Sunday, October 19, 2008

A busy day

It's been a relatively busy day here in New Orleans. First, this morning I awoke and headed out to the Welcoming AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps to New Orleans program at their new home on Jefferson Avenue. The AVODAH House is owned by former Anti-Defamation League Director Jerry Himmelstein and his wife Linda, the former House of Ruth director. Following the Katrina disaster, both of the Himmelsteins took up residence in the great Northeast. Joshua Lichtman, the program director of AVODAH, New Orleans learned of the lease availability of the house for the program when he arrived here from Detroit (hometown) and New York (AVODAH headquarters) and it was tabbed as the residence for the nine AVODAH Jewish Service Corps members. Rabbi David Rosenn, founder and executive director of AVODAH, was down for the kickoff, held inside the sukkah (booth) that was constructed in the backyard. Following two theatrical offerings -- "Nunsense" at JPAS's Westwego theatre and "Die! Mommy! Die!" at Le Chat Noir --I headed to Metairie last night for a joint Hoshana Rabba program held at Conservative Congregation Shir Chadash. Jewish singers and musicians Pey Dalid provided a joyous noise along with great musical interplay with Beth Israel Rabbi Uri Topolosky, chazzan Ofer Kurtsberg and JTS rabbinical student Andy Shurgerman, who is one of two students leading the congregation while a replacement for former Rabbi Ted Lichtenfeld is found. The crowd was most receptive and the only problem was that the sound had to be turned down by 10:00 p.m. Meanwhile, after a day of eating on the run, my stomach decided to have a discussion with me late tonight. By the way I believe my stomach won the debate.

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