Installing Two Rabbis: This Week in Southern Jewish Life, Oct. 30

Above: Honorees Richard Pizitz Jr., Raymond and Cynthia Tobias, Rabbi Elizabeth Bahar, General Charles Krulak and Rabbi Eytan Yammer at the Oct. 28 joint awards program of Israel Bonds, the Birmingham Jewish Federation and Birmingham Jewish Foundation. Photo by Rabbi Barry Altmark. 

Around the South: Week of Oct. 30, 2015

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Two New Orleans-area congregations are installing rabbis on the same evening. Touro Synagogue will install Rabbi Todd Silverman as Rabbinic Director of Lifelong Learning at its 6 p.m. service on Oct. 30. A Shabbat dinner reception will follow. He joins Rabbi Alexis Berk and Cantor David Mintz on the Touro clergy. Rabbi Alexis Pinsky will be installed as assistant rabbi at Gates of Prayer in Metairie on Oct. 30 at the 8 p.m. service. There will be a dinner, prepared by the Brotherhood, at 6 p.m.

The 28th annual Delta Jewish Open, a reunion for the Jewish communities of the Mississippi Delta and a fundraiser for the Jacobs Camp and Institute of Southern Jewish Life, will be on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 in Greenville. Registration is open and one need not be a golfer to attend.

The Southern Jewish Historical Society is having its annual conference in Nashville this weekend.

A Southern Jewish Halloween, from Bay City, Texas, in the 1930s, as a way of being part of the general community.

On Tablet’s Unorthodox podcast this week: A chat with Shulem Deen, author of “All Who Go Do Not Return,” about his journey out of the Skverer Hasidic group. He is scheduled to speak in New Orleans in late November as part of Jewish Culture Month at the Uptown JCC.

Shearith Israel and Temple Israel in Columbus, Ga., will have a concert with renowned Israeli violinist Boris Savchuk, at Temple Israel, Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. The event is free, but a donation of $10 is suggested.


The UAH History Department and the UAH Humanities Center will host a lecture by Monique Laney on her book “German Rocketeers in the Heart of Dixie: Making Sense of the Nazi Past during the Civil Rights Era” on Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Roberts Recital Hall at UAH. The book tells stories of relationships of the Germans and their families with various races and ethnic groups in Huntsville, including the Jewish community, and of how the groups remember the past.

Rabbi Joseph Polak, author of “After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring,” is speaking in Mobile this month through the Mobile Christian Jewish Dialogue, co-sponsored by the Gulf Coast Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education. An infant survivor of two concentration camps, Polak is an assistant professor of public health at Boston University, rabbi emeritus of the Hillel House there and chief justice of the Rabbinical Court of Massachusetts. His main public address will be on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at Ahavas Chesed. There will be a book signing during the reception. He will also speak at Springhill Avenue Temple on Nov. 9 at noon, with lunch available on a first come, first served basis, and at Ahavas Chesed on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. Other Nov. 9 talks will be to students at Spring Hill College and a Holocaust educator workshop for high school and middle school teachers at the University of South Alabama. On Nov. 10 he will also address David Meola’s class at South Alabama.

You Belong in Birmingham is holding a Pop Up Happy Hour on Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the new Grand Bohemian Hotel’s rooftop bar in Mountain Brook.

Brad and Marion Lapidus will be honored at the annual Temple B’nai Sholom Sisterhood Gala at the Ledges in Huntsville, Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m.

Birmingham’s Temple Beth-El will have a Ghouls in the Shul program for grades 1 to 6 on Oct. 31 from 6:45 to 8 p.m., with a “spooky rendition” of Havdalah, Jewish ghost stories, Make Your Own Golem and more.

The Bais Ariel Chabad Center in Birmingham will have a Pajama Popcorn Party on Oct. 31 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Temple B’nai Sholom in Huntsville will have “Ghosts of Shabbats Past” on Oct. 30 at the 7 p.m. service, a “spooky Shabbat” where deceased B’nai Sholom members will “visit.”

The Birmingham International Center announced its 2016 program will be a Salute to Belgium. Each year, the center selects a country and does a series of educational programs, promoting both awareness and business ties to that country throughout the state. On Nov. 15, there will be a program of “Remembrance and Resistance” at the Southern Museum of Flight, honoring Alabama veterans and the Belgium resistance movement during World War II. The 3 p.m. event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required here.

Birmingham’s Temple Emanu-El is co-hosting the Magic City Acceptance Project’s “A Generous Faith: Walking With Our LGBTQ+ Community” interfaith conference on Nov. 5 and 6. More information here. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will have a four-week class about the history of Downton Abbey, at the Levite Jewish Community Center in Birmingham. Taught by Linda York, who has a doctorate in early modern history from Auburn, the class will view and discuss classic British episodes of the hit television show. The free class will meet on Fridays at 1:30 p.m. from Oct. 30 to Nov. 20.

Birmingham’s Levite Jewish Community Center will be celebrating Jewish Book Month with a series of programs throughout November. There will also be a book sale in the lobby. The festival starts on Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. with “All In” by Josh Levs, the story of how a fatherhood columnist fought back when his employer denied him parental leave after his child was born. He became a leading advocate for modern families and his book discusses how fatherhood is different today than in previous generations.
On Nov. 5, Dave Gettinger will present “What is a Jew?” by his father, M.C. Gettinger. The 6 p.m. program will include a wine and cheese reception, and attendees will receive a free copy of the book. The illustrations by Cynthia Fitting will be on display at the LJCC all month.
On Nov. 10, Marcia Friedman will present “Meatballs and Matzah Balls,” the story of re-creating her Italian-American kitchen after her conversion to Judaism, exploring the union of Jewish and Italian life through food. The noon cooking demonstration, discussion and tasting is $10.

Joe Mussafer will share his research on 1492, one of the most consequential years in Jewish history, at Temple Beth Or in Montgomery on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. His talk will be the first in this year’s Rothschild Blachschleger Library Series.

On Nov. 3, Troy University will have a workshop for middle and high school teachers on how to more effectively teach the Holocaust. Ann Rosenheck, a survivor of Auschwitz, will speak at the workshop. She will also give a public talk at Troy on Nov. 5, and speak at Temple Emanu-El, Dothan, on Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m.. The 8:30 a.m. workshop is presented in partnership with the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and will be facilitated by educators from the museum.

The annual TLC Day, Teens Lend a Caring Hand, will be on Nov. 1 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Coordinated by Collat Jewish Family Services in Birmingham, teens in grades 7 to 12 will meet at the LJCC for pizza and then go to homes of senior adults and do seasonal tasks. Teens are asked to register by Oct. 19 to Lise in the CJFS office.

Agnes Tenenbaum, a Holocaust survivor living in Mobile, will speak at the Oct. 30 6 p.m. service at Springhill Avenue Temple.

Dothan’s Temple Emanu-El Brotherhood will have its Autumn 2015 pancake breakfast for the entire congregation on Oct. 31 at 9:30 a.m. with guest speaker Ron Owen, chief medical officer of Southeast Alabama Medical Center.

The Temple Beth Or Sisterhood in Montgomery is doing a cheesecake fundraiser, with cheesecakes from the Carnegie Deli in New York. Orders must be received by Oct. 30, and can be picked up on Nov. 17 or 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Six-inch cheesecakes are $25, while 8-inch cheesecakes are $35. For information, email here.


Chabad Emerald Coast in Destin will have a Unity Shabbaton with Israel on Oct. 30. There will be a Mediterranean dinner and discussion about what one can do for Israel, starting at 5:30 p.m. There will also be a big Kiddush lunch following services on Oct. 31. Reserve here.

There will be a memorial program for Yitzhak Rabin, Nov. 1 at 4 p.m. at Temple Beth-El in Pensacola.

Tickets are on sale now for the annual B’nai Israel Veterans Day Dinner in Pensacola. The dinner will be on Nov. 6 at 6 p.m., and tickets will be sold through Oct. 30. Call (850) 433-7311 for tickets. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 8 and under.

New Orleans/Louisiana 

The New Orleans Jewish Community Center will become a comedy club on Nov. 7, with two comedy stars taking the stage for the JCC’s annual gala. Johnny Lampert and Dan Naturman will perform at the Center Celebration, starting at 7 p.m. Lampert is a regular at New York City’s and Los Angeles’ best comedy clubs, including Carolines on Broadway, The Comic Strip and The Improv. He has also made numerous appearances on MTV, A and E, NBC, HBO’s “Comedy Showcase” and a multitude of shows on Comedy Central. The evening will be catered by Vincent’s Italian Cuisine. Tickets are $200, with sponsor levels starting at $500.

The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans will hold the Betty and Phillip Meyers Leadership Development Alumni Event of the Katz-Phillips Program on Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m., at the home of Erin and Asher Friend. Donors to the Leadership Development Endowment Campaign will also be present, as the campaign has raised about $800,000. There will be a cooking demonstration by Alon Shaya, who is in this year’s class, and a jazz clarinet performance by Michael White, who was in Israel as part of the community’s Partnership2Gether program earlier this year.

A new book about New Orleans landmark Longue Vue will be released with a launch party at the famous estate. Published by Rizzoli, “Longue Vue House and Gardens: The Architecture, Interiors and Gardens of New Orleans’ Most Celebrated Estate” features texts by Carol McMichael Reese, Thaisa Way, Walter C. Stern and Charles Davey, and original photography by Tina Freeman. The book describes the estate and founders Edith and Edgar Stern, who were major Jewish philanthropists. Edith Stern was the daughter of Sears Roebuck and Co. President Julius Rosenwald. The book is available for preorder on the Longue Vue website, or at the book launch on Nov 4. Starting at 4 p.m. there will be a program with Freeman and Reese, followed by a book signing from 5 to 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The party is free and open to the community.

Friend Ships will hold “The Jerusalem Call,” Nov. 9 and 10 in Lake Charles, as a political advocacy event for Israel in the Christian community. Speakers include Ambassador Ran Ichay, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas and Middle East expert Erick Stakelbeck. The free event is held in association with the Israel Allied Foundation in Washington.

R. Daniel Hoffman will be returning to Beth Israel in Metairie this Shabbat, delivering a guest sermon at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 31.

At the Dream Caravan event in New Orleans on Nov. 8, Rodger Kamenetz will present a lecture on the connection between Kabbalah and dreams. The event will be at the Arts Estuary 1024 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The New Orleans Section of the National Council of Jewish Women is partnering with other groups to discuss gun violence, with the screening of “91%: A Film About Guns in America” on Nov. 9, and a Moving the Ball Forward discussion on Nov. 12.

The Downtown Lunch and Learn series for Beth Israel, Metairie, continues at the Gertler Law Firm, on Nov. 5. A deli lunch is available, and a $10 contribution is suggested.

Beth Israel in Metairie will have a Shabbat dinner on Nov. 6 featuring Sarah Cramsey, professor at Tulane. She will speak on “Saying Kaddish in Czechoslovakia: Hana Volavkova and the first state-sponsored monument to the Shoah.” Volavkova was the director of the Jewish Museum of Prague from 1945 to 1960. Dinner will be after the 6 p.m. service. Reservations are $18 for member adults, $9 for children over 5; non-members are $25 and $18 respectively.

Beth Shalom in Baton Rouge will have its Nearly New Sale on Oct. 29, 30 and Nov. 1 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will not be any clothing sold, so any donated clothing will be given to Here Today Gone Tomorrow.

Chabad of Baton Rouge is holding an 11-part series, Torah Studies. Each session is self-contained and meets on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. The course started on Oct. 13. Classes are free but there is a textbook fee.

The Touro Infirmary Foundation and Touro Tomorrow will host L’dor V’dor, a post-gala party benefiting Touro Infirmary’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, on Nov. 14 from 9 p.m. to midnight at Mardi Gras World’s Mansion Room. Open to the community, the evening will feature live entertainment by Flow Tribe, signature dishes from La Cocinita, Mobile Memories Photo Booth, over 200 young professionals around the community and an open bar. Proceeds from L’dor V’dor 2015 will be used to support improvements to Touro Infirmary’s NICU and help provide the latest and most cutting edge equipment and care to the smallest and sickest infants. Tickets are $50/person, $90/couple.

Rabbi Alexis Berk of Touro Synagogue will have a twice-monthly lunchtime study group, News and the Jews, discussing current events through a Jewish lens. The noon sessions are open to the community at the Mautner Learning Center. Upcoming dates are Nov. 12 and 19, Dec. 3 and 17 and Jan. 7 and 21.

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