“DO you have a pioneering spirit?” read the recent ad in the Jewish Week newspaper of New York. “Are you searching for a meaningful community where YOU can make a difference?”
To generations of American Jews, the pitch had a familiar ring. But this was not an invitation to settle the Promised Land. It was a call to repopulate New Orleans, a city known less for its Jewish culture than for its shellfish, sin and pre-Lenten carnival. ...
So far, Jewish leaders acknowledge that they have attracted only a few newcomers, such as Hal Karp, a former magazine writer from Dallas who is moving here to teach in the public schools.
Karp, 43, said he was “ready to fix the â¦ world down there.” After some financial problems, however, he almost bailed out on his move â until he received an e-mail from the Jewish Federation. In addition to the money, they offered to pair him with a Jewish “host family” who would help him get to know the city.
“It was really like someone sending you a life raft,” he said. “It was like they were saying, ‘We need Jews, and if you will come, we’ll welcome you.’ “