Jewish-Multicultural Center in New Orleans officially debuts

The Goldring Family Foundation Center for Jewish-Multicultural Affairs, one of two new “Centers of Excellence” at the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, officially launched on Oct.1.

The Center, which fosters relations between the local Jewish community and the local African-American, Latin-American, and Multi-Faith communities as well as enhancing opportunities for the LGBTQ Jewish community, announced several programs for its initial couple of weeks.

The Center is continuing the Federation’s partnership with WBOK radio (1230-AM) to highlight and explore Jewish/African-American relations, with “Shalom: A Cross-Cultural Conversation,” co-hosted by Federation CEO Arnie Fielkow and Oliver Thomas. On Oct. 8 at 8 a.m., they will welcome Anthony Bean of the Anthony Bean Community Theater to preview an episode of his show “Reality Teen Talk TV.”

The sixth episode of the seven-part series, airing on WUPT-TV (Channel 54), will feature six Jewish teens and six African-American teens engaging in an honest discussion on issues of race, culture, bigotry, anti-Semitism, and their communities’ commonalities and differences. It will air on Oct. 11 at 12:30 p.m.

On Oct. 12 at 5:30 p.m., the Center will host a virtual event in partnership with Puentes New Orleans, “Crossing Bridges: the Latinx and Jewish Immigration Experiences,” recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month. Thie virtual story-telling event will include Latinx students who recently arrived in the United States, a brief historical overview of Jewish immigration, and a presentation from New Orleans’ own Anne Levy, a Holocaust survivor.

A virtual Civil and Human Rights Mission, geared toward middle and high school students but open to the entire Greater New Orleans community, is planned for December, with topics including: the Holocaust; Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement; ongoing humanitarian crises around the globe; and the uptick in hate crimes targeting vulnerable populations, from the Latinx experience to the LGBTQ community.

The Center is led by an advisory council, chaired by Bradley Bain and Ina Davis, and Executive Director Mithun Kamath. The Center was made possible by a gift from the Goldring Family Foundation, which has funded it as a three-year pilot program. The other Center is the Sherry and Alan Leventhal Family Foundation Center for Interfaith Families.