Weekly Update from the Office

What's Happened:  4 Highlights   

  • I spoke yesterday evening with Deborah Sternberg, President of Congregation B'nai Israel in Baton Rouge (thanks to Rabbi Gene Levy for helping me make the connection).  The situation in Baton Rouge, as result of the flooding, is dire.  Thirty people in the Jewish community, including the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Baton Rouge, have lost their homes and many had no insurance.  You can donate to the relief effort through Congregation B'nai Israel of Baton Rouge by clicking here (all aid is being passed to the Federation to distribute); through the link the Jewish Federations of North America has sent up by clicking here; or by sending gift cards directly to Deborah Sternberg at Starmount Building/8485 Goodwood Blvd/Baton Rouge, LA 70806 (all gift cards will also be passed on to the Federation).  Jessica Yellen, who runs the religious school at the congregation, has given me permission to pass on the e-mail she sent to Rabbi Levy describing the situation.  Here is an excerpt:

Things are devastating in Baton Rouge.  Not sure why national news isn't all over it, but the pictures and videos coming from friends are heartbreaking.  I've been on the phone trying to get in touch with congregants and families there.  Many have lost everything and didn't have flood insurance.  Even those with insurance are displaced and without transportation.  I will be driving in next weekend - hopefully the roads will clear.  I think my hotel is flooded, so I will be checking on that tomorrow to make sure there is a place to stay.  It is a mess.  

  • Thanks to our Central Arkansas PJ Library Administrator Ellyn Polsky and to Estie Ciment for a great PJ Library fall event planning session this week.  PJ families and kids can look forward to a high holiday challah bake in partnership with Lubavitch of Arkansas.  More information to follow.
  • New JFAR board manuals are ready!  Thanks to the Board Development Committee and Polly Greenbaum for their help preparing the manuals.
    • Voting members of JFAR's board will get their manuals at the board retreat on August 28th, but if you just can't wait to get yours, you can stop by our office to pick one up.  If you are an ex-officio member and would like a manual, please let me know.
  • Thanks to JFAR's Personnel and Executive Committees, and especially to the assistance of Sarah Johnson, a job description for Polly's replacement is now available.  I will send it to the community soon.  You can download a copy here.  Please forward to anyone you think might be interested and/or qualified.


What's Happening:  4 Highlights

  • On Sunday, there will be a new board orientation just for our three incoming members Lynn Greenberg, Ellyn Polsky, and Annabelle Imber Tuck.  Thanks to Silvana Berlinksi for hosting and to President Shelly Baron and JFAR's Executive Board for participating and planning.
  • The Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans is organizing on exhibit on southern Jewish foodways and asked for any materials and documents relating to our Jewish Food and Cultural Festival.  Shelly has already sent a request for materials to the food festival leadership team, and I will be sending the museum a link to all of Doris's fabulous photos on Facebook.  If any of you have any food festival memorabilia you want to share--in particular recipes or documents on the history of the festival and its food--please let me know.
  • Rachel Ungar, student President of the Hillel at the University of Arkansas, wants to make sure all incoming Jewish students know about the Hillel and get involved.  If you're a parent of a student headed to the U of A or you know any Jewish parents or students, please have them contact Rachel at hillel@uark.edu to find out how they can get involved.
  • Thank you to Terri Moore and Jeff Neuhauser for agreeing again to host our Tikkun Olam brunch for award winners, their guests, and out-of-town guests.  Brunch will be Sunday morning, September 25th, from 10:30 am-1:00 pm.   We are now looking for volunteers to help Terri, primarily with the Sunday morning set-up but also with some work in advance.  If you are interested, please let me know.


What's Going to Happen:  4 Highlights  


  • August 28th:  JFAR Board Retreat at Subiaco