Typically, the Jewish Community Center holds two Mah Johngg tournaments a year. This year’s Summer Tournament on Sunday, July 22 will be made even more special by its dedication to the memory of Harriet Wainer Kugler. Kugler, who suffered a fatal stroke last September, was a philanthropist and longtime employee of the JCC as well as a dedicated volunteer to the Jewish community.
But she was also a lover of Mah Johngg and was for the past decade a teacher of the ancient board game with the colorful tiles. Kugler literally taught hundreds of interested men and women the game and was featured as an instructor at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival’s cultural tent. It was Kugler who instituted and directed the JCC’s annual Crescent City Mah Johngg Tournament, which ran for four years before her passing.
Players for the summer tournament must register in advance by calling JCC adult classes director Meryl Rosenbloom and advising they will be participating. The cost is $35.00 per individual player and $50.00 for tournament flower patrons, who receive recognition in the program and a chance at a patron prize drawing. An online form is available on the JCC site here, but it must be mailed in or brought into the JCC at check in between 9:15 and 9:45 a.m. Entry fees can be paid over the phone with a valid credit card between now and prior to the day of the tournament. All players must be familiar with the 2012 card and the rules for the national Mah Johngg league. Rosenbloom will provide cards for those that have not received them or who accidentally leave them at home.
Rosenbloom needs an exact head count for participants not only to set up the games, but because the entry fee includes a catered lunch, snacks and a coffee, tea and juice bar. Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place finishers.
In addition Rosenbloom will be offering a number of Mah Johngg boutique items that are being brought in through the Internet site wherethewindsblow.com.
“I’ll have tile pushers to push the tiles and I’ll have cases for carrying your tiles,” she said. “I’ll also have Mah Johngg sets. Cost will be from $5.00 for a cute little bar of soap up to $80 for a Mah Johngg set.”
Everyone who participates receives a favor. For more information call the JCC at 504-897-0143.