Thank you, New Orleans



 2018 was an exceptional year for the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, so the staff got together with one goal in mind: to say thank you to each and every one of you.

The 2018 Campaign flourished in both amount and effect, by raising $100,000 more than it did in 2017! While the impact this money will have on our community is incredible, we want to build on the momentum of last year’s Campaign.  We are asking you to make a commitment to the 2019 Annual Campaign before the end of the year, and to consider increasing the amount that you give.
Why should you give and why should you give more?  Last year your gift:
•  Served more than 1,100 meals to seniors at the Jewish Community Center
• Funded resources to add a sixth grade class at the Jewish Community Day School, whose enrollment tripled this past year
• Provided in-home care to 134 disabled and older adults through Jewish Family Service’s Homemaker Program
• Powered Jewish student life on campus through Tulane Hillel, which engages 88% of the Jewish campus population
• Allowed the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to deliver food, medicine and heating supplies to 46,000 Jewish    elderly in the Former Soviet Union
• Brought 29,323 Jews from around the world to Israel by aliyah through the Jewish Agency for Israel
These are just a few examples of how your gift to the Federation’s Campaign has grown community, whether here in greater New Orleans or across the globe. Please join us again as a donor to the Annual Campaign by making your pledge by December 31. Raising more dollars creates more impact, and we need your help to make this happen.


When you give to the Federation, your gift is matched because of our generous partners, the Goldring Family and Woldenberg Foundations.  The increased portion is matched at 25%, making each dollar more powerful and transformative.
Thank you again for your continued support - Happy New Year, New Orleans!

Black & Gold & Giving


A special message from CEO Arnie Fielkow and COO Sherri Tarr*




*No Saints gear was harmed in the making of this video - only egos.


Upcoming Events


  • 4-8-19 Marion B. Steeg-Grinspoon Foundation Award Ceremony
  • 4-9-19 WBOK Segment featuring Pastor Chris Harris
  • 4-10-19 Investment Committee Meeting 
  • 4-16-19 Lion of Judah Luncheon
  • 4-17-19 Executive Committee Meeting
  • 4-19-19 First Day of Passover
  • 4-19-19 JNOLA Young Professionals Seder with Temple Sinai
  • 4-23-19 JPNOLA LGBTQ Interfaith Seder with Temple Sinai 
  • 4-27-19 Last Day of Passover
  • 5-7-19 Give NOLA Day

Katz-Phillips Leadership Development Program

by Sherri Tarr


The Federation’s Katz-Phillips Leadership Development Program, formerly known as Lemann-Stern, has been in existence since 1960. The program is a year and a half in length. The class meets monthly, September-May the first year and September-December the second year, with Graduation in January. The sessions deal with Jewish American history, social action, leadership, and more. Graduates of the program have served on the boards of every Jewish agency, synagogue and organization in our community, and have used the knowledge gained from the program to benefit the wider New Orleans community as well. The 2017-2019 class will graduate on January 24 during an event generously hosted by Jones Walker LLP.


A selection process is underway for the 2019-2021 class. We received selections from 46 households, which constitutes 77 individuals. The advisors for this class will be Julie Green and Mark Mintz. The Israel Mission this year will be November 3-12, 2019.

Campaign Report 

by Sherri Tarr


As of today, the 2019 Annual Campaign stands at $1,589,003 from 759 donors for a 4.1% card for card increase. We have 32 new gifts and 205 increases in the 2019 Campaign, with 27 donors “returning” to the Campaign from past years. The dollar amount of the new gifts and increased portion of the pledges is $84,071.

We held the Goldring-Woldenberg Major Donor Dinner Thursday, March 21. Immense thanks to our hosts and sponsors, Darryl & Louellen Berger and the Windsor Court. 73 people, the most ever, enjoyed the talents of Rachel Van Voorhees on the harp. It was a lovely evening, with great food and great company.


Tuesday, April 16 is the Lion of Judah Luncheon at Gabrielle Restaurant. The co-Chairs are Nancy Bissinger, Margie Bissinger and Nancy Timm. Cathy Bart will be honored as she was our Kipnis/Wilson-Friedland Award winner at the JFNA Lion Conference. The guest speaker is Pam Buckman.


Thank you to those who are signing up for the Clean Up Phonathon on May 7. This will help us to close our Campaign with a bang.

Jewish Education and Social Action

by Michelle Neal


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. Last week, the Amiel guests were Rabbi Reuven Spolter, Rabbi Dr. Sharon Shalom, and musician Daniel Yehudah.


As soon as the delegation arrived on March 31, they headed to Tulane Hillel for a discussion led by Rabbi Dr. Sharon Shalom, an Ethiopian Jew who migrated to Israel on his own at the age of nine. His topic “From Sinai to Ethiopia” was well received by a full room. The following evening Rabbi Spolter participated in a panel discussion about the Israeli political and business structures. Rabbi Spolter and Daniel spent the next two days attending events at both Jewish schools, the Jewish Community Day School and Slater Torah Academy; the JCC’s senior program; and at Woldenberg Village for an ice cream social and concert.


The Amiel delegation will be returning to New Orleans for its sixth visit May 19 – May 22, 2019. Visitors Rabbi Aaron Goldscheider and Brigadier General Benzi Gruber will be discussing the topic of Morality in the IDF.


To learn more about Jewish education and social action initiatives, contact Michelle Neal at

Statement on the Proposed Deportation of Vietnamese Immigrants


The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans strongly disagrees with the Administration’s renewed effort to deport law-abiding Vietnamese immigrants from the United States in large numbers. The new proposal radically reverses course on a decade-old agreement that explicitly bars the deportation of Vietnamese people who arrived in the U.S. before July 12, 1995 – the date on which the U.S. and Vietnam re-established diplomatic relations following the Vietnam War.


We specifically take issue with the Administration re-interpreting the 2008 agreement to exempt undocumented Vietnamese migrants who arrived before the above-mentioned date from its protections. The agreement has, from its inception, widely been accepted by all involved parties to shield such individuals from deportation. In fact, many of these Vietnamese immigrants – some of whom were just children – arrived in the U.S. as refugees fleeing the Vietnam War, and some even fought alongside the U.S. military during the war. Moreover, many of the individuals who may be targeted by the new policy have lived in the U.S. for years and have contributed substantially to the social, cultural, and economic life of our country.


This is especially true in Greater New Orleans, home to a thriving community of Vietnamese immigrants and their descendants dating back at least to 1975, when the Roman Catholic Church brought 2,100 refugees to the region after the fall of Saigon. The 2010 Census listed 15,800 people of Vietnamese descent living in the area. Coincidentally, it was also in 2008 that we became the first region to elect a Vietnamese-American to the U.S. Congress, a historic achievement of which the local Vietnamese community was and is rightfully proud.


The American people opened their arms to Vietnamese immigrants in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, and we should continue to support this community today. We feel fortunate to have the Vietnamese people of Greater New Orleans as our neighbors and partners.


Arnie D. Fielkow | Chief Executive Officer

Bradley Bain | Chair, Jewish Community Relations Council

Jewish Community Relations Council

by Mithun Kamath


On April 1, we had a riveting program called “Doing business in Israel: Politics, The Economy & The Upcoming Elections.” at the Port of New Orleans. The event spoke of the last 71 years since Israel’s founding, how she and the United States have changed dramatically. Over those decades, each nation’s internal political fortunes have ebbed and flowed, sometimes for better and sometimes not. But the relationship forged between our nations continues to grow stronger because it has always been based on shared Judeo-Christian values, strong economic trade and democratic principles and institutions. The panelists discussed what Israel’s political and economic environment is like now and how can Louisiana continue to learn and contribute to the future. The panel was moderated by Fox 8’s Lee Zurik, the panel featured Ambassador Yoram Ettinger, Dr. Leonard Ray, Rabbi Reuven Spolter, and Guy Tessler.


"Last fall, the Federation / JCRC launched a formal partnership with WBOK 1230AM to highlight and explore African-American / Jewish relations, with a show co-hosted by Oliver Thomas and lay leader Lynne Wasserman entitled "Shalom: a Cross-Cultural Conversation." The most recent segment, featuring  Dr. Sharlene Sinegal-DeCuir from Xavier University and Davida Finger from Loyola Law School, focused on civil rights activism and social and economic justice from the 20th century into today. You can download the show here . The next segment will air on April 9 at 8:00 a.m., and will feature Pastor Chris Harris of Bright Star Community Outreach in Chicago discussing the model of NATAL - the Israel Trauma Center for Victims of Terror and War - and how he is applying it to train faith leaders and mental health professions as counsels to provide violence prevention services in inner-city communities in the United States."

To learn more about JCRC, please contact Mithun Kamath at


by Michelle Neal


Established in 2006, the Jewish Newcomers Program seeks to help Jewish newcomers to our area carve out meaningful community roots. From welcome events to a voucher program featuring discounts to local organizations and businesses, this program has continuously evolved to serve the needs of the Greater New Orleans Jewish community. To learn more about the program, click here.


The Federation hosted its annual Newcomers event on December 4.  Morton and Carole Katz generously opened their Uptown home to over 60 newcomers and Federation board members.  The event featured guests Alon and Emily Shaya, both Federation newcomers, and owners of local Israeli restaurant, Saba.  The Shayas spoke to the group about why they decided to make New Orleans their home and encouraged the attending newcomers to do the same.  The event was catered by Saba and kosher food was provided by Rimon.  Since the event, several newcomers have asked to become more involved with Federation through its Katz-Phillips Leadership Development and JNOLA programs. 


by Tana Velen


The first quarter of 2019 saw JNOLA reaching out to young professionals in a variety of ways. We launched our Off the Clock series which comprises of networking meetups on the last Thursday of each month. Additionally, we had our JNOLA Professional Development Seminar where participants were able to sign up for two of three great topics to help them become better, more confident professionals. Those topics were “Utilizing LinkedIn,” “How to Ask for a Raise,” and “Schmoozing 101.” Purim fell in March this year and JNOLA celebrated with a Lego-themed young families’ Purim Party in partnership with Congregation Beth Israel and the Jewish Community Day School. Looking forward to April, JNOLA will have its first Young Professionals Seder with Temple Sinai on Friday, April 19. 


Please visit for more information or email Tana at if you have questions. 


by Tana Velen

JP Nola seeks to provide information, resources, and affirmation to Louisiana’s LGBTQ Jewish population. We do so through relationship building with local synagogues, agencies, and other organizations to support, partner with, and promoting LGBTQ-related programming and events. JP Nola also works on LGBTQ legislation and advocacy with the goal of being the centralizing resource for Jewish LGBTQ activities in the Greater New Orleans area. JP Nola is currently planning  fall/winter events. To get on our confidential email list and be kept up to date with the Jewish LGBTQ community, please email Tana Velen at or Marc Behar at

Mentoring Program

by Tana Velen


The Jewish Federation’s Mentorship Program is gearing up for its launch. This unique program combines face-to-face mentorship experiences with an online forum to ask virtual mentors career questions. Microgrant opportunities will be available to help Jewish professionals succeed in their professions and stay in New Orleans. For more information, contact Tana Velen at

Edie & Paul Rosenblum Gift of Israel Program

by Michelle Neal


The Edie and Paul Rosenblum Gift of Israel were instrumental in sending 12 high school students to Israel in the summer of 2018.  This program offers scholarship dollars, often exceeding $7,000/student, to send high-schoolers on immersive trips to Israel. This year, an additional scholarship opportunity was added: the Hans and Donna Sternberg Study in Israel Scholarship.


The Federation continues to reach out to local parents who may be interested in sending a child to Israel in the summer of 2019.  Michele Gelman, Federation's Chair of Israel and Overseas, hosted an event where the benefits of the Gift of Israel program were discussed with prospective families.  To date, seven families have registered their students for trips in the upcoming year. 

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