Community Meeting in Baton Rouge

There will be an open meeting for the Jewish communities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans on Sept. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the LSU Faculty Club, on the corner of Highland Road and Raphael Semmes.

Eric Stillman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, will be the guest speaker. The Federation, Jewish Family Services and Endowment Fund are setting up offices in the Baton Rouge area, though since the storm, the New Orleans Federation has been run from the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston offices.

The two communities will unite to discuss the current situation, which has seen an influx to Baton Rouge that has almost doubled the area’s Jewish community.

Welcome Breakfast in Birmingham

At Birmingham’s Levite Jewish Community Center, New Orleans residents now in the Birmingham area met at a breakfast this morning. About 35 Jews from the Crescent City heard welcomes from the rabbis at Birmingham’s synagogues, as well as the directors of the LJCC, Birmingham Jewish Federation, N.E. Miles Jewish Day School and Collat Jewish Family Services.

The local professionals invited the evacuees to avail themselves of Birmingham’s Jewish institutions, with everything from free memberships to High Holy Day services. They were also invited to visit the CJFS food pantry, which is also stocked with personal hygiene items and clothing.

Some of those in attendance have lost their homes, others fared relatively well. Some have already decided to stay in Birmingham for the long-term and have already found housing and jobs, while others are preparing to return to New Orleans as soon as practical. Most of those in attendance already had family ties to Birmingham.

It is estimated that there may be between 200 and 300 Gulf Coast Jews now in the Birmingham area.