One of the central tenets of Judaism is the value of tikkun olam, which roughly translates to a mandate that we must all do our part to repair our world and make it a better place. The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans believes strongly in that ethic, and has collaborated with celebrated local jazz pianist Matt Lemmler to create a rotating series of community-wide events called Nourish: A Movement for New Orleans’ Homeless and Underserved. Our goal is to bring together the people of New Orleans, putting aside the many struggles this segment of our community faces on a regular basis, and to help our community’s underserved.
Independently funded through corporate sponsorships, in-kind donations, and the generosity of an anonymous donor through the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana, Nourish allows us to impact our wider community in a meaningful way. To date, we've held four drives/events to benefit at-risk populations in New Orleans.
Like many start-up projects, Nourish is evolving. Recently Nourish began a partnership with the organization Love365, a program that grew out of a predominantly African-American church, The City of Love. Every Tuesday, Love365 and The City of Love Church volunteers prepare 2,000 hot meals. Throughout the day they deliver meals to waiting residents at three locations around downtown New Orleans. The need is so acute that there are times that they run out of food before they get to the third site. The Nourish team is committed to helping Love365 reach more underserved New Orleanians, and JNOLA volunteers are offering to be a part of the team. This new interfaith partnership truly embodies the value of tikkum olam, and reaches larger numbers of hungry residents than the Nourish program could reach on its own.
Approximate Number of Homeless New Orleanians
In August 2015, UNITY of Greater New Orleans said the city had reduced homelessness by 85 percent from a post-Hurricane Katrina high in 2007, to an estimated 1,703, compared to 2,051 before the storm.Learn more
Increase in the Percentage of Employed Parents Seeking Food Assistance in 2016
The number of people, primarily employed parents, seeking emergency food aid rose by 2% in 2016 . The increase has put a strain on city food banks, half of whom had to reduce the quantity of food individuals/families could receive per visit or per meal.Learn more
On February 20, Nourish brought Mardi Gras to Covenant House New Orleans, aided by Matt Lemmler, Jacques-Imo’s/Crabby Jack’s, Rouses and Haydel’s Bakery. Covenant House has provided more than 20,000 youth with food, shelter, clothing, medical care, educational and vocational support, individual and family counseling, job readiness and placement, short & long-term housing, life skills, and more.
Help us show a little love for our community - you can still donate travel-sized toiletries in bins at the Uptown Jewish Community Center or the Goldring-Woldenberg Jewish Community Campus (and we'll make sure they get to those most in need)! Click here to learn more.
Thank you for all of the volunteers, sponsors and donors who made our kickoff event on January 15 at UNITY’s Sacred Heart Apartments so successful! Sacred Heart Apartments provides housing for low income residents and homeless New Orleanians, many of whom are armed services veterans. All That Jazz featured live jazz, a stellar brunch, and a chance for our volunteers to get to know the residents of Sacred Heart.
UNITY of Greater New Orleans is a nonprofit overseeing a collaborative of over 60 agencies providing housing and services to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes. A special thank you to Matt Lemmler and friends, Valerie Miller of UNITY, and Chef Kelly Fields and the incomparable staff at Willa Jean!
In order to make this happen and impact as many people as possible, we need the generous help of sponsors and volunteers around the community. From grants to financial sponsorships, and from food prep to toiletry drives, your help is both welcomed and encouraged. Nourish is a chance to bring together the New Orleans community and show that we value human dignity, kindness to others, and the virtue of repairing the world—one life at a time.