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, and in-kind donations, Nourish allows us to impact our wider community in a meaningful way. To date, we've held drives/events to benefit at-risk populations in New Orleans with UNITY, Bastion, the New Orleans Women's and Children's Shelter, Grace at the Green Light, Covenant House, and more. Like many start-up projects, Nourish is evolving. 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 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.

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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.

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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. To learn more, contact Michelle Neal at 504-780-5604 or at

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