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Jewish Journal

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 fourth-year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, conducted Rosh Hashanah services at Shir Chadash, a Conservative synagogue in Metairie, La., for congregants who braved a return. The challah came from Dallas.

The main auditorium was unusable, so some 80 congregants gathered in a smaller prayer room, according to a report by Associated Press. While their Torahs had been safely evacuated, hundreds of religious texts were damaged beyond repair and buried in a nearby cemetery last week, as per Jewish tradition.

"We're being given a fresh start, a new beginning," 19-year-old David Weber said. -- Staff Report

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