Announcing the Oscar J. Tolmas Service Leadership Institute

Published Nov 11, 2015

Thanks to the generous support of the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust, AVODAH will launch the Oscar J. Tolmas Service Leadership Institute in New Orleans in spring 2016.

This Institute will bring AVODAH alumni together with Jewish participants and alumni of other New Orleans service programs for a weekend of community-building, skills training, Jewish learning, and Shabbat celebration. This first-of-its-kind gathering will prepare participants to emerge as stronger, better-connected, and more Jewishly-engaged leaders who will work together to galvanize the broader New Orleans Jewish community on a wide range of pressing social and economic issues.

“For the first time, young Jewish adults doing service in New Orleans will be able to come together to strengthen their commitment to service and their connection to Judaism and each other,” said Dani Levine, AVODAH’s New Orleans Director. “This is the first opportunity to gather these emerging Jewish leaders who work in the various sectors of our city. We’re delighted to convene the Institute and grateful to the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust for making it possible.”

The gathering will feature a participatory, pluralistic Shabbat experience, as well as a robust program of leadership skill building and networking, facilitated by a variety of local experts and educators.

This Institute will be a fitting tribute to the legacy of Oscar J. Tolmas, and we look forward to sharing his story as a part of the program. Mr. Tolmas’ dedication to building Jewish community and to strengthening the city of New Orleans will inspire the participants as we empower them to live out their values of service and tikkun olam (repairing the world) in tribute to his memory.

For more information, please contact Melissa Herman at

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