The Forward recently published “The Big Easy’s Big Jewish Comeback” about demographic shifts in New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina, the Jewish population of New Orleans declined sharply, but thanks to volunteer opportunities in the Gulf Coast like AVODAH, young Jews are moving back and creating their own vibrant Jewish communities. The article explains how AVODAH alumni took the initiative to found a new minyan, or prayer group, that met their spiritual needs in their neighborhood:
“To help fill the void, in 2010, AVODAH alum Yaeli Bronstein, from Teaneck, N.J., and eight others created Minyan Nahar, or the River Minyan, named for its proximity to the Mississippi River. The first independent minyan in New Orleans, it meets every few months in people’s homes, and services range from traditional to meditative. Bronstein said that their average crowd is 20, but one time they had 40 people.”
To learn more about how AVODAH and other organizations are helping to revitalize the New Orleans Jewish community, read the entire article, here.
If you’re still not satisfied with your fill of New Orleans news, check out the hashtag #pursuitofjustice on twitter, and follow @rabbidara, Rabbi Dara Frimmer, the Associate Rabbi of Temple Isaiah of Los Angeles. She recently returned from leading a Jewish Funds for Justice service-learning trip to New Orleans, and live tweeted about the experience. Below you can see some of the participants on her trip listening to AVODAH alum David Eber as he speaks about his life in New Orleans and his work on capacity building and the environment.