Wednesday, August 29, 2012

In the New Orleans area, a synagogue dedication, community rejuvenation and Orthodox-Reform bonds

The new home of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in suburban New Orleans. (Alan Smason)
Seven years ago an iconic picture for many Jews of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina was of men waist deep in a flooded synagogue carrying Torahs to safety.

On Sunday, in a celebration of physical and spiritual unity, the Torahs of that congregation were carried into their new home next to the Reform congregation that offered space to the Modern Orthodox synagogue and now shares with it a new playground.

“Our congregation is a remarkable story in the way the Jewish community leaned on itself and supported one another,” says Rabbi Uri Topolosky of the Modern Orthodox Congregation Beth Israel. “This is a story that I think resonates with so many of us in town and it symbolizes great things for all of us who have been rebuilding since Katrina.” -- Charlotte Anthony, JTA

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