Jewish Life & Social Action

JNOLA offers opportunities to explore the New Orleans Jewish community and the global Jewish community. Whether it’s through provocative discourse, community service programming, educational discussions, or enriching cultural events, JNOLA serves to educate our young professional leaders on interesting topics that are important and pertinent to them today.

If you have any questions or ideas for appropriate events, please email Tana Velen at

Past Events:

TikkuNOLAm JNOLA Website

JNOLA facilitated a service day on Sunday, August 9 in partnership with St. Bernard Project, to commemorate ten years of rebuilding since Hurricane Katrina. This day of service was called “TikkuNOLAm” based on the Jewish value of tikkun olam, which translates from Hebrew to “repairing the world.” Though this value is intrinsic to the Jewish faith, those of all denominations who live in New Orleans need only look to the time after Katrina to see that belief spread across the city – when organizations like the St. Bernard Project turned their attentions towards the displaced, building over 600 homes since 2005.

The day itself consisted of safely working on several houses throughout Orleans Parish from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and breakfast, lunch, water and snacks were  provided throughout the day. Our community could think of no better way to commemorate Katrina at Ten than to get as many volunteers as possible to help build homes with the St. Bernard Project, an organization that was and still is instrumental in rebuilding our community after the storm.




JNOLA gave back to the greater New Orleans community on Sunday, June 28 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. by helping YAYA with their relocation. YAYA is a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower creative young people to become successful adults through educational opportunities and entrepreneurship. YAYA outgrew their current facility and we stepped up to help prepare their new building, located at 3322 LaSalle St.We started with some tasty breakfast treats and ended with delicious mimosas.

Volunteers did painting, organizing, and small carpentry projects.





With the success of our last Candid Discussion on modern Israeli issues, JNOLA had another Candid Discussion: Semitism and Anti-Semitism with the Rabbinic Council of Greater New Orleans. In recent months hate crimes around the world have taken center stage, making this topic relevant and necessary to discuss.

This event was held on Thursday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Liberty’s Kitchen (300 N Broad St., New Orleans) and featured clergy members discussing their perspectives and experiences with Semitism and anti-Semitism, which lead into breakout discussions. Complimentary appetizers and drinks were included





JNOLA and Laurence Kotlar Berkowitz had a complimentary luncheon and discussion on Tuesday, February 3 at 12:00 p.m. at Morris Bart, LLC (909 Poydras St., Suite 2100). 

Laurence Kotlar Berkowitz is the Director of Policy and Analysis at the Jewish Federations of North America and an expert on the 2013 Pew Research Report about American Jewry. Come meet him and discuss the implications of the Pew Report on the JNOLA community!

Click HERE to learn more about the 2013 Pew Report.



super sunday slider

On Sunday, January 25, 2015, volunteers from all over Jewish New Orleans came together between 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the Goldring-Woldenberg Jewish Community Campus in Metairie to make the world a better place.

Super Sunday, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans’ annual phonathon, benefits the 2015 Annual Campaign. At this energetic event, we reached out to more than 1,000 members of our Jewish community to raise the dollars necessary to support our community’s agencies and organizations.

Together, let’s help Federation score the game winner!




JNOLA had  a Candid Discussion about Israel on Wednesday, January 14 at 6:30 p.m. at CoNola Grill in Old Metairie (619 Pink St.).

Conversation starters included the media’s portrayal of the summer 2014 conflict in Gaza, America’s current relations with Israel, and the upcoming elections in Israel. Also included were complimentary appetizers and a cocktail!

For those that wanted to learn more about some of these issues and have their questions answered, experts on each of the topics were present: Erga Atad, Mark Mintz, and Michael Weil.

A little bit about our facilitators:

Dr. Erga Atad is an Israeli Professor of Communications at Tel Aviv University who is currently a visiting professor at Tulane University and teaches courses on Israeli media, advanced Hebrew, and Arab-Israeli Conflict. She is a part of the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor program, a grant that is offered via the American Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE), allows the Jewish Studies department to welcome a professor from Israel.

Mark Mintz is a partner at the law firm of Jones Walker LLP and a New Orleans pro-Israel political leader. Mr. Mintz attended Emory University and has a degree in Middle Eastern Studies, Jewish Studies, and Political Science. Before law school, Mr. Mintz was the Deputy Press Secretary for United States Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and worked on her reelection campaigns in the communications department. During his time with Senator Landrieu he served as an advisor on issues relating to Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship. Mr. Mintz has also worked on political campaigns throughout the state including former Congressman Chris John (LA-7). Mr. Mintz is active in local and national politics advocating on behalf of the U.S.–Israel relationship both in Louisiana and in Washington.

Michael J. Weil is the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans. Weil, an economist by training, born and educated in Great Britain, has spent most of his career working in strategic development, renewal, and urban planning. Weil spent four years in Jerusalem as a policy research fellow at the prestigious global Jewish think tank — the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (JPPPI), chaired by US former Under Secretary of State Dennis Ross. Weil was the managing director of Megama Management & Planning Consultants in Israel for twenty years. His commissions included needs assessment and cost-benefit analyses, city-wide strategic planner for Jerusalem, Lod, Kiryat Gat, and other Israeli cities; urban renewal projects throughout Israel, community planning, and budgeting, research, and analysis for universities, Israeli Government Ministries, the Jewish Agency, and other public and private entities




JNOLA and Jewish Children’s Regional Service joined together on Saturday, January 17 at the JCC New Orleans for a special havdalah service for children and their families!

End the week with a craft, musical havdalah, Jewish sing-along, snacks, and a book reading.

Families brought a pair of new pajamas to donate to children in need through the Pajama Project.



Part 4


JNOLA joined three of our favorite New Orleans Rabbis for the last event in JNOLA’s 4 part series on April 3. Enjoy your first drink free! These events were a chance to ask Rabbis questions about the religion and the traditions in an informal setting. Questions were submitted to

The Irish House
1432 St. Chales Avenue
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Social action and service is an important Jewish value. Volunteering time to help those in need is important to our Next Gen community leaders, and JNOLA helps empower them to become active and engaged participants in our local community, both within and outside of the Jewish community.


 Passover Basket

Jewish Family Service had its 29th Annual Passover Food Distribution, which took place this year on Sunday, April 13. This program was a collaboration of donors, staff, board members, synagogues, New Orleans-area Jewish agencies and dedicated volunteers like you to provide over 100 baskets of Passover food and ritual objects to individuals in need in our community. Many of the recipients were elderly or people with disabilities.

Do you know of a community project that needs volunteers? JNOLA may be able to help! Contact