You've Come a Long Way Baby

Friday, 15 November, 2019 - 1:54 pm

Back in the 60s the cigarette company Virginia Slims coined the phrase “You’ve come a long way, baby.” They intended it in reference to equality in the quality of cigarettes geared toward women. While the only equality that it brought was equal exposure to lung cancer inducing carcinogens, the phrase has come to represent advances in the empowerment of women in our society.

This week the New Orleans Jewish community can declare a collective “You’ve come a long way, baby” to NOLA Jewish women. On Wednesday night 250 women from every walk of Jewish life gathered in the Gates of Prayer social hall for the 2nd Mega Challah Bake, an event brought to the community as a collaborative project between Chabad of Louisiana and Hadassah of New Orleans. This project began when Chabad approached Hadassah in 2017 about doing this. They enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to bring this special event to NOLA Jewish women. This year, under the leadership of Malkie Rivkin, Chaya Ceitlin and Chanie Nemes of Chabad, and Charisse Sands and Betty Moore of Hadassah, history was made in New Orleans. These five women, along with dozens of volunteers and many individual and corporate sponsors, put the word UNITY into COMMUNITY. Nearly every Synagogue sisterhood and community agency was represented. There was a feeling of true Achva – sisterhood – sitting together with 250 sisters in one room for a singular purpose – experiencing Jewish womanhood. The buzz around town and on social media is an indication of how impactful the event really was.

A Tree of Life honoring various Jewish women along with the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue and Chabad of Poway attacks, was a beautiful feature. There are pictures in the photo section below. (The official event photos will be released next week and we will happily bring them to you.)

The rest of the community has some catching up to do. The women are showing us the way to true achdus – unity. We talk a lot about unity and collaborative efforts in the NOLA Jewish community, and much progress has been made on that front. But we can learn a boat load about togetherness from the women of Chabad and Hadassah and the 250 ladies that participated in the event.

Wishing a restful Shabbat to all those that invested so much effort and hard work into the success of the program!

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin


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