As part of the effort to revitalize Jewish life in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the Gary Rosenthal Collection’s Hiddur Mitzvah Project, Moment Magazine and the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans are coordinating the inaugural New Orleans International Jewish Music Festival.
The list of performers tentatively scheduled for the weekend event include Neshama Carlebach, Blue Fringe, Sam Glaser, RebbeSoul, Yefim Chorney, the Moshav Band, Yom Hadash, Theresa Andersson, among others.Tickets to the two-day event go on sale on Feb. 4 through TicketWeb.com, which can also be reached through the Hiddur Mitzvah site, www.hiddurmitzvah.org, or Howlin' Wolf's website, www.howlin-wolf.com.Rosenthal said the festival "is integral to rebuilding Jewish culture in New Orleans… This event provides a great opportunity for the Jewish community to come together, celebrate their heritage and listen to high-caliber Jewish music." The festival events will begin with a Thursday night preview on March 30 at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art's Music After Hours. The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars will perform, and will also perform at the festival. On April 1, the first concert will be at 8 p.m. at the Howlin' Wolf, 907 South Peters Street. The April 2 concerts will be from noon to 6 p.m. at McAlister Hall at Tulane University. Two-day ticket packages are $25 for students, seniors and individuals with Louisiana drivers' licenses. Tickets for out-of-town attendees will be $50. There is also a $250 patron’s package with reserved seating. A portion of the proceeds will benefit educational and cultural enrichment activities in New Orleans. Rosenthal said "we hope that this gathering will reinvigorate Jewish culture back in the Big Easy and lead to expanded arts enrichment programming for Jewish families throughout New Orleans." Rosenthal first announced the festival at the New Orleans Chanukah party on Dec. 20, where his Hiddur Mitzvah project distributed hundreds of Chanukah menorahs and dreidels that had been designed by Jewish communities throughout the country. The project is continuing to supply Judaica to families in New Orleans, including Shabbat candlesticks, Tzedakah boxes, Torah pointers and mezuzot. Jackie Gothard at Town and Country Travel is handling air and special hotel rates for those attending the festival. Gothard can be reached at (504) 838-8702. Those interested in corporate sponsorships or other participation in the festival should contact Shelley Middleberg, (504) 780-5612.