New Orleans plans first “back home” community meeting

The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans will host the first Jewish community meeting in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina on Nov. 21 at Shir Chadash at 7 p.m. At the meeting, there will be updates on the community’s Jewish agencies, rebuilding and reopening plans, and the latest information on the community’s future.

The Federation recently mailed a survey to the Jewish community mailing list, asking for updated information and a sense of what percentage of the community plans to return, and in what time-frame. A large percentage of the surveys will have to be forwarded by the Postal Service.

Even if one has resettled elsewhere and has no plans to return to New Orleans, the Federation requests that the survey be filled out.

The survey is also available on-line at

CLAL to hold programs in Louisiana

Rabbi Irwin Kula and Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, also known as CLAL, will be in Baton Rouge on Dec. 12 and New Orleans on Dec. 13 for a series of programs, including a program of healing and recovery.

Times and locations will be announced shortly.

Rebuilding offers

Many groups from across the country are offering to come to the New Orleans area to help with rebuilding.

An adult mitzvah corps from Temple Shalom in Succasunna, N.J., has offered to come down the week of Dec. 26, to assist individual homeowners or businesses that need help. The group has built five Habitat for Humanity homes, and has liability coverage.

Those desiring their assistance can contact Teri Gross at the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, (713) 729-7000, ext. 364, or The service is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Other groups have also offered assistance, and once the Federation resolves liability issues, information will be posted so matches can be made.

Chanukah in New Orleans

Dashka Roth, a Judaica shop in the French Quarter, is teaming with artist Gary Rosenthal and the New Orleans Jewish Community Center for a Chanukah homecoming celebration, Dec. 20 at the Uptown JCC, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The party will include latkes, music and Chanukah gifts created and donated by communities across the country.