Getting back to normal in New Orleans, Gulf Coast

With Isaac now in Missouri, the New Orleans Jewish community is starting to get back to normal, and those who left for the duration are making their way back — especially if they are among the fortunate ones with electricity.

The Goldring/Woldenberg Jewish Community Campus in Metairie suffered some minor damage in the storm, and the fitness area is expected to reopen tomorrow at 1 p.m. The pool will be out of commission for some time, as some trees fell in the pool area and tore the fencing. There was also some water seepage on the first floor.

The JCC sign on the front of the building fell but did not break, and one of the two chillers is not working. The Uptown Jewish Community Center pool pump broke down and there was water in the pool house. The Uptown JCC hopes to reopen at 1 p.m. tomorrow, but that is assuming power has been restored.

The Uptown synagogues, Touro and Sinai, have no power, but as this is the last weekend of the joint Reform summer schedule, they were not slated to have services today.

The joint Reform service tonight at Gates of Prayer in Metairie will start earlier than usual, at 6 p.m., because of curfew. It will be a casual, “blue jeans” Shabbat.

At last report, Anshe Sfard does not have power. There were some roof issues, but those were from before Isaac and are not new.

Shir Chadash will have its usual Shabbat services, and welcomes the community to a Shabbat dinner after the 6:15 p.m. service. Jack Adler’s Bar Mitzvah will take place tomorrow at the 9:45 a.m. service. A fence fell down there, but beyond that, according to Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans Executive Director Michael Weil, “none of the other synagogues or agencies sustained any damage beyond fallen branches and minor leaks.”

Beth Israel in Metairie, dedicated last weekend, is up and running. The Topoloskys extended an invitation to the community for Shabbat dinner, just let them know in advance.

The JCC nursery school and New Orleans Jewish Day School will reopen on Tuesday.

Chabad’s daily minyans continue, 7 a.m. Uptown and 7 p.m. in Metairie.

In its first big test since being built, Beth Israel in Gulfport weathered Isaac without any problems. Their previous building was in Biloxi, two blocks from the beach, and was destroyed by the Katrina storm surge seven years ago. The new building is several miles inland, and will host regular Shabbat services tonight.