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.
*No Saints gear was harmed in the making of this video - only egos.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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
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."
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 jnola.com for more information or email Tana at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com or Marc Behar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.