they do best.” Other members related how much those institutions have meant to them. Alyssa Blair said her grandfather started biddy basketball at the LJCC, and with her kids as fourth-generation JCC members, “the JCC is my family’s Jewish home.” Carlie Stein spoke in similar terms of the Day School, the LJCC and how “each and every Temple and agency has played an important role in my life.” Boyd said “there is still a lot that has to be sorted through,” but there is an overwhelming sense that there has been a lot of talk, and now “there has to be action. We can not keep talking about this.”


November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life


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community NOLA Federation organizes Alabama civil rights tour As part of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans’ continuing focus on expanding relationships throughout the wider New Orleans community, an annual day-long educational field trip is being launched for Jewish and African-American middle school students to various sites in Alabama that are significant to the civil rights movement. This year’s trip will be held over the public schools’ Thanksgiving break, on Nov. 20. Students will be visiting the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma; the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, where four girls were killed in a 1963 Klan bombing; the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute; and the Anne Frank Tree in Birmingham, a horse chestnut tree similar to the one Anne Frank saw outside the window of the Secret Annex.. The group will depart New Orleans very early in the morning and return that night. Transportation, meals, and admission fees are covered, through contributions from Jones Walker LLP, Emily Schoenbaum and other members of the New Orleans Jewish community. Recruitment is underway for sixth to eighth graders who want to participate. They should contact or call (504) 780-5604.

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November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati announced a “Travels in American Jewish History” tour of Memphis for next May. The “journey of Jewish identity and discovery” will be May 1 to 5, exploring the historical, religious, political and cultural aspects of the American Jewish experience in Memphis. In 2015, a similar trip explored Jewish history in New Orleans. The Memphis program will include discussions led by Jonathan Sarna, the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, and Director at the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University; Rabbi Micah Greenstein, who has served Memphis’ Temple Israel for 26 years, 16 as senior rabbi; and Gary Zola, executive director of the archives. Tour highlights will include the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, Temple Israel and the Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art. The tour cost is $885 for the tours, programs and meals, except for one free night. Hotel and travel to Memphis are extra.

community World War II Museum gets major grant to expand Holocaust education The National World War II Museum in New Orleans announced a $2 million grant from the San Francisco-based Taube Philanthropies to expand Holocaust education programs at the museum. The Taube Family Holocaust Education Program will include lectures, symposia, film screenings, local and national partnerships, programs highlighting recent research and personal accounts of the Holocaust. The program will also support free public programming presented annually on Jan. 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, as well as distance learning programs that will allow students nationwide to explore individual and collective responsibility in the Holocaust. “Many initiatives of Taube Philanthropies focus on World War II, the deep and powerful effects of which continue to influence world events,” said Tad Taube, founder-chairman of Taube Philanthropies. “The new Holocaust Education Program is critical as Americans are remembering less and less about the war and the lessons of the Holocaust.” The Museum’s WWII Media and Education Center offers Holocaust education to middle and high school students across the country, including through two distance learning programs – “The Holocaust: One Teen’s Story of Persecution and Survival” and “When They Came for Me: The Holocaust.” Taube Philanthropies’ gift will allow the Museum to expand its current program content, update technology needed to support online education and provide additional staffing resources. The program will kick off with this week’s symposium and screening of “Who Will Write Our History.” The symposium, “What Do We Do When The Witnesses Are Gone,”

starts at 10 a.m. with a keynote address from Samuel Kassow of Trinity College. He wrote the 2007 book, “Who Will Write Our History? Rediscovering a Hidden Archive from the Warsaw Ghetto.” A 1:30 p.m. panel on contemporary issues in Holocaust studies will be moderated by Daniel Greene of Northwestern University. Panelists will include Sarah Cramsey of Tulane University, and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett of New York University. The film, executive produced by Nancy Spielberg, is about the resistance organized by a band of journalists, scholars and community leaders after 450,000 Jews were sealed into the Warsaw Ghetto in November 1940. Led by historian Emanuel Ringelblum and known by the code name Oyneg Shabes, this clandestine group vowed to defeat Nazi lies and propaganda not with guns or fists but with pen and paper. The group gathered thousands of testimonies about the fate of Polish Jews, sealing them in metal boxes and milk cans buried underneath the ghetto. The 35,000 pages are housed at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, and are available digitally at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s archives. “The Emanuel Ringelblum story underscores that people can resist not just with guns, but with pens and paper” Kassow said. “The Germans wanted to obliterate the Jews and destroy the memory of who they were. Had this archive not happened or been found after the war, we would know nothing about the Jews as individuals; we would see them only from the German point of view as faceless victims, people without names.” The documentary is the first time the story has been told in film. It

November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life


community mixes writings from the archive with rarely-seen footage, new interviews and dramatizations to show what the reality was in the ghetto. The film recently won the audience award for best documentary feature at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. The free screening will be at 6 p.m., with a 5 p.m. reception. Grossman will speak as part of the program, and seats are very limited. Registration for the symposium and film is at the museum’s website. Kassow serves on the advisory committee for the new initiative. “A few decades ago, most studies of World War II focused on military and diplomatic history,” he said. “Now there is growing recognition that genocide and ethnic cleansing were major aspects of that war as well. The new educational program centered at this museum underscores how that war became the catalyst for crimes against civilian populations and targeted groups.” “As the World War II generation passes away, The National WWII Museum has been entrusted to continue telling their stories to future generations — especially the important story of the Holocaust,” said Stephen J. Watson, president and CEO at The National WWII Museum. “The gift from Taube Philanthropies makes it possible for the Museum to expand its teachings about the atrocities of the Holocaust and why we should all stand together against genocide.” “As The National World War II Museum focuses on American military, political and societal involvements in the second world war, it has a unique opportunity to explore the connections between the Holocaust and the American experience,” Taube said, “including such themes as American soldiers’ experiences liberating the death camps and encountering the survivors, the evolution of U.S. immigration policies toward welcoming Holocaust survivors, the history of life in the United States for newly resettled Holocaust survivors, the stories of American Jews alive today whose relatives suffered in the Holocaust, and finally, how we continue to preserve the memory of Holocaust atrocities, as survivors are no longer with us.” The program’s advisory committee is comprised of renowned Holocaust experts, including Daniel Greene, historian and adjunct professor, Northwestern University; Wendy Lower, John K. Roth Professor of History, Claremont McKenna College; Samuel Kassow, Charles H. Northam Professor of History, Trinity College; Robert Citino, Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Historian, The National WWII Museum; and Shana Penn, executive director, Taube Philanthropies.

Area film festivals announce schedules Baton Rouge lineup released The Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival announced its 2019 lineup, featuring four films from Jan. 16 to 20. The festival opens on Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. with “Big Sonia,” a woman who runs a tailor shop as the only thriving business in a moribund Kansas City mall. She is also the only Holocaust survivor in the area who speaks about her experiences. “The Mossad: Imperfect Spies” on Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. features interviews with 24 former operatives, giving a first-person perspective on the challenges and moral dilemmas they faced in Israel’s celebrated spy agency. “Itzhak,” a biography of Itzhak Perlman, will be on Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. The festival concludes on Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. with “Driver,” about a driver in B’nei Brak who teaches clients how to con people, while he tries to raise his daughter by himself in a world that has beaten him down. Screenings are at the Manship Theatre, tickets are $8.50. Jewish Cinema Mississippi in Jackson has tentatively set its schedule for five screenings between Jan. 23 and 31. Mobile’s Jewish Film Festival will run from Jan. 13 to 27. 20

November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life


An Official Publication of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans



November 2018 |Cheshvan 5779

We want to make sure you know how hard your Federation is working on your behalf, so on October 17, we launched a biweekly outreach initiative, Federation Forward, to help keep you updated on everything we’re doing. From a broad-based outreach strategy, to our own innerworkings, #FedForward will offer a transparent lens into all things Federation. Visit our homepage to see a message from Federation CEO Arnie Fielkow explaining why we feel like this is so important. To learn the latest about your Jewish Federation, please visit As always, we welcome your feedback.

AMIEL BAKEHILA RETURNS TO NEW ORLEANS Amiel BaKehila is an educational program designed to help New Orleanians feel more connected with Israel. New Orleans is one of three cities in the South that partners with educators, artists, and rabbis who live in Israel. Every other month, for a total of six visits, Israeli guests will come to New Orleans to spend two days working and interacting with various Jewish groups. Amiel’s next trip to New Orleans is scheduled for November 2 – 4. The topic for this visit is Spirituality, which will be led by Rabbi Aaron Goldscheider, the Community Educator, and Sheva Chaya Shaiman, a spiritual artist, whose paintings and glasswork are featured throughout Israel. Here’s the schedule of events: Friday, November 2 Sheva Chaya will work on art projects with Jewish Community Day School and Torah Academy students, and meet with women at the Metairie Chabad. Congregation Beth Israel will host our Amiel visitors for Shabbat dinner. Saturday, November 3 On Saturday afternoon, Rabbi Goldschneider and Sheva Chaya Shaiman will attend a lunch session at Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation. Following Havdalah, JNOLA is hosting an event at the Healing Center. Sunday, November 4 On Sunday morning, area religious school parents are invited to a brunch at local artist Andy Pollock’s studio. That afternoon, Sheva Chaya will display her work at an Uptown art market. If you have any questions about Amiel or are interested in attending any of the listed events, please contact Michelle Neal at or at 504-780-5604. November 2018 • The Jewish Newsletter


Jewish Newcomers Welcome Event On December 4, Jewish newcomers to the Greater New Orleans area from the past 7 years will come together to connect with fellow newcomers and Federation board members. Morton and Carole Katz will generously open their home to host this hors d'oeuvres and wine event. Alon and Emily Shaya, both Federation Newcomers, will speak about their newcomer experiences and will welcome those who are new to our Jewish community. For more information about this event or to

RSVP, please contact Michelle Neal at or 504-780-5604.

The 2018 hurricane season is almost complete, but has wreaked havoc in two regions of the country. The most recent storm, Hurricane Michael, left parts of the Florida Panhandle in ruins, with at least 17 people dead. When disaster first strikes, immediate aid is needed to help communities get back on their feet. Afterwards, rebuilding and strengthening resilience can take years. Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) is helping make sure that the urgent needs of the most severely impacted are met. Significantly, JFNA has been working in close coordination with their partners at the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies, Nechama, IsraAid, and the Afya Foundation to share information and connect them with local contacts and resources among the communities. The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and the Orthodox Union are all directing donors to JFNA’s emergency relief fund, which will focus primarily on immediate relief needs for families and individuals affected and then their longer term recovery needs, including trauma support, case management and financial assistance.

Visit to donate. 22

November 2018 • The Jewish Newsletter



As part of Federation's continuing focus on expanding relationships throughout the wider New Orleans community, October saw the launch of a formal partnership with WBOK 1230AM to highlight and explore AfricanAmerican/Jewish relations monthly on the Good Morning Show with Oliver Thomas.

Federation is inaugurating an annual, day-long educational field trip for Jewish and AfricanAmerican middle school students to various sites in Alabama that are significant to the civil rights movement. This year's trip will be held over public schools’ Thanksgiving break, on November 20, and students will be visiting the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma; the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham; the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute; and the Anne Frank Tree in Birmingham. Civil rights pioneer Ruby Bridges, who famously integrated New Orleans’ public school system, will also accompany and address the participants.

A promotional show aired on Tuesday, October 9, featuring Federation CEO Arnie D. Fielkow, lay leader Lynne Wasserman, and Chef Leah Chase in conversation. Launching formally next month, the six-part series will feature monthly segments, which will welcome different guests and topics each time for an hour-long discussion on shared history, challenges and goals. Lynne Wasserman will remain as a cohost for each show. Download the first segment now on our homepage at

Transportation, meals, and admission fees will be covered. If your sixth to eighth grader is interested in attending, please contact Michelle Neal at or at 504-780-5604.


Nourish’s mission continues to evolve as Federation includes more partners in our efforts to reach out to and serve our underserved neighbors. On November 1, Nourish is partnering with Grace at the Greenlight, an organization that provides breakfast every morning to some of New Orlean’s lowest income residents. While not an event in a classic, fundraising sense, Nourish and Grace at the Greenlight will host their clients for a special no-cost evening meal, accompanied by local jazz musician and pianist, Matt Lemmler. Matt has had a strong commitment to Nourish and is one of the founders of the program. JNOLA volunteers will be an important component in serving and visiting dinner guests. When asked what her clients most requested, Executive Director Sarah Parks said, “socks and toothbrushes!” In response, Nourish has launched a sock and toothbrush drive. Drop-off boxes are located at Torah Academy, the Uptown Jewish Community Center, and at the Goldring-Woldenberg Jewish Community Campus. Questions about the Nourish program can be directed to Michelle Neal, Director of Education, at or at 504-780-5604.

November 2018 • The Jewish Newsletter


THE LATEST NEWS FROM NEXT GEN JEWISH NEW ORLEANS Are you a Jewish professional looking to expand your network? Join JNOLA on Thursday, November 15 for its annual JNETWORK, hosted by Hancock Whitney Bank and featuring a special guest speaker. Receive career advice over drinks and hor d’oeuvres with the best and brightest in the Greater New Orleans Jewish community, including Professional Anchors of every field who are there to help you navigate your career in New Orleans. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Attendees must RSVP by Monday, November 12 at

Questions? Contact Tana Velen at This event is generously sponsored by Hancock Whitney Bank, and you must register to receive the event address. JNOLA is part of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, consisting of young Jewish adults between the ages of 21–39. 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.


November 2018 • The Jewish Newsletter

Jewish Family Service Your Support Allows Seniors to Stay in Their Homes Paul, an elderly Jewish man, lives alone. His chronic health conditions and financial difficulties have prevented him from maintaining his home and life. During a recent visit, the landlord was shocked at the state of disarray in Paul’s unkempt home. Desperate for help and under threat of eviction, Paul spoke with his rabbi about his difficult situation. The rabbi referred Paul to JFS. A JFS Social Worker met with Paul and assessed his needs. The Social Worker found that Paul was a fitting candidate for support from the Financial Resource Center, as well as the Homemaker Program.

Social Workers, Counselors, Mental Health Professionals:

Upcoming Continuing Education Workshops at Jewish Family Service Suicide Prevention and Intervention

Nov. 9, 8:45 a.m. to noon. Presented by Genevieve Durkin, LCSW-BACS. Approved for 3 General hours by LCA and 3 Clinical hours by LABSWE*. *Approval pending

Understanding, Predicting, and Changing Behavior: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Shape Your Practice Dec. 7, 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., one-hour lunch break. Presented by Stephen Phillippi, Jr., LCSW. Approved for 6 Diagnosis hours by LCA and 6 Clinical hours by LABSWE.

After being approved for a small grant from the Financial Resource Center, Paul is able to Pricing varies. All events located at: 3300 W. Esplanade Ave. S., keep up with his monthly expenses, including Suite 603, Metairie. For more information, call (504) 831-8475, his Homemaker visits. Paul’s Homemaker now or visit the Workshops and Continuing Education page on the helps with the chores he is physically unable Paul’s Story JFS website: to do. His Homemaker also helps him run erworkshops-continuing-education/ rands, clean the kitchen and bathroom, as well as conduct routine housekeeping. Paul is happier and healthier now that lives in a clean environment and has peace of mind knowing he is able to manage his expenses. Parents Circle – Navigating December $90 pays for one senior to receive two Homemaker service visits Sponsored by the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust Monday, December 3, 9:15-10:15 a.m. per month.

Upcoming Programs

Uptown Jewish Community Center, 5342 St. Charles Avenue

Because of you, Jewish Family Service helps clients like Paul stabilize their lives through Intensive Case Management including financial assistance to cover vital expenses such as rent, medical bills, and utilities. Your support of the annual Friends of JFS campaign impacts his life and so many other people for the better. We cannot do it without YOUR help. Please make your caring contribution today. Visit our website to learn more and to donate!

Car Donations Have a car or boat you no longer need? Donate it! Jewish Family Service accepts charitable donations of vehicles and boats through CARS (Charitable Adult Rides and Services), with sales proceeds dedicated to support a variety of JFS programs. CARS will help you handle all of the details of your automobile (or other motor vehicle) donation. You will receive a tax credit, and avoid the hassle of advertising or haggling with a car salesman. To learn more visit JFS now accepts MEDICARE, along with 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. Fees are assessed on a sliding-fee scale based on household income. To make an appointment, call: (504) 831-8475.

Join other parents of preschool age children monthly for the Parents Circle. We will share parenting experiences, discuss universal Jewish values, and learn about Jewish holidays and other customs. Parents of all faiths in all family constellations are welcome. This group is led by Rabbi Reimer of Temple Sinai and Rachel Lazarus Eriksen, LCSW of JFS in collaboration with the New Orleans JCC. Coffee and light snacks will be served. Free and open to the community for parents of preschool age children. To RSVP, contact Taylor Cooke at

Coping with Loss: Finding Comfort from Tradition Tuesday, January 8, 4:30-6 p.m. Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans Family Room 3300 W. Esplanade Avenue S., Suite 603, Metairie

Join visiting Rabbi Aaron Goldscheider in a group discussion about finding wisdom from Judaism in loss. This event is free. Please RSVP to Rachel Lazarus Eriksen at JFS is partnering with The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, Amiel BaKehila and the Clergy Council to present this program.

Jewish Parenting Panel

Sunday, February 3, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Jewish Community Day School Goldring Woldenberg Jewish Community Campus 3747 W. Esplanade Avenue, Metairie Join in a panel discussion based around the book “The Blessing of the Skinned Knee: Using Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children.” The panel includes Mark Sands, MD; Nancy Timm, LCSW; and Sharon Pollin, Ed.D; moderated by Mike Wasserman, MD. Hosted by JFS, JCDS, PJ Library, Hadassah, Gates of Prayer Nursery School and the JCC Nursery School. Light breakfast served. Free childcare available by reservation. November 2018 • The Jewish Newsletter


Jewish Endowment Foundation Your 2018 Year End Giving Makes A Difference! Let the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana Show You How and Maximize your deductions now The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affords donors a tax-wise giving surance policy is also a great way to create a designated fund to endow opportunity. Bundle several years of intended contributions to a JEF your annual gift to Federation in perpetuity. donor advised fund, and you’ll supersize your income tax deduction.

There are several ways for you to make thoughtful, generous, and tax-wise gifts by year’s end: Donate Gifts of Appreciated Stock or Mutual Funds You can realize valuable tax benefits when you contribute appreciated assets to charity by avoiding capital gains tax and taking a deduction for the assets’ fair market value. Gifts of appreciated securities can be made to a new or existing donor advised or designated fund at JEF, to create a charitable gift annuity, or as a direct donation to JEF’s General Fund.

What you can do with your donation: Create a Donor Advised Fund

One of the easiest and most flexible ways to fulfill your philanthropic goals is to create a Donor Advised Fund at JEF. You contribute cash, appreciated stock, or other assets and receive an immediate tax deduction based on the value of your gift. Then you can recommend distributions over time to your favorite charities while JEF handles all of the administrative details. With JEF’s Donor Advised Fund Incentive, you can contribute $4,000 to open a fund and JEF will contribute an additional $1,000. That’s additional free money for you to give away!

Establish a Charitable Gift Annuity Increase in CGA Rates Effective July 2018! If you are 70½ or older, you can distribute up to $100,000 from

IRA Charitable Rollover

a traditional IRA directly to a charity with no tax liability. Your IRA rollover donation can be a direct donation to JEF — or to Federation or one of our Jewish community organizations — or you can use it to establish a designated fund at JEF to distribute money over time to JEF or other charitable organizations of your choosing.

Life Insurance Policy

A charitable gift annuity provides a dependable source of lifetime income. You transfer cash or appreciated securities to JEF in exchange for fixed payments on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis. The payments you receive are based on your age at the time that the payments begin and are partially tax-free. You also receive an immediate tax deduction equal to 35% to 50% of your donation.

Let us help you meet your philanthropic goals while maximizing When you donate an existing or new life insurance policy, JEF be- your tax benefits for 2017. Please contact Sandy Levy (sandy@jefno. comes the owner and beneficiary of the policy. The premiums are paid org) or Patti Lengsfield ( at (504) 524-4559 for a confiby JEF and reimbursed by you through a tax-deductible donation to dential conversation. JEF. If you donate an existing policy, you may also take an immediate charitable deduction for the fair market value of the policy. A life inAct now to take advantage of 2018 tax benefits!

In honor of Sukkot, Tulane Hillel built two beautiful sukkahs with the help of students and the Tulane community. Hillel housed a brand-new sukkah, generously sponsored by the Ackerman Family, at the Mintz Center. Throughout the holiday, students gathered to decorate, attend student-led events, study and enjoy meals under the sukkah. During this year’s annual Shabbat Under the Stars, Hillel welcomed a record breaking 400 students who gathered by the sukkah and enjoyed Shabbat dinner alongside the sounds of Tulane’s six different a Capella groups. This Sukkot also found Hillel celebrating a 10-year collaboration with the Tulane School of Architecture. Architecture students worked with Hillel staff and students to create a meaningful sukkah on Tulane’s main campus. The structure served both as a work of art and holiday tradition where students could shake the lulav, recite prayers, and just study or hangout with their friends. Hillel’s Executive Director, Rabbi Yonah Schiller, said, “It is always inspiring to see how architecture students bring their knowledge, creativity and passion in helping to define and imagine the contemporary sukkah structure.” Photos by Sophie Ormond


November 2018 • The Jewish Newsletter

Jewish Community Day School Innovative Open House Reflective of JCDS Outside-The-Box Thinking What do prospective parents really want from a school’s open house? In many cities, families find great teachers, a strong academic program and a sense of community in a public school that is close to home. Parents only need to submit required registration documents to their local school. That’s it!

• Teamed and trained students as Tour Guides! We had an amazing student turnout and parents were impressed by our kids’ obvious love and excitement for their school. Teachers and students were stationed in classrooms with exemplary activities and samples prepared for parents to engage with, and ready to answer any questions

The children were only sad that they had but one tour per team! In New Orleans, however, alone among large urban disThe Feedback? Thumbs up! tricts, every parent must make “I loved the children’s enthusiasm! It is obvious they adore their school.” a school choice for their child. “I appreciate JCDS helping parents understand things from the chilWill it be a private independren’s point of view.” dent or parochial school? A “I was amazed by the sophistication of the Berenson Learning Lab and charter school? A magnet acadDr. Darko is a stellar addition to the faculty!” emy? The decision involves a lengthy learning process, sub“I really appreciate the warm welcome I was given by everyone, and the mission of forms and fees, in kids did a great job. The evening was well-planned, casual, and personal. some cases testing, and in all I got a solid glimpse into the school.” cases, waiting to know if the Join JCDS for the next Open House, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 5:30 to 7 child will be accepted. Stressful p.m. RSVP to or (504) 887-4091. and time-consuming, yes? Yes! Yakir’s favorite part of the evening Complete your registration by Jan. 2 to lock in this year’s tuition for Recognizing how challeng- was undoubtedly Chef Linda’s PIZZA! 2019-20. ing this period can be, Jewish Community Day School of Greater New Orleans decided to innovate! We aimed to make learning about our program more authentically representative of our fantastic school, fun for parents and children, and altogether less onerous. And, we elected to let the people who know us best do the talking… our students!

JCDS + ADL = No Place for Hate School

Here is the revamped program. We… • Offered free pizza dinner and childcare for all

What does it mean to Stand Up? To be Brave? To be No Place for Hate?

Children listened intently as So• Minimized time spent in classrooms with teachers discussing curphia, JCDS 5th grader, read the story, riculum; our Curriculum Guide is easy to read and parents may “One,” by Kathryn Otoshi. The story schedule follow-up meetings for deeper conversation talks about ‘Red’ who likes to bully the other colors until ‘One’ comes along and stands up to ‘Red.’

JCDS Student Wins Writing Contest Issac Morales, JCDS Student, wins 3rd place in Poetry (grades 3-4) with his piece, “First Light, Last Light.” Louisiana Writes is a writing contest for Louisiana’s students, grades K-12.

First Light, Last Light

In the morning You see the wild blue yonder. The clouds are like the milk in your coffee. When you drink, it is like drinking the sky. The summer boys are climbing through the mighty oaks, Connected elbow to elbow, knee to knee. In the evening, the fireflies gather around Like a little light show.

How did the story make students feel? “Brave”, answered Gabby (2nd grader). What can you do if someone is bullied? “Stand up for them”, replied JackSophia L. reads to 1st and son (1st grader).

2nd graders as part of the No

JCDS 5th and 6th graders are em- Place for Hate Program bracing ADL’s No Place for Hate anti-bias/anti-bullying program with activities like this. Throughout the next several months, our young leaders will work with the entire school to ensure respect, inclusion, fairness, kindness and, most importantly, help others feel happy and safe. Our students will sign the No Place For Hate Pledge to make our school — and our world — a place we want 3rd and 4th grade teacher Liz Amoss inspires her students’ creativity to live in. through tools such as guided meditation, personification and imagery. November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life


Jewish Community Center Cultural Arts Series: “Shelter” The Cathy and Morris Bart Jewish Cultural Arts Series returns on Nov. 7 with the Israeli espionage thriller “Shelter.” In this tense drama, two women — a Mossad agent and a Lebanese informer — find themselves trapped in a labyrinth of deception, paranoia and intrigue. Naomi (Neta Riskin) is an Israeli special agent assigned to protect Mona (Golshifteh Farahani), a Hezbollah turncoat recovering from identity-changing plastic surgery. Holed up for two weeks in a Hamburg safe house, they form an unexpected but fragile bond over a shared sense of loss and their difficult ties with maternity. As geopolitical and psychosexual tensions rise, both women begin to question their beliefs, loyalties and own unfixed identities.

Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. A stirring story of sports, patriotism and personal growth, “Heading Home” charts the underdog journey of Israel’s national baseball team competing for the first time in the World Baseball Classic.

After years of defeat, Team Israel finally ranks among the world’s best in 2017, eligible to play in the prestigious international tournament. Their line-up included several Jewish American Major League players — Ike Davis, Josh Zeld and ex-Braves catcher Ryan Lavarnway — most with a tenuous relationship to Judaism, and never having set foot in Israel. Their odyssey takes them from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem where they are greeted as heroes, to Seoul where they must debunk their has-been, wannabe reputations. As their “Mensch on a Bench” mascot tags along, the team does much soul-searching, discovering the pride of Veteran filmmaker Erin Riklis directs this nail-biting neo-noir potrepresenting Israel on the boiler, featuring penetrating performances by the award-winning lead world stage. actresses, and a standout supporting role by Israeli star Lior Ashkenazi. Bleich, who was a member Beginning at 7 p.m., this film screening is free and open to the commuof the 2017 Team Israel, will nity. Movie snacks will be served. hold a Q&A session after the screening.

“Heading Home: The Story of Team Israel” featuring Jeremy Bleich

Local baseball star Jeremy Bleich will provide a personal introduction to the documentary “Heading Home,” the next film in the Cathy and Morris Bart Jewish Cultural Arts Series, which will be shown on

SAVE THE DATE Celebrate the seventh day of Chanukah at the JCC at our 13th annual Community Chanukah Celebration! Beginning at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, we’ll light the menorah, nosh on a Chanukah dinner complete with latkes, and enjoy a live concert by bluegrass band Nefesh Mountain. Nefesh Mountain is the place where bluegrass and old time music meet with Jewish heritage and tradition. Husband and wife team Eric Lindberg and Doni Zasloff are the pioneers of this new blend of spiritual American music. They bring their unique knowledge and passion for these beautiful worlds to the fore with songs in English and Hebrew alike. As part of the Cathy and Morris Bart Jewish Cultural Arts Series, the Community Chanukah Celebration is free and open to the community.


November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

This event is free and open to the community. Hot dogs, popcorn and other baseball-inspired snacks will be served.


Governors Edwards of Louisiana, Bryant of Mississippi visiting Israel on trade missions Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is leading a 24-person delegation on an economic development mission to Israel in late October. The trip was announced on Oct. 11. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant will also be heading to Israel, leading his fourth mission in five years, starting Nov. 20. This is Edwards’ first official visit to Israel, and it comes just months after an Israel 70th birthday celebration at the Governor’s Mansion, where he signed an executive order barring the state from doing business with companies that participate in boycotts of Israel. Israel Consul General Gilad Katz attended the ceremony, which was the first-ever fully kosher meal at the mansion, and invited Edwards to Israel. “Louisiana and Israel share excellent relations and mutual interests in the areas of cyber security, energy, and water,” Katz said. “This visit is not only a representation of those excellent relations, but we hope will also be the springboard to new partnerships and collaborations that will have a lasting impact on both Louisiana and Israel.” Edwards currently serves as co-chairman of the National Governors Association’s Resource Center for State Cybersecurity with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. The NGA’s national cybersecurity conference will be held in Shreve-

Israel Consul General Lior Haiat presents Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant with an Israeli football helmet during a mid-October visit to coordinate Bryant’s upcoming Israel trip. Haiat also attended a football game at East Mississippi Community College. He was presented with an Israel 70 jersey and along with Sen. Roger Wicker was named honorary captain, leading the captains out onto the field for the coin toss.

port-Bossier City in May 2019. The conference will bring together leaders in the cybersecurity community; educators and students; and gubernatorial administrations from all 50 states to discuss the nation’s cybersecurity efforts. Jeff McLeod, director of the NGA’s Homeland Security and Public Safety Division, were scheduled to be on the Israel trip. “Louisiana is positioning itself as a leader in cybersecurity and we’re excited to bring the rest of the states to Shreveport to identify ways to strengthen their cyber posture,” McLeod said. “Having the prime minister’s office and Israeli-based companies involved brings an important international aspect to the work, and we’re eager to find new opportunities for states to work more closely with Israel in addressing the growing cyber threat.” The mission, in partnership with the National Governors Association, includes Louisiana officials, business leaders and researchers. They were heading to Israel on Oct. 26, and a meeting between Edwards and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and other government leaders, was scheduled for Oct. 28 in Jerusalem. Also on the schedule is a memorial ceremony at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, with Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards participating. The Louisiana group will also scheduled to visit Tel Aviv for more discussions on building business development opportunities for Louisiana companies. The 24-person delegation includes industry leaders in varied fields, including water management, logistics, higher education, and cybersecurity. In addition to meeting with companies that have existing projects in Louisiana, Gov. Edwards and the delegation are meeting with government and industry leaders to discuss opportunities for Louisiana and Israel to partner in these and other sectors. “It’s a great opportunity for Louisiana when we get such a high-level invitation to visit a key ally and meet with national officials and corporate executives to explore trade and partnership prospects,” Edwards said. “I am looking forward to building a framework for Louisiana to connect with Israel in oil and gas exploration and cybersecurity, as well as other fields, and I want to make it possible for Louisiana companies and organizations to follow up on the inroads we make with this trade mission.” Edwards added, “We are looking to establish relationships with the Israeli government and its private sector, and we will build on those relationships as we expand the markets for the goods and services that our Louisiana compa-

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November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life


community nies provide to the world.” “International commerce is a cornerstone of our economic development efforts,” Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson said. “We excel at attracting foreign direct investment to Louisiana, and we seek to develop relationships that can provide opportunities for our homegrown industry leaders to export their expertise to other markets.” Pierson said Israel has not been a major trading partner for Louisiana, “but we are looking forward to exploring how we can expand our markets there in strategic and significant ways.” The group returns to Louisiana on Nov. 2. Bryant is a frequent traveler to Israel, having spoken at international security and business conferences in his previous trade missions. In 2015, he also coordinated a trade mission from Israel to Mississippi, bringing in many Israeli business executives. He also organized a homeland security conference in Biloxi earlier this year, an event which was dominated by Israeli companies. Bryant has also signed legislation allowing the state to purchase Israel Bonds, and this summer Stark Aerospace near Columbus delivered its first canister for Israel’s Arrow-3 missile defense system.

First-time camper grant available Regional incentive is not need-based



November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

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 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, close to 1,400 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 Need-based scholarships for overnight non-profit summer camps are available through Jewish Children’s Regional Service, with a priority deadline of Feb. 15. Information is available at

gift guide



One giant leap for gift-giving


On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong took his Your favorite shayna one small step onto the moon, and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville will punim gets the cover on be celebrating that giant leap for humanpersonalized cards. kind all year. With activities, exhibits and Cost varies according to quantity ordered. special events marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission planned Rudman’s Gifts throughout the year, the Rocket Center 741 Veterans Memorial Blvd will be THE place to visit in 2019, making a Metairie membership to the world’s largest space muse504/833.1286 um a stellar gift for this holiday season. A highlight of the Rocket Center experience will be a new planetarium Rudman’s is a gift, stationery, and digital theater, which is set to open in the first quarter of the year, and greeting card thanks to support from Intuitive Research and Technologyinvitation Corporation. The closed the IMAX October to maketo offer locallly shopCenter with Judaica andSpaceDome unique gifts, andTheater they areinespecially proud way forand the produced new theater,Louisiana which will feature the first Evans & service Sutherland designed products. Individualized is a specialty with “ESX” and cinema system in the world. Designed “giant dome” theaters, wording design assistance on any time offor personal or business correspondence, system includes with cutting-edge projection that will wow viewers, andthe their partnership industrylaser leaders guarantees a top-notch finished product. along with a projection system for, thatplus will produce 8K images on the UPS shipping Customer service they’re famous free gift crisp wrapping and at-cost 67-foot, 30-degree tilt dome. around the country make selecting and sending any gift a pleasure. The SpaceDome screen is also getting a makeover, with new seamless panels providing a surface perfect for the variety of STEM-based movies and planetarium shows the Center will offer. Although the theater is under construction for a few months, the Rocket Center continues to show a variety of space- and science-themed movies in its National Geographic 2. REMEMBER: BLUE AND WHITE Theater. ARE TRADITIONAL FOR CHANUKAH The Rocket Center has another new addition set to debut in February, the exhibit “When We Went to the Moon,” which will be supplement its ex- this holiday. There’ll no forgetting isting Apollo-era artifacts and exhibits. The Rocket Center is developing Price upon request. “When We Went to the Moon” with Australian-based exhibit company Flying Fish to create a visual narrativeWellington of the time when United States &the Company Fine Jewelry and the Soviet Union were in a race for “first” achievements in space ex- New Orleans 505 Royal Street ploration. The exhibit opens Feb. 16. 504/525.4855 Another exhibit to check out is “Spark!Lab,” an interactive space for aspiring engineers of all ages. Developed by the Smithsonian Institution’s Wellington & Co. Fine Jewelry’s team of Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, the exhibit jewelry associates possessesand more than half a with its ever-changing themes and science, technology, engineering century of antique, estate and math activities inspires critical thinking and problem solving while hav-contemporary fine jewelry knowledge and sales experience. ing fun. Co., of their passion for what For anyone with an aspiring astronautAtofWellington any age, the& gift Space they do, combined with the store’s warm Camp is always the perfect fit. With programs for children ages 9 to 18, for families with children 7 and older and and for adults, Space Campinfosinviting atmosphere the heart of New ters teamwork as well as individual success through astronaut Orleans’simulated historic French Quarter enables training and space missions. And while can’twith wrapathat experience in them to provide visitors from around theyou world unique and inviting shopping a box, a Space Camp flight suit makes the perfect statement piece along experience unlike any other. with a gift certificate to attend the world-renowned program. One of the best parts about Space Camp is it has the magnificent campus of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for a classroom. Participants don’t just learn about the Apollo and space shuttle programs, they get a deeper understanding of the complexity of space exploration by walking

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November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life


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the length of the National Historic Landmark Saturn V moon rocket and standing underneath the full-stack Pathfinder shuttle exhibit. Open to museum members, Space Camp trainees and guests alike, the Rocket Center campus is a place to visit again and again to be amazed by America’s accomplishments in space and to set the trajectory of tomorrow’s explorers. U.S. Space & Rocket Center memberships range from a yearly fee of $30 for college students to a lifetime membership pass. Lifetime members receive free admission for up to four family members or guests per visit. To learn more, visit To find out more about Space Camp programs, visit

Springhill Avenue Temple 1769 Springhill Ave. Mobile Alabama’s oldest Jewish congregation is celebrating its 175th anniversary in February, but the celebration starts with a 175th anniversary wearable fundraiser. Short-sleeve T-shirts are being sold for $15, with the congregation’s name on the front left, and the anniversary logo, pictured here, on the back. Port Authority silk touch Polo shirts, $25, have the logo embroidered on the left front. Sizes are Youth XS to Adult XXL. 20-oz. insulated stainless steel tumblers with the logo are also available for $15. Deadline for orders is Nov. 14, items will be available about two weeks later. Proceeds go toward the upcoming anniversary celebration.

Symmetry Jewelers

8138 Hampson St. New Orleans 504/861-9925 Symmetry returns jewelry to being an art form, working with local, national and international artists, with in-house designer-craftsman Tom Mathis. 14k Gold Sapphire Star of David Pendant $695 14k Rose Gold Diamond Star of David Earrings $600 14K Gold Chai Ring $525 32

November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life


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2830 18th Street South Birmingham 205/879-3986 E-Blox are Lego-like pieces compatible with Legos that have different circuit boards in them. Circuit boards play radio, lights, sound. Educational STEM item. $19.99 to $75.00. For 8 and up. For 12 months and up, Klickity will occupy little hands for hours with this unique device that’s brimming with thrilling sensory-exploration experiences. By Fat Brain Toy Co. $29.99.

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November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

Earthborn Pottery

7575 Parkway Drive Leeds, Ala 205/702.7055 From the finest restaurants to your home… Earthborn pottery is restaurant sturdy, dishwasher, oven and microwave safe. It’s artisan work that is passed to down to generations. And Earthborn “buttons” can be made into any logo or mark… the Star of David, a Menorah, or your favorite image — custom dinnerware that’s beautiful and functional!

Right, Round Serving Bowls, all different sizes, ranging from $20 to $270 Above, A Three-Piece Place Setting. Personalize your very own high-fire stoneware dinner set. Earthborn offers different plating styles and has 27 different glazes to choose from!

chanukah gifts

Applause Dance Wear

1629 Oxmoor Road Birmingham 205/781-7837

Applause Dancewear welcomes their new line of KATYDID jackets. They are available in four colors, just in time for cold weather. Applause also has BLOCH mini pointe shoe keychains and Bloch mini warm-up bootie keychains. These keychains make the perfect accessory to a dancer’s bag or backpack. And their all-time dancer favorite is the full size BLOCH warm-up booties that are now coming in the new prints pictured here, as well as the classic colors all dancers love.

Israel InSight Magazine

Looking for a gift for a Christian friend who loves Israel? Get a gift subscription for Israel InSight, the new magazine for Israel’s Christian friends. Published by the team at Southern Jewish Life, this magazine will debut in early 2019. Charter subscriptions are available at for $18/year or $32 for two years. Of course, readers and subscribers of all faiths are welcome!

Vulcan Park and Museum

1701 Valley View Drive Birmingham 205/933-1409 Those who love Birmingham’s famous Iron Man and gifts featuring Alabama and from local artists can find everything they want at The Anvil — the gift shop at Vulcan Park and Museum. Vulcan’s statue replicas are meticulously detailed to show every feature of the real Iron Man and make great souvenirs or a perfect addition to a personal collection. Bobblehead Vulcan ($18.50) is 8” tall and features a bobbling head — and yes, the famous “moon over Homewood” also bobbles! Enclosed in a ready-to-gift box.

Ancient Chet — a fence Ancient Nun — life

Together, these letters represent “chen,” a spiritual concept or setting where Abba offers protection, provision and empowerment for life

Order Now for Holiday Giving!

Art • Jewelry • Books Jewelry designed by New Orleans Artist Marla Jean Clinesmith November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life


chanukah gifts

Hebrew Word Pics

Right: Ahav pendant Below: Chanukah print


New Orleans artist Marla Jan Clinesmith is the artist behind Hebrew Word Pics, which “shares the mysteries of Ancient Hebrew to enhance the study and understanding of God’s word.” Clinesmith takes the ancient Hebrew alphabet, different from the current alphabet, and uses the letters and their connotations to develop layers of meaning in her works. She has prints of numerous Hebrew terms, using “God colors” in her work, and the forms of the pictographs to explore the concepts behind them. She also has a line of jewelry based on the ancient Hebrew letters.

Eleven Eleven Clothiers

2411 Montevallo Rd. Birmingham 205/423.5071


November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

Mountain Brook’s Eleven Eleven Clothiers owner Meredith Fuller’s ultimate goal “is to make women feel amazing about themselves at the gym and in their everyday lives.” She opened the store earlier this year on Montevallo Road in Mountain Brook Village. Eleven Eleven sells a mix of casual and active wear. “I really try to keep in mind several uses for a garment when I decide to bring it into the store,” said Fuller. They carry active-lifestyle tops, pants, shorts, sports bras and accessories. Some of the lines at Eleven Eleven include Beyond Yoga, Body Language, Kate Spade and the newly added Alo Yoga, pictured here. The name Eleven Eleven came from an inside joke between Meredith and her husband, Jon. They met when she was living in New York City and he was in Alabama. They would both look at the clock everyday and see 11:11. They would think of each other. “As the business began to become a possibility, Jon had the idea of naming the business after something so meaningful to us both,” she said. “Since then we have had so many people that have connected with the idea of Eleven Eleven and its connotations of good luck.” Fuller said she has been very pleased with the response they have received. “The community has been so amazing and so supportive,” she said. “We enjoy making people happy every day.”

chanukah gifts

Chateau Drugs and Gifts

She said she was inspired by the old Crown Drugs in Lakeview when it was owned by the Singermans. “I used to go there Chateau Drugs and Gifts promotes wellness with its pharmacy as well all the time when I was in high as through “retail therapy.” school and that was always in Co-owner Diane Milano said first-time visitors to the store have been the back of my mind when we surprised by the extensive gift selection they offer. opened Chateau.” “We’ve been in the pharmacy business since 1977 and we have been selling gifts for 15 years,” said Milano. “It’s a lot of fun. We love what we’re doing. People coming in thinking that we’re just a drug store do a double-take when they see how much we have on the gifts side.” MaryMac’s Doggie Retreat Chateau’s diverse selection of gifts includes art and handmade pottery, 504/812.6923 clothes (mostly sweaters, robes, pajamas), lamps, purses, small luggage, kids’ costumes, New Orleans-themed gifts from Jax Frey as well as Purple Pumpkin, Beatrice Ball, toys, bath and body products, wine charms, as MaryMac’s Doggie Retreat is New Orleans’ first Dog Daycare and well as much more. Chateau’s Judaica gifts include menorahs and mezuzahs from Michael Boarding company that specializes Aram, “Jewish History of New Orleans” books from Images of America, in reducing stress, anxiety and along with a nice selection of greeting cards for Chanukah and other hol- depression in your dog while idays and B’nai Mitzvah celebrations, along with a few options for wrap- you’re away. But you don’t have to board your ping paper and gift bags. Milano does most of the buying, except for clothes and jewelry, which furry friend or be in New Orleans is handled by Lisa Desalvo. Her husband, Kenny, runs the pharmacy. The to benefit from their expertise. Online, they offer organic calming couple and their daughter, Kimberly, are all pharmacists as well. “We started with some purses and mirrors,” said Diane Milano. “We’ve treats, which come in many flavors and make a great gift for the expanded the gifts selection a great deal over the years. Today we sell holidays. They have only organic ingredients and are baked to order. The most popular flavors are peanut butter and pumpkin. more than three times what we did back then on the gifts side.”

3544 West Esplanade Avenue Metairie 504/889.2300

November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life



Get ready for Chanukah A few events have already been announced Bais Ariel Chabad in Birmingham announced that its Grand Menorah Lighting at The Summit will be on Dec. 9. Springhill Avenue Temple in Mobile will host a joint Chanukah celebration with Ahavas Chesed, Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. Reservations are $5 in advance by Nov. 26, $15 at the door. There will be a dinner of potato latkes, Israeli latke pizzas and sufganiyot. The Jewish Federation of Oxford will hold its second Bubbe’s Table Chanukah meal, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. at the Farmstead at Woodson Ridge. Dress is farm party casual, and the first drink is included with the $40 ticket. Cocktails are sponsored by Cathead Vodka, and Bar by Best-ofOxford top bartender Joe Stinchcomb. Three chefs will do their spin on latkes. Karen Carrier started as an artist and glassworker, until she was attracted to a culinary career in the 1980s. In 2002 she opened her flagship restaurant The Beauty Shop, then Mollie Fontaine Lounge (formerly Cielo) and Bar DKDC (formerly do Sushi + Noodles). Elizabeth Heiskell is a Mississippi Delta native who sells homegrown gourmet pickles, jellies, jams, salsas and a popular Bloody Mary mix under the Debutante Farmer label. She became lead culinary instructor at the Viking Cooking School in Greenwood, and now runs Woodson Ridge Farm. She has appeared on numerous television shows, including as a food contributor for NBC’s “Today.” Growing up, Shay Widmer split time between fishing and eating crawfish in Lafayette, and working in her grandmother’s North Dakota restaurant. She is now the chef de cuisine at The Beauty Shop. Tickets are available online. The 13th annual Community Chanukah Celebration at the Uptown Jewish Community Center in New Orleans will feature a live concert by bluegrass band Nefesh Mountain. The event, part of the Cathy and Morris Bart Jewish Cultural Arts Series, is free and open to the community. The celebration starts at 4 p.m. on Dec. 9, with a menorah lighting and a latke dinner. Jewish Children’s Regional Service in New Orleans will have its fifth annual Latkes with a Twist, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at Press Street Station, at NOCCA. The event features Adam Biderman, chef and owner of The Company Burger. There will be an open bar with vodka latke punch and a bourbon Chanukah hi-ball. There will also be a latke bar, music by the Joe Geleni Trio, and a silent auction. Biderman said “The only thing I like more than a great burger is a great latke! I’m really looking forward to this event.” The Washington Post listed Latkes with a Twist as one of the 10 top Chanukah parties in the nation. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. In Birmingham, the Chanukah House will once again be featured on the Wacky Tacky Christmas Lights Tour. Located in Forest Park, the Chanukah House is one of the few homes in the nation where holiday light displays have a Chanukah twist, including a seven-foot spinning dreidel and a 20-foot by 15-foot menorah, among other whimsical items in the 10,000-light setup. The bus tours will be Dec. 11 to 13, leaving Avondale Brewery every 10 minutes. Tickets are available through 38

November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

financial an annual SJL special section

The Three C’s of Credit: Are You Creditworthy? by Maury Shevin What is a good loan and what are good loan terms? The answers depend on the purpose for the loan and on the three “C’s” of credit. So, let’s talk about a “consumer” loan — one for personal, family or household purposes — and the three “C’s of credit.” Real estate mortgage loans are beyond the scope of this article. In the world of banking and consumer finance, the lender looks for three traits in determining loan terms — character, capacity and collateral. Each of us likes to think that we are “creditworthy” by these three traits. But, in reality we are not all so fortunate. First, the lender must trust that we are of the character that we will repay the loan. Absent meeting this test, we will not have the opportunity to receive good loan terms; and will certainly have to pay a higher interest rate commensurate with our credit standing. Similarly, we must have the capacity to repay the loan. The lender looks for sources of income — whether earned or unearned income — that are sufficient to repay based on the length of time of the loan that we are seeking. Finally, as a safety precaution, lenders look for collateral by which they may secure repayment of the loan if we fail to do so. Assuming that we pass the test of the three traits above, there is every likelihood that a lender will offer a loan for our needs. Only then do we get to focus on what is a good loan and good loan terms. A loan that allows a borrower to use the entire principal amount for the entire term is better than one that requires monthly repayment. If the borrower has the use of the entire principal sum for the term, then the borrower is using the lender’s money to accomplish his or her purposes. The drawback, of course, is that when the term is over and the principal and accrued interest is due, the borrower must come up with the full amount in one lump sum. If one has the discipline to recognize and plan

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Advertise in Southern Jewish Life Call Lee Green, (205) 870-7889 In New Orleans, Call Jeff Pizzo, (504) 432-2561

Maury Shevin is a shareholder of Sirote & Permutt P.C. in Birmingham. He serves as counsel for trade associations, financial institutions and business clients, advising them with respect to business and industry concerns. He advises numerous local, regional and national real estate, finance and consumer credit clients with respect to federal and state consumer credit protection laws, rules and regulations. His practice also includes assisting clients in legislative analysis and drafting, financing, and the purchase and sale of businesses and business assets. Shevin is a regular contributor to the Consumer Finance Report at November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life


Want a smile like Cathy’s?

Donate your old car to Collat Jewish Family Services

You’ll be happy knowing you’re providing care and support for older adults, and you can donate from any state, whatever the condition of your car! To learn more, contact or call 205.879.3438

for this obligation, then this approach is sound. However, if the borrower needs some forced discipline, then an installment loan makes sense. In this type of loan, the principal is advanced to the borrower, but the borrower immediately begins to repay the principal together with accrued interest usually in equal, consecutive installments. Then, by the end of the term, the loan is fully repaid. A hybrid approach to these two types of loans, is the loan where the borrower pays accrued interest from time to time — monthly, semi-annually, or annually — but does not repay the principal until the end of the term. This hybrid approach allows the borrower the full use of the loan proceeds for the full term, but reduces the sticker shock of the loan repayment obligation at the end of the term because the accrued interest has been paid as the term progresses. There are variations on these three types of consumer loans. But, for most middle income borrowers, a traditional installment loan, with equal, consecutive monthly payments, that are affordable to the borrower, seems to work best. The interest rate offered will vary for several rea-

sons. The three “C’s” discussed above will play a role. Also, economic conditions, including the cost of funds to the lender, will determine the rate of interest offered. If possible, stay away from securing your loan with the title to your vehicle (if a short-term title loan) or pawning jewelry or other personal property (if a short-term pawn). Both of these types of “hard money” loans are expensive and habit-forming. Also, carefully evaluate your need for any ancillary products that you are offered, like credit insurance. Importantly, borrowers should comparison-shop for credit just as consumers shop for other products and services. The federal government mandates the use of the “Annual Percentage Rate” in consumer lending. This APR is uniform in the lending industry, assuring meaningful comparison shopping by borrowers. So, once the borrower determines the APR offered by the lender, and considers the type of loan repayment that he or she needs and can best handle, the determination of what is a good loan and what are good loan terms will become apparent.

ADL protests foster family discrimination in S.C. The Anti-Defamation League urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to reject a waiver requested by the State of South Carolina that would allow federally-funded foster agencies to deny applications of Jewish and other foster parents on the basis of religion. The waiver request was based on a local faithbased foster care agency, Miracle Hill Ministries, prospectively losing its federal funding because of the agency’s religious requirements for foster parents, which prohibit foster placement with non-Christian families. Miracle Hill reportedly rejected one local Jewish woman as a voluntary mentor for children, in a state where 4,600 children are already in foster care and an additional 1,500 children are seeking foster homes. “It is immoral and grossly unjust for the federal government, South Carolina and taxpayers to support discrimination,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “We are deeply concerned that if South Carolina’s request for a

waiver is approved, it will give other federally funded foster care agencies a green light to discriminate. No child should be denied a loving foster or adoptive home simply because a prospective parent is Jewish, Muslim, of another faith or LGBTQ.” In a letter to Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, ADL warned that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, on which the waiver is based, “should not be interpreted to sanction discrimination,” pointing to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Burrell v. Hobby Lobby, which rejected the use of RFRA as a vehicle to discriminate. The letter noted that taxpayer-funded discrimination could also violate federal anti-discrimination laws, as well as the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, “by unconstitutionally advancing or endorsing the religious missions of faith-based foster care agencies.”

Women’s, Winter Break retreats at Ramah Darom Camp Ramah Darom, the Conservative movement’s summer camp and year-round retreat center in north Georgia, has two large retreats in the coming weeks. The Jewish Women’s Getaway will be Nov. 11 to 14. This year’s theme is “Be the Bridge: Building on Each Other’s Dreams.” There will be intergenerational connectedness through meals and craft cocktails; Jewish spirituality through song, prayer and reflection; 40

November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

creativity through works of art; massages, yoga and ropes course challenges, and more. Rabbis Danielle Upbin and Susan Tendler will be the rabbis in residence. The Winter Break Family Camp will be Dec. 27 to Jan. 1, with activities for families with children of all ages. More information is available at


Built in 1883 for Jewish merchant Simon Hernsheim, reflecting his love of large worldly splendor and small simple eloquence…

Camp Barney Medintz holds info session

Reserve Your Simcha Today!

the “storied”

COLUMNS HOTEL Camp Barney Medintz, the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s award-winning summer resident camp, invites the community to attend its annual Fall Information Session on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Uptown JCC in New Orleans. At the information session, Camp Barney directors will meet with prospective and returning families, and answer questions pertaining to its 57th summer camp season in 2019. Camp Barney staff will present a musical media presentation, and refreshments will be provided. For boys and girls completing 2nd – 10th grade, Camp Barney offers two-week and four-week sessions. Located in the North Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains, Camp Barney is situated on 540 wooded acres surrounding two lakes, just 75 miles northeast of Atlanta. “Every imaginable activity is offered at Camp Barney,” says Director Jim Mittenthal. “We provide a nurturing environment that encourages every child’s journey to discover who they can become, while having the best summer of their lives.” Campers enjoy leaping off the “Blob” or soaring down a 180-foot “Hurricane” water slide, water skiing, horseback riding, zip lining, whitewater rafting, tennis, wake boarding, paddle boarding, all land and court sports, theater, dance, arts & crafts, music, Israeli culture, movie making, cooking, swimming, kayaking, mountain biking, yoga, scuba diving, and much more. “Camp Barney provides an enriching, Jewish environment where campers make lifelong friendships, enjoy exhilarating activities, and learn more about themselves,” says Mittenthal. “Our carefully selected, dedicated and talented staff focus on each child and make the Camp Barney experience very special that enables campers to return summer after summer, and remember for a lifetime.” To RSVP, visit For general Camp Barney Medintz information, visit, or call 678.812.3844.

Prime Location on St. Charles Avenue in the Garden District Over 35 Years of Event Planning and Hosting Experience

Office/Business Functions, Birthdays and Anniversaries, Luncheons, Weddings and Rehearsal Dinners

Daily Happy Hour in the Victorian Lounge Sunday Jazz Brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

3811 St. Charles Ave. New Orleans, LA 70115 504.899.9308

New NCJW Way participants named Sponsored by the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust, the NCJW Way Program is designed to inspire and inform future leaders of NCJW using a three-pronged approach of education, service and leadership training. Seven young women have been selected for the new class. In the first year, they will learn about community needs from local and national leaders over dinner at the homes of NCJW members. They will also gain advocacy and non-profit management skills in these seminars and through participating in the NCJW 2019 Washington Conference. In the second year, they will put this knowledge and skills into action through a service project that they design and implement. The members are: Marlena Fireman, Jessica Frankel, Nicole Harvey, Kelsey Jannerson, Marni Karlin, Kayla Kaufman and Allyson “Al” Page. November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life


It’s a Wrap

On Oct. 7, volunteers wrapped presents for the New Orleans-based Jewish Children’s Regional Service Chanukah Gift Program, which provides Chanukah gifts to Jewish kids in need in a seven-state region. 42

November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

Celebrate 160

On Sept. 30, B’nai Israel in Baton Rouge kicked off its 160th anniversary celebration with “A Taste of Southern Jewish Hospitality with Chef Alon Shaya.” The NJ Beats a capella group from Tulane University also entertained. On Oct. 21, “Bubbe’s Kitchen and Zayde’s Bar: A Jewish Food Festival” was held (left), and on Dec. 7 there will be a 160th anniversary celebration as part of Shabbat services.

November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life


community Explaining the Nov. 6 amendments Louisiana has six amendments on the Nov. 6 ballot, with the most attention going to a measure that would require unanimous jury verdicts. Amendment 1 would change the practice where someone convicted of a felony can run for office once their sentence is complete. The amendment would impose a five-year ban after the completion of a sentence. Amendment 2 would strike down a late 19th century law that disenfranchised African-Americans when they were finally allowed to serve on juries. Instead of a unanimous verdict, Louisiana is one of only two states allowing a non-unanimous decision for felony cases, in this case, 10 of 12. A unanimous verdict is already required for death penalty cases. This amendment would require a unanimous jury. Several Jewish groups have held public events to educate voters about this amendment. The National Council of Jewish Women’s New Orleans Section endorses the amendment. In a statement, the Section said “This ballot question is non-partisan, and is supported by politicians on both sides of the aisle, as well as organizations such as Family Forum, Forum for the American Way, our partners at Voice of the Experienced and many others. We should support it as well. This is an opportunity for Louisiana to right an injustice in its legal system.” The statement explained the history. “So long as 10 whites voted guilty it did not matter what these two black jurors said. Prosecutors need persuade only 10 out of 12 jurors to send a defendant away for life. This means a state justice system without participation of African Americans.” Amendment 3 allows local government entities to donate goods and services to each other, striking down a requirement for compensation. Amendment 4 states fuel tax money can no longer go toward traffic control by Louisiana State Police, but must go to road, transit and transportation projects. Amendment 5 enhances property tax deductions for those age 65 and older, disabled military veterans and their spouses, and spouses of military members and first responders killed in the line of duty, by allowing the deduction even if the ownership is transferred to someone else but the eligible person still lives there. Amendment 6 would allow for phasing in property tax increases over four years instead of immediately when the value of a primary residence goes up by 50 percent or more. There is also a ballot item to legalize daily fantasy sports, like DraftKings and FanDuel, in each parish. 44

November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

continued from page 46

>> Rear Pew Mirror conclusion of their quest to come in time for an imminent Passover. Of course, people are familiar with gefilte fish in general. They have it at Passover seder and occasionally at other times of the year. What, then, is in the gefilte fish consumed at Passover seder and even occasionally during he rest of the year? Fishman dismisses these modern mixtures as wholly inadequate in capturing the true essence of gefilte. He says, “Making gefilte fish has something in common with casting a play or making sausages. You don’t want to know what goes into any of them.” Asking for a description of the difference in taste between the well-known contemporary concoctions and real gefilte, netted a cagey answer from Pike. “I hope to someday,” says Pike. “Hopefully next year, in Jerusalem.” Doug Brook finds gefilte fish from a jar far less jarring than when it’s homemade. To read past columns, visit For exclusive online content, like

Tulane conference examines today’s refugees against backdrop of WWII

With 65 million refugees in the world today, the topic of refugees is not a new one, but it is an evolving topic, as recent world events have shown. An international conference, “Refugees Endure: WWII Displaced Persons versus Today and the Lessons Learned,” will be held at the Tulane Law School on Nov. 16 and 17, hosted by the Eason Weinmann Center for International and Comparative Law. The conference will be a first of its kind, focusing on the lessons learned from the challenges of the 10 to 12 million refugees following World War II and their application to today’s over 65 million world refugees. Additionally, this conference will examine the contributions by refugees through their art and music, as well as hearing the oral vignettes of their experiences. Speakers will be from various organizations, including Tulane University, Rice University, Texas A&M, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, International Rescue Committee, Facing History and Ourselves, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Miles4Migrants and ExsulCoin. Registration is available on the Tulane Law School website.

Saturday, November 17th

WYES IT’S 5 O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE! Inspired by Jimmy Buffett’s relaxed mantra, don’t miss WYES’ next big event on the Northshore at one of the largest houses in Louisiana - the home of Allyson and Mike Sanderson. Don’t miss JIMMY BUFFETT: BURIED TREASURE, airing all month long on WYES-TV/Channel 12. Check your local listings.

November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life


donna matherne

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rear pew mirror • doug brook

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Advertise in Southern Jewish Life Call Jeff Pizzo, (504) 432-2561

The plight and struggles of career fishermen have been told ever since the first lure was cast into the first waters. After all, animals of the sea were created on the fifth day and people on the sixth day, so fishermen have been playing catch up from day one. (Actually, from day six.) Billy Joel even sang about the Long Island fishing industry’s challenges in “The Downeaster Alexa.” Until now, however, nobody has talked about the uniquely Jewish subset of this vital yet struggling populace: the gefilte fishermen. The dwindling gefilte fishing industry suffers from all the challenges of the fishing industry in general: rising expenses, climate change, piracy, people who don’t believe in climate change or piracy, and there not being enough soap on the planet that can make them smell unfishy when they get home each night. But gefilte fishermen have additional challenges unique to this traditional Ashkenazic appetizer. A primary problem is that nobody can find them. Not the fishermen, though it’s not exactly easy to find a gefilte fisherman in a phone book. Or to find a phone book. “We just don’t know where they swim these days,” says Lavan Fishman, a fourth-generation gefilte fisherman. “And by ‘these days’ I mean a lot longer than days.” Fishman and his ancestors have scoured the waters throughout the northeastern United States for over a hundred years to find the elusive gefilte waters of yore. “It’s almost like they were never here at all,” laments west coast fisherman Dagwood Pike whose great-great-grandfather came west during the 1849 Gold Rush hoping to corner the gefilte market. He believes he’s honoring the efforts of his four forebears by dedicating his life to someday validating their aspiration. “It’s my enterprise,” says Captain Pike. “A five-generation mission to seek out not tripe and not cod-spawned locations. “But to boldly go where no gefilt’ was found before.” When asked how long it’s been since they last caught an actual gefilte fish, both had similar replies. Fishman bristled, “I’m tired of people carping about that.” Both men are convinced that the In search of the search for gefilte should be approached ever-elusive from both ends. That is, finding them today could be aided by exploring their gefilte fish… origins. The difficulty is that they can barely afford their own livelihoods, let alone excavations for long-lost bodies of water in the Sinai Desert on the Israelites’ path from ancient Egypt. They can’t even afford to travel to Eastern Europe to search those streams and inlets. However, both are convinced there’s a history to reclaim, which could trace the gefilte’s migration pattern to where they spawn today. They’ve recovered historical fragments, such as how authentic gefilte fish were a delicacy to the naugas before they were hunted to extinction during the mid-20th Century craze for naugahyde. One thing is certain: This is not a situation of two isolated crackpots sitting on a perch. For example, in the late 1990s, people throughout the United States would see various types of fish symbols on the backs of cars in support of various causes and beliefs. Among these so-called bumperfish, was one with the outline of a fish containing the word Gefilte, an obvious expression of support for these struggling sailors and the successful continued on previous page


November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life



November 2018 • Southern Jewish Life

SJL New Orleans, November 2018  

November 2018 New Orleans edition of Southern Jewish Life, the official news magazine of the Greater New Orleans Jewish community

SJL New Orleans, November 2018  

November 2018 New Orleans edition of Southern Jewish Life, the official news magazine of the Greater New Orleans Jewish community