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#GiveChabadNOLA - A Tribute to Joe & Bertha Nelkin

Friday, 12 June, 2020 - 11:53 am

Three months ago, on March 23, Chabad of Louisiana was scheduled to launch an ambitious fundraising campaign, called “2020 Vision,” with the goal of raising $140,000 in 36 hours. This was going to be accomplished through the generosity of a group of supporters who committed to match each dollar raised with one of their own.

A day before that, on March 22, Governor Edwards issued the stay at home mandate in light of the COVID-919 pandemic. Of course, we suspended our campaign at that time. We are now turning to our supporters and friends as we prepare to relaunch the campaign next week. Taking the economic realities of our time into account, we have scaled back the campaign, with a goal of raising $100,000 in 36 hours. The campaign begins on Tuesday, June 16 at 9:00 am and ends on Wednesday, June 17 at 9:00 pm CDT. We are using the hashtag #GiveChabadNOLA.

Chabad has been operating in the community for 45 years. Thousands of lives have been positively impacted. Enable us to keep that powerful force for good going strong.

What can you do?

·         Contribute by going to www.chabadneworleans.com/giving. There is a pre-donate option. All contributions will be listed once the campaign goes live on Tuesday morning.

·         Encourage your friends and family to contribute by sending them to website www.chabadneworleans.com/giving. Call, text, or promote on social media. Use the hashtag #GiveChabadNOLA.

·         Volunteer to make calls. There will be a call center at Chabad, with social distancing. Or call from the comfort of your home. Reach out to Malkie if you would like to volunteer – malkie@chabadneworleans.com.

We need you to help our community achieve this important goal. Thank you in advance for your devotion and support.

We look forward to celebrating a successful campaign with y’all!

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

 A Tribute to Joseph & Bertha Nelkin

Yesterday, I had the somber privilege of participating via Zoom in the funeral of Mr. Joe Nelkin, who passed away at a ripe old age in Baltimore. Joe and Bertha Nelkin left New Orleans nearly 40 years, yet the impact they had on the community, and on so many individuals is still strongly felt. They were deeply involved and committed to a wide array of communal initiatives, including the Chevra Kadisha, a Jewish day school, Bikur Cholim, a Mikvah, and several congregations.   

Personally, some of the earliest memories of my life were in their house on Mouton Street in Lakeview. My parents took an apartment across the street from them. We were very blessed to have an adopted Bubby and Zeidy so close by. As the years went on, we moved to a different neighborhood, and eventually they moved to Baltimore, the feeling of mishpacha never wore off. When we saw them in New Orleans for a visit, perhaps for a simcha or a visit to the gravesites of their parents, I always delighted in hearing their stories and adventures, and hearing Mrs. Nelkin share memories of the early years. We felt that they had real nachas from the activities of the Chabad in New Orleans, much of which began in the merit of their involvement.

On Purim of 1976, Chabad House on Freret St. opened its doors. A month later, on the occasion of the Rebbe’s 74th birthday, my father, Rabbi Zelig Rivkin, traveled with Mr. Nelkin to participate in a large gathering (Farbrengen) in New York. During that Farbrengen, Mr. Nelkin and my father presented a ceremonial key of the new Chabad House to the Rebbe. He asked the Rebbe for a blessing regarding a personal family matter, which the Rebbe gave him. He and his wife reaped the benefits of that blessing, enjoying a beautiful family surrounded by their many grandchildren.

Several years ago, my parents and I had the pleasure of visiting with Joe and Bertha at their home in Baltimore. We slipped right back into the closeness and warmth of our friendship with them. Sadly, that would be the last time we’d see them in person. Since then our world has lost two of the most caring and devoted people that you will ever meet. May the memory of Joe and Bertha Nelkin for a blessing for their family, friends and all who were touched by their kindness.

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