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Satchmo and the Star

By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the SOURCE 5775

Perhaps there is no greater period of Jewish influence on jazz as when it first sprang up on the streets of New Orleans in neighborhoods before and after the heyday of ragtime. In particular, one area – the Third Ward – encompassing much of the present day Central Business District, would go on to prove to be especially noteworthy in the fostering...

5774: Year in review


NEW YORK (JTA) — Read about the highs and lows of 5774 — and everything in between.

September 2013

The United States and Russia reach a deal to rid Syria of its arsenal of chemical weapons, promoting Jewish groups to suspend their efforts lobbying for U.S. strikes against Damascus.

Rabbi Philip Berg,...

Federation defers decision to include interfaith members


Current or former members of Jewish households who are not Jewish themselves will have to wait another three months to learn whether they will be allowed to join the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, according to a decision announced by Federation officials at the 101st Annual Meeting on Tuesday, September 16.

Federation president Morton Katz made the announcement at the beginning of the meeting held...

Max Nathan honored at JFS gala


The elegant and alluring Audubon Tea Room was filled to capacity on Sunday, September 14, for the Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Greater New Orleans’ Rhythm and Soul Gala. Proceeds from this affair, the organization’s annual fundraiser, went to support and underwrite essential JFS programs and services.

This year’s honoree, attorney Max Nathan, Jr., was a past JFS president from 1973 to 1974. A community volunteer and...

Plotkin addresses crowd at WWII Museum


Ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin delivered a major lecture at the Boeing Freddom Pavilion of the National World War II Museum on Thursday, September 11, the 13th anniversary of the attacks on America.

Plotkin, a native New Orleanian, spoke on “How Plants Helped To Win the War,” appearing before an estimated crowd of 100 World War II enthusiasts. A co-founder and president of the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) that...

Chloe Valdary: Christian, black and a rising star of pro-Israel campus activism


(JTA) — Growing up in New Orleans, Chloe Valdary kept kosher, studied the Jewish Bible and celebrated Jewish holidays with festive meals. In recent years she has become an outspoken pro-Israel campus activist, contributing regularly to the Jewish press, and speaking and posting widely about the merits of the Jewish state on social media.

But the senior at the University of New Orleans is not...

At private funeral for Joan Rivers, celebrities, fans gather

(JTA) — Howard Stern offered a eulogy and Hugh Jackman provided a musical interlude at the celebrity-studded funeral for comedian Joan Rivers.

Hundreds of mourners attended the private service on Sunday at Temple Emanu-El in New York City. The temple’s rabbi, Joshua Davidson, offered the opening prayer at the funeral, which was closed to the media.

Fans and paparazzi also gathered outside the synagogue to pay their respects.

Television host...

Tulane unwraps Yulman Stadium for season opener


There is no Star of David atop its state-of-the-art facility, but Tulane University’s new Yulman Stadium, the 30,000-seat football arena that opens to the public for the first time tomorow, has many Jewish benefactors and promoters to thank for its construction.

There is, of course the Yulman family, whose Tulane alumni include Richard and daughter Katie Yulman Williamson, who both remember Janet, Richard’s late wife  and Katie’s...

Joan Rivers, TV and comedy trailblazer, dies at 81

(JTA) — Joan Rivers, who broke barriers for women in comedy and on television, has died.

Rivers, 81, died Thursday a week after being rushed to Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Hospital after her heart stopped during throat surgery at a clinic. Doctors at the hospital put her in an induced coma from which she never awoke.

“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh,” her daughter, Melissa, said...

Cease-fire marks end to Israel’s longest, bloodiest war in Gaza


TEL AVIV (JTA) — A rocket barrage fell on Israel, a boom sounded over Tel Aviv and then it was over — at least for now.

After 50 days of missiles, airstrikes, ground operations, tunnel incursions, truce talks, cease-fire proposals, death and destruction, Israel and Hamas agreed to an open-ended truce on Tuesday.

The cease-fire announced by Egypt stipulates...