Governor's Mansion Goes Kosher

Thursday, 24 May, 2018 - 12:37 pm

This past Tuesday, through the efforts of the Jewish Federation and the Jewish Community Relations Council, John Bel Edwards, the Governor of the State of Louisiana, hosted an event honoring the special relationship between Louisiana and Israel. A little lagniappe came during the event when the governor signed an Executive Order prohibiting the state from doing business with companies that boycott Israel, becoming the 25th state to reject BDS. Present also was Consul General of Israel, Gilad Katz. A big shout out to all the folks at the Federation that worked hard to make this happen.

In a unique twist, the elegant event was fully Kosher, catered by Rabbi Peretz and Mushka Kazen, of Chabad of Baton Rouge. This is a refreshing development under the current leadership of the Jewish Federation to invest greater effort in ensuring that Federation events are Kosher. Yasher Koach to CEO Arnie Fielkow and President Henry Miller for spearheading the more inclusive trend at the Federation.

This also reflects a national trend. Chabad has been called on to oversee the Kashrut at quite a few government sponsored events, including the White House Chanukah Party over the past few administrations. It also demonstrates that one need not compromise elegance for Kosher. Kosher food is not just gefilte fish and a barrel of pickles. Short of a handful of ingredients, almost any dish can be made Kosher. Getting the word out on this is vital to the campaign for Kosher awareness.

So pats on the back all around to everyone involved on all fronts. This was a good day for being Jewish in Louisiana.

This week, Jackie Gothard passed away. Most people rightfully associate her with Beth Israel, especially post-Katrina. I would like to share a different memory. In early 1976, just a few months after arriving to establish Chabad in New Orleans, my parents, Rabbi Zelig and Bluma Rivkin, acquired a property on Freret St. for the new Chabad House.

The Chabad House would serve the Jewish student population at Tulane as well as the general community. The grand opening was set for Purim night. Judge Sol and Jackie Gothard served as the hosts for that event, launching over four decades of friendship. May her memory be for a blessing for her family and all those who knew her.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin


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