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


  • 1-3-19 Annual Campaign Planning Meeting
  • 1-8-19 Investment Committee Meeting
  • 1-8-19 - 1-10-19 Amiel BaKehila 
  • 1-9-19 Federation Executive Committee Meeting
  • 1-13-19 - 1-15-19 JFNA International Lion of Judah Conference
  • 1-18-19 - 1-21-19 Celebration of Peace religious and cultural exchange
  • 1-22-19 2019 Annual Campaign Opening Dinner
  • 1-23-19 Federation Board Meeting
  • 1-24-19 2017-2019 Katz-Phillips Leadership Development Class Graduation
  • 1-28-19 Event with Governor John Bel Edwards

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.


Nominations are now open for the 2019-2021 class. Please nominate worthy candidates, and note that self-nominations are accepted. Learn more about the qualifications and download the application here. All applications must be fully completed before submission and are due to Sherri Tarr at by February 13, 2019.

Jewish Education and Social Action

by Michelle Neal


Nourish’s mission continues to evolve as Federation includes more partners in our efforts to reach out to and assist our underserved neighbors. Our objective is to feed both the body and the soul.


Federation recently donated gloves/mittens, 5 hats and 12 pairs of socks to the youngest Covenant House residents. Federation also donated more than 400 toothbrushes, 200 tubes of toothpaste, and hundreds of bottles of shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion, shaving supplies, and deodorant to Grace at the Greenlight.  They, in turn, will distribute them to homeless men and women who are living on the streets of New Orleans.  In addition, the Federation donated over 600 bars of soap and 300 bottles of shampoo to the Harry Tompson Center Rebuild Center, a day shelter that offers laundry and showering facilities to those living on the streets.  


Please be on the lookout for the next Nourish community service program in the spring. 


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 November 20, the Federation / JCRC launched its new annual Youth Civil Rights Trip. This day-long educational field trip gave nearly 100 Jewish and African-American middle school students and chaperones the opportunity to visit various sites in Alabama that were significant to the civil rights movement. The students visited: the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma; the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham; and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute; as well as the Anne Frank Tree in Birmingham. The trip was made possible through the generosity of Jones Walker LLP, Emily Schoenbaum, and other members of our Jewish community. Participants reported back that they enjoyed a wonderful and unique experience - check out the photo on the left.
The Youth Civil Rights Trip is just one piece of the Federation's larger African-American outreach initiative. In October, 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 second segment aired on November 14, and it featured Rabbi Emeritus Robert Loewy of Congregation Gates of Prayer and Reverend Mark Mitchell of New Hope Community Church. You can download the show here. Please be on the lookout for our next show in January.
The Federation / JCRC, with philanthropist Emily Schoenbaum, also recently entered into an exciting new partnership with historic St. Augustine High School in New Orleans. On December 12, the first annual Alex Schoenbaum Jewish Scholarship Fund ceremony was held, and three students were awarded a total of $2,500 towards their St. Augustine tuition! The award ceremony was accompanied by a wonderful assembly on Jewish / African-American relations led by faith leaders from both communities, including Rabbi Emeritus David Goldstein of Touro Synagogue.
Meanwhile, the Federation / JCRC was proud to sign on to a letter to United States Senate and House leadership urging the timely passage of two important bills that combat the threat of international anti-Semitism. The letter can be found here. The effort was led by ADL and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.
Please stay tuned for information on how to participate with the Jewish community and other faith communities in this year's City of New Orleans Martin Luther King Day march on the morning of Monday, January 21.
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


JNOLA held its fun and fancy Light It Up Chanukah Gala at Generations Hall on Saturday, December 15. Attendees enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres and desserts from Saba, Casablanca Restaurant, Goldberg’s Fine Foods, Marjie’s Grill, Rimon, Tal’s Hummus, Pizza Delicious, and Kosher Cajun – all Jewish-owned restaurants. More than 100 gala guests enjoyed the open bar and danced the night away to live music from Eric Benny Bloom and the Oy Veys, a band comprised of local Jewish musicians. When guests weren’t busy busy with all that, they posed at a photo booth, ate a donut at the sufganiyot bar, and took a whack at fun dreidel pinatas! The Light It Up Chanukah Gala was also a fundraiser for Second Harvest. For ever dollar donated, four meals will be given to families in need - because of JNOLA more than 2,000 meals will be delivered. Thank you to everyone who attended. We would especially like to thank the JNOLA Social Committee, chaired by Malcolm Finkelstein and Sam Cohen.


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 was 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, four families have registered their students for trips in the upcoming year. 

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