Weather permitting, the Jews of New Orleans will participate in what has become a rare event on Rosh HaShanah this year — High Holy Day services in their own synagogues.
The last two years, the weather didn’t permit. Last year, it was Katrina. New Orleans evacuated on the eve of the High Holy Days. The year before, Ivan. Ditto.
This year, a Jewish community that has returned home in smaller numbers from points around the United States is preparing for the New Year with an eye on the weather forecast.
Like most of the New Orleans residents who came here a year ago to escape the ravages of Katrina, James Hardy and his wife Dr. Nancy Forrest Hardy thought they’d be here only a few days. When they packed their Ford Explorer outside the couple’s apartment in the French Quarter, they “literally took a couple changes of clothes, a couple bottles of water, some canned food,” James says.
Unlike most of the evacuees, they stayed here.
In the chasidic world, matchmakers bring young men and women together.
In the case of Rabbi Mendy and Rachel Traxler, the shadchan was Katrina.
Mendy, 22, part of the Chabad-Lubavitch rescue-and-relief effort in Baton Rouge following the hurricane a year ago, traveled to Houston to join his parents, Chabad emissaries there, for the High Holy Days season. Rachel Kaufmann, also 22, was in Houston with her family, also Chabad shluchim, who left their home in New Orleans for temporary accommodations in Houston.
The New Orleans Jewish community, along with the other residents of the city battered by Katrina a year ago, will mark the first anniversary of the deadly storm on Tuesday. But Adam Bronstone, who became the voice and public face of New Orleans Jewry in the months after the hurricane, won’t be there.
Bronstone, community relations consultant for the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, started a similar job with the United Jewish Community of Broward County, in Florida, last month.
He says he has no special plans for Tuesday.
by Larry Cohler-Esses |
Editor At Large
Pro-Israel money will help give Joe Lieberman the ability to run a serious race if he sticks with his vow to make an independent bid to keep his Senate seat, according to political insiders and some pro-Israel donors themselves.
This support, they said, will counterbalance the evaporation of political backing Lieberman will now likely experience from his Democratic Party colleagues with the victory Tuesday of his primary opponent in Connecticut, Ned Lamont.
New Haven, Conn.
As Sen. Joe Lieberman and his supporters baked in the afternoon sun and basked in the endorsement of a local congresswoman at a subsidized housing project here Monday, Dan Garrett stood across the street holding a “Joe’s Gotta Go” sign.