Southern Jewish Life
Saturday, March 13, 2021
In a normal year, LimmudFest includes a full weekend of services for all denominations in addition to the days of learning. We decided not to offer LimmudFest-specific services this year, but this Havdalah session will be a perfect taste of spirituality in our shortened event. Featuring Rabbis, Cantors, and other Jewish leaders from across the Gulf South, we will come together (virtually) to sing, pray, learn, and kick-off LimmudFest 2021!
Sunday, March 14, 2021
LimmudFest 2021 will open with a bang, featuring special performances by New Orleans Jewish musicians and speeches from Limmud New Orleans' Board President and LimmudFest Chairpeople.
Get ready to get up and celebrate southern Jewish learning and community!
This session will introduce a model for engaging our congregations in an approach to doing justice that puts relationships, leadership development, and trust at the center of bringing about change to systems, not just symptoms. At the heart of this model are congregations engaging in deeper relationships with congregations and communities different from their own, especially across the lines of race and class.
By strengthening the capacity of our congregations to act on their missions in the world, we can strengthen the power of “everyday people” to affect the decisions and policies being made about them – decisions upon which the very strength and stability of families and communities depend.
What is the history of Jewish burial in the Gulf South? How do we remember and commemorate the dead? What can cemeteries tell us about the development and evolution of southern Jewish communities? Join us for a virtual tour of southern Jewish cemeteries, with a special focus on New Orleans. We'll learn about cemeteries in big cities and small towns, think about what these sites can teach us about tensions between assimilation and tradition, and consider the fascinating nuances of Jewish burial culture. We'll also learn about what it takes to preserve these historic places, and how you can engage with historic cemeteries in your home community. This session is offered by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL), based in Jackson, Mississippi. Learn more about us at www.isjl.org.
New Orleans is building a community mikveh! But what is a mikveh for anyway? Join Rabbis Josh Pernick and Lexi Erdheim along with Jessica Rosenberg of the Rising Tide Open Waters Mikveh Network to learn about the history and development of the mikveh from the Torah through today. We will explore contemporary re-imaginings of the mikveh and consider how you might use our community mikveh. Rabbi Bob Loewy will share updates about the progress of the mikveh and answer questions.
This talk will weave how aspects of race, gender, and spirituality inform Mizrahi Feminism. Through personal experience and political discourse, this session will highlight the ways Ashkenormativity has taken over the Jewish world and erased the experiences and stories of Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews. It will be rooted in a framework of intersectional feminism that seeks to dismantle systems of oppression. This session is open to people of all backgrounds.
From the development of Jewish communities in eighteenth-century port cities to the rise and fall of small-town Jewish merchants to the explosive growth of Jewish life in sunbelt cities like Miami and Atlanta, Jews have been deeply engaged with the development of the American South. This session packs 400 years of Southern Jewish history into a digestible, interactive presentation that illustrates the Jewish South's importance to both Southern and Jewish histories.
Join ADL Regional Director Aaron Ahlquist and Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans CEO Arnie Fielkow for a discussion moderated by New Orleans Councilman Joe Giarrusso about meeting the challenges facing the Jewish community in an environment of polarization, rising Antisemitism, pandemic, and fraying Jewish unity and identity. The conversation will frame the challenges, and discuss the work being done to navigate the troubled waters.
This session is generously sponsored by the Goldring Family Foundation Center for Jewish-Multicultural Affairs.