Volunteer organizers have announced that “early bird” registration for LimmudFest New Orleans, the self- billed weekend festival of “Big Tent” Jewish learning, is now open through their Limmudfest New Orleans” website.
Lynn Wasserman, who previously was in charge of programming at the 2014 LimmudFest, swapped positions with former LimmudFest chair Gail Chalew this year. Chalew, who headed all of the previous Limmud events since its inception in 2010, was glad to have a turn working with the speakers and presenters for a change. Wasserman, who is handling fundraising and logistics, is sharing duties with Ann Zivitz Keintz. Keintz, who is in charge of the Shabbat programming that will occur at Congregation Gates of Prayer on Friday night and all day Saturday, is also handling logistics for the numerous speakers and presenters.
As was the case at the 2014 LimmudFest held at Temple Sinai, a Shabbat component will be held for the benefit of Shabbat-observant attendees. All of the activities for Friday night and Saturday will be held at Gates of Prayer and will be within easy walking distance of nearby homes, whose owners will act as hosts for guests on Shabbat.
“We’re very excited,” Wasserman told the CCJN. “We’re bringing in several speakers from all over the country and Israel. We probably have the most exciting lineup of presenters we’ve ever had.”
Among the speakers slated to speak to the attendees this year is Rabbi Lila Kagedan (see Jews in the News), the recent graduate from Yeshiva Maharat, who is the first Orthodox female to carry the title of rabbi. Other noted speakers are Jewish food authority Katherine Romanow, who hails from Montreal and LGBT activist and author Jane Michaelson. Closer to home Stuart Rockoff, the executive director of the Mississippi Humanities Council and an authority on Southern Jewish life, will also be speaking.
Matthew Rosenthal, who was born in Glendale Heights near Chicago, but now calls New Orleans home, is one of three people handling marketing and public relations. He said that he is specifically working on getting the word out about the home hospitality that’s available as well as some hotels and group rates that may be available. Jacob Rosenzweig is working as co-chair with Rosenthal and Barbara Kaplinsky is another veteran who is handling releases for the series of events.
The “early bird” registration for a three-day pass is only $75 per adult (regularly $90) and $40 for adults age 18-30 (regularly $50). Single Sunday-only registrations are also available on the website for those unable to attend on Friday or Saturday.
The registration includes all meals and snacks available throughout the weekend excluding morning meals. That means Friday night dinner, Saturday afternoon lunch and dinner and Sunday lunch. Wasserman said that she had picked up major sponsorships from Alan and Diane Franco, Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana and Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans that will pick up much of the food costs.
The CCJN will be putting up a page directly linking to the LimmudFest New Orleans website.