News and Views For NOLA Jews

Wednesday, 22 February, 2012 - 11:45 pm

Malkie & Lee Rittvo.jpgAs mentioned in last post, the Kinus Hashluchos – Conference of Chabad Women Emissaries was held this past weekend. It was a wonderful and uplifting experience for all that attended. In addition to seeing family and friends, Malkie ran into some people with New Orleans connections.Malkie & Rachel Fertel.JPG Running simultaneously with the conference was a 3 day mini-camp for the girls – young Shluchos. My daughter Basy attended for the first time and had a blast. She met girls her age from all over the world. She is still singing the songs that they learned and talking about how much fun it was. Here is a link to some video highlights of the conference –

This week I had the opportunity to welcome Ofir Levy and his parents, Yaakov and Tamar to New Orleans. They live in Rosh Ha’ayin so there is an inherent association with our city. They are the sixth Israeli family to come to Ochsner Hospital for a liver transplant. Thank G-d and through the dedication and skill of the surgeons and medical staff at Ochsner’s Transplant Institute, four of them have gone home with new leases on life (see earlier blogposts, A Medical Miracle and Brought Together by Caring and Love). Number 4, Igal Yellin just returned to Israel last week as a new man. Besides the care by Dr. Ari Cohen and his colleagues at the facility, they also experienced the love of our New Orleans Jewish community. I would like to single out two individuals who have gone above and beyond in helping Igal and his mother Nina during their months long stay in New Orleans. Uzzi Kehaty and his family have literally adopted all of the Israelis that have been at Ochsner this year. Linda Waknin of Casablanca has also taken a very strong interest in their welfare helping out in many different ways. We wish Ofir Levy as well as Shulamit Pinto (number 5) well and the best of Hashem’s blessings for a successful process and a complete and speedy recovery.

Mordechai Upshernish.jpgOn Sunday our family will be celebrating our son Mordechai’s Upshernish – first haircut. In addition to having his hair cut and leaving the peyot, Mordechai will also begin wearing Tzitzit and a Yarmulka full time. In Jewish tradition a three year old is initiated into Jewish education. As parents, Malkie and I realize that this is a serious responsibility. Hashem has entrusted this child to us and we will endeavor to bring him up according to the ways of our Torah. Like a sapling that requires watering and care, our little son has been nurtured physically and spiritually for three years. He is now ready to begin bearing fruit. We look forward to celebrating this milestone in his life.

Purim preparations are well under way. This year’s grand celebration – Purim in the Wild Wild West – will be one of the best ever. Check out this Purim Promo video featuring the past two Purim celebrations at The deadline for early-bird registration is March 1. For more info go to

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Adar!
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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