The sukkah at Shir Chadash in Metairie will be dedicated in honor of the Brener family, with Rabbi Anne Brener visiting for the weekend. Full story below.


The Bais Ariel Chabad Center in Birmingham will have Pizza in the Hut and a drum circle, Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. There will be pizza, fries and ice cream, followed by a family-friendly drum circle led by John Scalici. Cost is $10 per adult, $6 per child.

Sushi and Scotch in the Sukkah returns on Sept. 27 at Bais Ariel Chabad in Birmingham, with sushi by Owen from Sushi Village. Reservations for the 7 p.m. event are $25, $40 for couples and $10 for You Belong in Birmingham members.

Birmingham’s Knesseth Israel will have a Sukkot dinner, Sept. 23 at 7:15 p.m. Advance reservations are $18 per person, $36 per family.

There will be an interfaith Open Sukkah at Birmingham’s Temple Beth-El on Sept. 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. The free happy hour, with wine and hors d’oeuvres, is hosted by Keruv, Beth-El’s interfaith outreach, and SOJOURN: The Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity.

Beth-El will also have Sukkah building with Men’s Club on Sept. 23 at 8 a.m., and decorating at 11 a.m. Shabbat Ruach will be on Sept. 28 at 5:45 p.m., and following the service, there will be a “Great Balls of Fire” Mediterranean dinner in the sukkah. Reservations are $12 per adult, $6 per child and $30 per family.

Hadassah Birmingham
will have a Sukkot dairy potluck on Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the home of Melina Goldfarb. The event is free and open to everyone.

Birmingham’s Temple Emanu-El will have Pizza in the Hut and Lulav Shakes, Sept. 26 at 5 p.m.

Highland Tribe, a joint venture of Birmingham’s Beth-El and Emanu-El for young professionals ages 21 to 39, will have a Sukkah Crawl on Sept. 27, with details to be announced.

Temple Emanu-El in Dothan will have Scotch and Cigars in the Sukkah on Sept. 27, time to be announced. The religious school will have a potluck and overnight campout, starting at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 28.

The Huntsville string ensemble Consort l’ancienne will present Jewish liturgical and Klezmer music at Etz Chayim on Sept. 30 at 4 p.m., to benefit the food pantry. Admission to the concert is a donation of items for the food pantry. Weather permitting, refreshments and the concert will be in the sukkah.

Temple B’nai Sholom in Huntsville will have a special oneg in the sukkah on Sept. 28, hosted by the Brotherhood, in honor of the upcoming wedding of Rabbi Eric Berk and Shira Auerhahn. The Shabbat service is at 7 p.m. Additional events include a Sukkot celebration and covered dish dinner, Sept. 23 at 5 p.m.; Familyhood dinner in the sukkah on Sept. 25 at 5 p.m.; Lunch and Learn for the Older Set on Sept. 26 at 12:30 p.m.; and kosher wine tasting on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m.

Ahavas Chesed in Mobile will have a community-wide dinner in the sukkah on Sept. 23 at 5:30 p.m. A petting zoo will start at 4:30 p.m., along with a bounce house for ages 4 and under, and belly dancing starts at 6 p.m. Reservations are $5 for anyone over age 7. The Men’s Club sukkah building is 8 a.m. that day.

Chabad of Mobile will hold Steaks and Sips in the Sukkah, with steak, scotch, music and lulav shaking. The event is Sept. 26 at 6:15 p.m. Reservations are $10, $20 per family.

The annual Lil Perlman Cabbage Dinner will be held at Montgomery’s Agudath Israel-Etz Ahayem following the 6 p.m. Simchat Torah service on Oct. 1.

Florida Panhandle

Chabad Emerald Coast in Destin will have its Sukkot Under the Stars dinner on Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m.

B’nai Israel in Panama City will have Pizza in the Hut, Sept. 30 at 11:30 a.m.

Pensacola’s Temple Beth El will have Siam in the Sukkah, a Thai dinner for the 20- and 30-something group, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. The Sisterhood will have Pizza in the Hut on Sept. 26 at 11:30 a.m., with a program led by Rabbi Joel Fleekop. Reservations are $15. On Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m., Cinema in the Sukkah features “Three Identical Strangers.” Admission is $5, popcorn and beverages will be provided. Shabbat Sukkot Under the Stars, a service and potluck dinner, will be Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.


Gemiluth Chassodim in Alexandria will have a Sunday Brunch and Munch in the sukkah, Sept. 23 at noon.

Beth Shalom in Baton Rouge will be busy on Sept. 23, with Brotherhood sukkah building at 9 a.m., Jewish Journeys sukkah decorating at 4:30 p.m., a dairy potluck dinner at 5 p.m. and Sukkot services at 6 p.m.

B’nai Israel in Baton Rouge will have a sukkah building with the Men’s Club on Sept. 23 at 8 a.m., followed by a family cookout at 11:45 a.m. Shabbat services and dinner in the sukkah will be on Sept. 28 at 6 p.m., and a family Simchat Torah and Consecration service will be on Sept. 30 at 11 a.m.

Chabad of Baton Rouge will have Pizza in a Hut on Sept. 27 at 4 p.m. Safari in the Sukkah will be Sept. 30 at 11 a.m., with a waffle and smoothie bar, an exotic zoo exhibition and shaking the lulav.

Agudath Achim in Shreveport will decorate the sukkah at 3 p.m. on Sept. 23, with services at 7 p.m. Sisterhood will host a potluck luncheon on Sept. 24 after the 10 a.m. service. A family service will be on Sept. 28 at 8 p.m., with story and songs, and an oneg in the sukkah.

B’nai Zion in Shreveport will have sukkah decorating on Sept. 23, and a Simchat Torah, Consecration and Yizkor service on Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.


Hebrew Union Congregation in Greenville will have dinner in the sukkah, following the 6:30 p.m. Shabbat service on Sept. 28.

Beth Israel in Jackson will have a Sukkot picnic on Sept. 23 at 5 p.m., followed by services at 6:15 p.m. On Sept. 30, there will be a Simchat Torah dinner at 5 p.m., followed by the service at 6:15 p.m.

New Orleans Area

Temple Sinai
in New Orleans will have Sukkot programming each night at 6 p.m., with refreshments provided. Sept. 23 will be Sisterhood Night. Sept. 24 will be LGBTQ Night, hosted by Maddie Fireman. On Sept. 25, Matt and Jeri Ann Glodiwski will host Young Family Night, and Rabbi Matthew Reimer hosts on Sept. 26. On Sept. 27, the Dodd and Gold families host Fun Under the Sukkah.

Touro Synagogue in New Orleans will have Brown Bag Lunch in the Sukkah with the clergy, at noon each day. Rabbi Todd Silverman will be on Sept. 25, followed by Rabbi Alexis Berk on Sept. 26 and Cantor Kevin Margolius on Sept. 27. On Sept. 26 at 5:30 p.m., Touro will have its second annual Ushpizin Fest, with pizza, drinks, stories and singing. Shabbat Sukkot will be Vintage Wines and Harvest Moon on Sept. 28, with dinner in the courtyard following the 6 p.m. service; bring wine to share. Simchat Torah in the Park will be Sept. 30 at Danneel Park, with a “Bring Your Own Brunch” picnic at 9:30 a.m., dancing with the Panorama Jazz Band at 10:15 a.m., the unrolling of the Torah at 10:45 a.m., and fun and games afterward.

Anshe Sfard in New Orleans will have a Sukkot barbecue at the home of Sarah and Rabbi Yochanan Rivkin, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.

Chabad of Louisiana will have Sukkah-Fest 2018 at the Rivkin Sukkah on Broadway, Sept. 27 at 5:30 p.m.

Chabad at Tulane is hosting Sushi in the Sukkah, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.

JNOLA, Torah Academy and PJ Library will have Safari in the Sukkah at the Audubon Zoo’s Dominion Room on Sept. 30 from noon to 2 p.m. Families will hear the blessing over the lulav and etrog by Rabbi Deborah Silver of Shir Chadash and kids will have face painting, a fun holiday activity, and hearing all about this holiday in the PJ Library reading nook. Kids will also get to meet, pet, and learn about some of the zoo’s friendliest animals. A kosher lunch is provided and each family will get to leave with a free book from PJ Library.

Beth Israel in Metairie will have a community sukkah decorating party for kids and adults, with a pizza dinner, Sept. 20 at 5:15 p.m. On Sept. 25 at 6 p.m., the Men’s Event will be Burgers, Beer and Blackjack in the Sukkah. There is a $10 suggested donation. On Sept. 26, Sisterhood will have Sippin’ in the Sukkah, with dinner and Judaica crafting, at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will be free to Sisterhood members, $5 for non-members, plus the to-be-determined cost of materials for crafting. A community Shabbat dinner in the sukkah will be on Sept. 28, following the 6:30 p.m. service. Reservations are $18 for adult members, $9 for children, $25 and $18 respectively for non-members. Reservations are needed for each program.

Gates of Prayer in Metairie will have a “bring your own” picnic dinner in the sukkah on Sept. 23 at 5:30 p.m. On Sept 24 at 7 p.m., the Brotherhood will have Sake, Sushi and (baby)Sitting, an evening including Monday Night Football. Sisterhood will host Salsa in the Sukkah, with dancing and food, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. Simchat Torah and Consecration will be on Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m., with a pizza dinner and the New Breed Brass Band.

Jewish Community Day School in Metairie will have a community Sukkot family BBQ, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. at Bart Field. The Panorama Brass Band will perform. Dinner is $10 for adults, $8 for children and $20 for a family. Beer and wine will be available.

Moishe House New Orleans will have Shabbat in the Sukkah, Sept. 28 starting at 7 p.m.

Dedicating Shir Chadash’s Sukkah

Shir Chadash in Metairie will have a sukkah dinner following the 6:15 p.m. Shabbat service on Sept. 28, with special not-really-a-“guest” Rabbi Anne Brener. 

Brener is professor of Ritual and Human Development at the Academy for Jewish Religion in California.

Her father, the late Michael Brener, first built the Shir Chadash sukkah. The Shir Chadash sukkah was recently expanded, and at the dinner, Brener will dedicate the plaque naming it the Brener Family Sukkah. Reservations for dinner are $18 for adults, $10 for children, by Sept. 21.

In 1971, after Rabbi Brener’s mother and sister died, her father accepted an offer from the rabbi to read the Book of Jonah at Yom Kippur that year.

In gratitude, he built the sukkah — which represents a fragile, temporary structure, but one to house celebrations — and continued to chant Jonah every year until he died in 1995. 

In a 2006 article, Brener recalled that “He and Jonah became so closely linked that the year after he died, only the rabbi would step up to the bimah on Yom Kippur afternoon to fill his shoes.”

In 2005, Brener was a fourth-year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles when Hurricane Katrina hit. She volunteered with the Red Cross, stationed in Montgomery and then Gulfport. She was supposed to go to Baton Rouge, but was sent to New York because of Hurricane Rita.

While there, she contacted Rabbi Ted Lichtenfeld, who was the rabbi at Shir Chadash, asking what she could do for the community. As he was staying in Houston to lead Rosh Hashanah services for members who had taken refuge there, he asked if she could lead services in Metairie. 

In the 2006 recollection, she said arriving in New Orleans was like “returning from exile” as she fled the city after the events of 1971. It was the day before Rosh Hashanah that year when her mother killed herself.

Over 100 attended on the evening of Rosh Hashanah in 2005 as she led what was the first Jewish service in the community since the levee breach five weeks earlier. 

She noted that when she arrived at Shir Chadash, a dove led her to her father’s sukkah, which had “not a splinter taken by the storm.”

After the 9 a.m. service on Sept. 29, she will lead a class using materials from her book, “Mourning and Mitzvah.” She will also deliver a sermon before Yizkor at the 9:15 a.m. Shemini Atzeret service on Oct. 1.