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  • Jon Batiste and his Band Stay Human

    By Joy Bennett

    August 23, 2013 | 1:42 am

    Photo courtesy jonbatiste.com

    Sometimes in life you get lucky.  I was recently invited to see Jon Batiste and his band Stay Human the other night at Hotel Cafe, a small, hot Los Angeles nightspot that features outstanding singer/songwriters seven nights a week.  The venue...

  • Did You Know That Louis Armstrong Wore a Star of David?

    By Lia Mandelbaum

    June 1, 2013 | 10:37 am

    Go Down Moses

    I recently wrote a Jewish Journal blog titled Go Down Moses: Finding Kinship between the Jewish and African Slave experience.  I talked about how I discovered the Louis Armstrong version of the song Go Down Moses, and it hit me that it was the same song I love to...

  • Benh Zeitlin: Conquering his ‘Beasts’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    January 2, 2013 | 3:10 pm

    In 2008, while doing research for what would become his first feature, “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Benh Zeitlin climbed inside the pickup truck he had purchased for $500 and drove down each of the five roads leading to the bayou’s edge about 80 miles south of New Orleans. At the...

  • New Orleans Jewish institutions remain closed in face of tropical storm Isaac

    August 30, 2012 | 9:03 am

    New Orleans Jewish institutions remained closed Thursday as the region continued to bear the torrential rains and winds of a new massive storm.

    Hurricane Isaac, now downgraded to a tropical storm, lashed the region in the past few days with winds up to 80 miles per hour and drove...

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  • In the lions’ den: Federation women cap week in the Big Easy

    November 16, 2010 | 10:12 am

    Just down the road from where the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America had concluded a day earlier, more than a thousand of the federation system’s most generous women found a philanthropic sanctuary of their own.

    At the Hilton Hotel here, the International...

  • New Orleans’ Other Lesson

    By Rob Eshman

    November 10, 2010 | 10:53 am

    Except for one unfortunate metaphor, it was a brilliant idea to host the annual meetings of the Jewish Federations of North America in New Orleans.

    Here’s the metaphor: My cab driver from the airport told me how he will often pick up revelers in the French Quarter so drunk they...

  • Netanyahu at GA: Iran must face ‘credible military threat’

    November 8, 2010 | 2:18 pm

    Iran must face a “credible military threat” because sanctions have not deterred its nuclear weapons program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

    Netanyahu, speaking Monday in New Orleans at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly, said Israel...

  • Federation’s GA offering big name but reaching out to young

    November 1, 2010 | 1:10 pm

    The Jewish federation system is set to kick off its annual General Assembly in New Orleans with an eye toward figuring out how to reach those not typically associated with Jewish federations.

    As always, the annual gathering for the network of 157 Jewish federations and 400...

  • Destroyed New Orleans synagogue to break ground

    April 16, 2010 | 10:52 am

    A New Orleans synagogue destroyed by Hurricane Katrina will break ground on a new building.

    Congregation Beth Israel, a century-old congregation destroyed by the 2005 storm, will mark the occasion on Sunday at a new location five miles from its former home.

    “Since Katrina, our...

  • Talk like a pirate—talk like a Jew?

    By The Web Guy

    September 18, 2008 | 5:42 pm

    Tomorrow is Talk Like A Pirate Day, which means it’s time to resurrect one of our most popular articles—the story of Jean Lafitte—Sephardic Jewish pirate of the Caribbean.

    Here’s an excerpt from Adam Wills’ fascinating article:

    Lafitte ... establish[ed] a pirate kingdom in the swamps...

  • Jazz: Made in New Orleans

    By Tom Teicholz

    May 29, 2008 | 2:30 pm

    It's 2 a.m., and there's a crowd on St. Peter's Street in New Orleans' French Quarter; people are waiting to see the Stanton Moore Trio play Preservation Hall.

    Midnight and early morning shows during Jazzfest are part of a new tradition initiated by Benjamin Jaffe, Preservation...

  • Brad Pitt, Alan Dershowitz, Donut Menorah

    By Danielle Berrin

    December 27, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    StandWithUs Honors Dershowitz

    Just before Chanukah began, influential members of the community, including Beverly Hills Mayor Jimmy Delshad, outspoken Muslim pro-democracy advocate Wafa Sultan and American Jewish Congress Pacific Southwest Director Gary Ratner, along with 1,100 other...

  • Why I returned to live in The Big Easy

    By Gail Naron Chalew

    August 23, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Anniversaries are times to remember the past, and this week, two years after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, I am luckier than most people because my memories are preserved in print. They can't be deluged by toxic floodwaters or spread to the winds.

    I just have to read what I...

  • Realities of poverty and devastation in the Katrina-affected Gulf are still unchanged

    By Mitchell A. Kamin

    June 7, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    It's a long way from the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills to the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Plaquemines Parish, La., and the divide is more than geographic.

    Having participated in the Milken Conference in April and traveled to Plaquemines two weeks later, I...
  • Mourning the Morning Call—back in New Orleans

    By Rabbi Anne Brener

    March 15, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    If you visit New Orleans, you will certainly go to the French Quarter to seek out the well-known open-air coffee stand near the Mississippi River named Café Du Monde.

    You'll partake of the rich culinary indulgences from its spare menu.

    The first menu item you will find is a cup...

  • The Book of Jonah: when doves call

    By Rabbi Anne Brener

    September 28, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    It's time for Jonah again. I cherish this prophet, whose Hebrew name, "Yonah" means "dove," the bird of peace. I consider him a member of the family.

    Shortly after the deaths of my mother and sister in 1971, the rabbi of New Orleans' synagogue, Shir Chadash, gave my dad, Mike Brener...

  • Ahoy, mateys ! Thar be Jewish pirates!

    By Adam Wills

    September 14, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    There's no arrr-guing that pirates are in.
     
    As of last weekend, Disney had plundered $1 billion worldwide with "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," and International Talk Like a Pirate Day -- that's Sept. 19, for you landlubbers -- has gone from an inside joke between two...
  • Rebuilding New Orleans—With A Little Help From Each Other

    By Gail Naron Chalew

    August 24, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    One year after "the storm," as New Orleanians refer to Hurricane Katrina, Jewish communal leaders describe the health of the community with certain expected terms -- loss, trauma, devastation and challenge.

    Unexpected is the word "blessed," used repeatedly in reference to the...

  • Class Notes - Building Houses, Building Bridges

    By Julie G Fax

    May 4, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    With the growing frequency of "alternative spring break programs" making them less, well, alternative, USC Hillel added a twist that helped it reclaim moniker. The campus Jewish group teamed up with the USC chapter of the NAACP to build houses in Baton Rouge over spring break in...

  • The Road to Mississippi

    By Sophia Kamran

    May 4, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Driving through the deserted streets of New Orleans, we peered through the windows of our charter bus and watched as we drove past miles of destroyed homes. As we approached our destination, Waveland, Miss., the houses became increasingly tattered and decayed; on some lots, only...

  • Jewish Music Fills Big Easy

    By Larry Luxner

    April 6, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Think of New Orleans music and you don't usually think of Hebrew or Yiddish song.

    But Hebrew, Yiddish and English tunes filled the ears of nearly 1,000 music lovers last weekend as a variety of acts -- ranging from New York pop singer Gershon Veroba to Moldovan crooner Efim Chorny...

  • Travel Briefs

    March 16, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Music Festival Celebrates Jewish New Orleans

    Hot on the heels of Mardi Gras, a recovering Big Easy will soon play host to the inaugural New Orleans International Jewish Music Festival. The two-day gathering on April 1-2 will celebrate the rebuilding of Jewish New Orleans following...

  • New Year, New Orleans

    October 13, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "I think of Pompeii," wrote Anne Brener in a September article for The Jewish Journal. "New Orleans was so beautiful."

    She wrote of her beloved New Orleans in the past tense, but during the High Holidays, she helped restore a measure of present hope. L.A. transplant Brener, a...

  • Life at a Standstill

    By Rabbi N. Daniel Korobkin

    September 29, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The recent tragic hurricanes in the South have been difficult to watch. One of the more difficult chapters of this saga was when the mayor of New Orleans, in his zeal to rebuild the city as quickly as possible, called upon the residents to return to certain sections of the city. But...

  • Tommywood - Missing New Orleans

    By Tom Teicholz

    September 22, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    I've always kept a mental list of places about to disappear, such as the ruins of Angor Wat in Cambodia. Never -- ever -- was New Orleans on that list.

    My first visit to New Orleans was as a college student, driving 36 hours straight from Vermont to attend Mardi Gras. I kept...

  • We Must Condemn Heartless Bilge

    By Rabbi David Wolpe

    September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "It is not in our hands to explain the prosperity of the wicked or even the sufferings of the righteous." So said Rabbi Yannai in the Mishna some 2,000 years ago. The Talmud (Kiddushin 39b) insists "there is no reward for mitzvot in this world." We have had a long time to read and...

  • Their Spirit Survives

    By Richard Sherman

    September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    It was hard to be in Los Angeles in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, perhaps the biggest natural disaster in our history. I had some previous Red Cross training, and, with some additional fast-track prep on disaster response, I was on my way to Louisiana -- first by plane to...

  • L.A’s Helping Hands

    By John Fishel

    September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Two months ago, I had dinner with a friend who lived in New Orleans. We chatted about our communities, and I reminisced about the two years I spent in her city almost 40 years ago.

    Last week, I received an e-mail from the same woman, who emotionally recounted fleeing New Orleans with...

  • Southland Responds to Relief Needs

    By David Finnigan

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Prominent rabbis have been urging their congregations to give generously to Hurricane Katrina relief funds, the most prominent being one set up by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, which had raised more than $500,000 by early this week.

    The scope of the disaster is...

  • Exodus of Family Hits a Low Note

    By David Finnigan

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Earlier this summer, Shana Leonard gave up her Fairfax District apartment to move to New Orleans and be near her 82-year-old father, legendary jazz photographer Herman Leonard. But late last month, the 33-year-old single mother, who also cares for her wheelchair-bound 10-year-old...

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