Shabbat Shalom from Anshe Sfard!
June 19th                                      Korach

Shabbat Schedule

Candle Lighting--7:45 PM

Friday Night Services--
7:00 PM

Dinner for young Jieux-ish professionals following services

Morning Services--
9:15 AM

Buffet Kiddush Lunch following the conclusion of services sponsored by friends of Dr. Paul and Ariel Wand Cohen in their honor

Shabbat Ends--8:46 PM

Thank You
Quick Links

Refuah Sheleimah
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Friday Night Services and Dinner for
 Youn g Jiex-ish Professionals this Friday Night

Our next Friday night dinner for young Jieux-ish professionals will take place next Friday night. 

Carlebach-style Kabbalat Shabbat services begin at 7 PM. 

Ariel Wand Cohen will speak between Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv.

The dinner, featuring roast beef po-boys, is partially sponsored by Paul and Ariel Wand Cohen, who will be moving to Pittsburgh at the end of the month.

Dinner in the social hall follows the conclusion of services, around 8 PM. 

Here is a link to the Facebook invitation:

Special Kiddush-Lunch this Shabbat Paw Kowen

This Shabbat, we will have a special Kiddush-Lunch in honor of Dr. Paul and Ariel Wand Cohen, who will be moving to Pittsburgh at the end of the month. 

We would like to thank the many friends of the Wand Cohens who have contributed to the Kiddush in their honor.

Tu B'Av White Linen Party--July 30th

According to the Mishnah, Tu B'Av (the 15th day of the month of Av) was one of the happiest days of the Jewish year. When the temple still stood, single women would borrow white dresses and dance in the fields.

At 7:30 PM on Thursday, July 30th, Anshe Sfard will celebrate Tu B'Av Nola-style with an early white linen party at Richard Fiske's Martini Bar in the French Quarter (301 Dauphine Street). 

We'd like to thank Moishe House New Orleans for co-sponsoring the event with us.

Here's a link to the Facebook invite:

Please e-mail us at to R.S.V.P., ask any questions, or if you can help out in any way.

A Personal Reaction to the Shooting in Charleston (Corrected)


By Rabbi David Polsky




Yesterday was the first day of the Jewish month of Tammuz. In a little over two weeks, we will begin a three-week period of mourning for the destruction of the temple, culminating in the fast of Tisha B'Av. Even though it has been almost two thousand years since the second temple was destroyed, we still mourn for its destruction. This may seem excessive for what appears as just a building.


But, for religious Jews, the temple for was not just mortar and bricks. In traditional Jewish thought, the temple expressed our most sacred ideals and beliefs. In the temple, the Jewish people could worship and commune with God in the most sublime manner possible to humans. The temple not only helped the Jewish people connect to God, but it even served to foster greater connection within the entire cosmos. Even when life outside the temple was difficult and chaotic, the temple and the greater perception of God's presence served as a constant reminder to the Jewish people that God had not abandoned them.


Contemplating the significance of the temple helps us to understand why we still mourn its destruction after such a long time, and even after the creation of the State of Israel. I believe it also helps us to appreciate why we mourn all of the tragedies of Jewish history on Tisha B'Av, the day on which the two temples were destroyed. The destruction of the temple represents not just the loss of a beautiful structure or sublime worship, but our very sense of connection with the cosmos and our place within it. 


Spiritual sensitivity to the importance of the Jerusalem Temple enables us to better understand the horror of the attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last night. The viciousness of the attack is exacerbated by Emanual AME's place within the lives of its worshippers. It was the oldest black church in the South outside of Baltimore. As Jamelle Bouie writes in Slate magazine, the church was a "historic symbol of black resistance to slavery and racism."


Aside from the particular significance of Emanuel AME, we must appreciate the shooting in the context of African American history. Emanuel AME is certainly not the first African American church in the south to be attacked. During Jim Crow, African American churches were frequent targets of terrorism. There are many reasons for churches being selected as targets. But among them are their roles as sanctuaries from hatred outside their walls.


Entering the Jerusalem Temple (and also the synagogue, a miniature temple) enabled the Jewish people to feel God's presence and protection despite droughts, wars, etc. Similarly, I can imagine that for many African Americans, churches served (and continue to serve) as spiritual safe-havens from the racism, discrimination, and hatred felt outside its walls. Terror attacks like that against Emanuel AME thus suggest attempts to provoke African American feelings of terror in their sacred spaces, the spaces in which they feel most spiritually protected.


By attacking African American churches, Dylann Storm Roof and other terrorists convey another not so subtle message that should be offensive to all religious people: That-God forbid-African Americans are not created in God's image, cannot connect with Him, and are-again, God forbid-unworthy of His love. Just as the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem led us to feel separated from God, the shootings at Emanuel AME suggest an attempt to do the same to its parishioners.


As a rabbi and religious leader, I also mourn the death of Emanuel AME's pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney. My friend and rabbinic colleague, R. Avraham Bronstein, tweeted another reminder of the parallels felt between the attack and the destruction of the temple, a reference to Lamentations 2:20: "Shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?"


Finally the hatred expressed by Dylann Storm Roof reminds me of another parallel. According to the Talmud, the second temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred. It is hard to think of a baseless hatred more irrational, fierce, and destructive than that of racism.


I pray that God comforts and brings spiritual healing to the congregants of Emanuel AME as well as the community of Charleston. I further pray that God heals the rest of us as well from racism and other forms of baseless hatred. 






Candlelight Vigil at Cabrini Bridge, Bayou St. John

This Monday, June 22nd at 7:30 PM, we will join Bend the Arc and the greater New Orleans Jewish community in commemorating the yahrtzeits of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, the young men who gave their lives working for civil rights in Mississippi in 1964. 

Next Shabbat at Anshe Sfard

Next Shabbat, Elliot Lew and Sandy Lassen will sponsor dessert at next week's Kiddush-Lunch in honor of Elliot's retirement. 

The Bertha Smith Memorial Talmud Study Meets for the Last Time Before a Summer Break

The Bertha Smith Memorial Talmud Study continues this Wednesday, June 24th, in the main conference room of 700 Camp Street at 12:30 PM. This Wednesday's class will be the last before a summer break.
Lunch is sponsored by Jeffrey Smith in memory of his mother, Bertha Smith.

No Hebrew or talmudic background is needed to participate. All sources will be studied in English. All are welcome and invited to attend.

Please feel free to contact Rabbi Polsky ( if you have any questions.

Shabbat Liturgy Class on Summer Break

Rabbi Polsky's Shabbat morning liturgy class is now on a summer hiatus. It will resume in the fall.

Please speak to Rabbi Polsky ( if you have any further questions.

What Would you Like to Learn?
Anshe Sfard is working on re-vamping its week-night Jewish learning programming. 

In order to better serve your, please let us know what you'd be most interested in learning. Is it the weekly portion? Talmud? Kabbalah? Jewish Philosophy? Basic Hebrew? Or something else? 

What nights work best for you?

Are there other programs you'd like us to run that aren't learning related?

Please let us know by e-mailing us at

Allison Padilla-Goodma n, ADL South-Central Regional Director--Updated

On Shabbat morning, July 18th, we will hear from our guest speaker for June, Allison Padilla-Goodman, the South-Central Regional Director for the Anti Defamation League. 

Allison will speak after the conclusion of services (around 11:30 AM) and before our buffet Kiddush Lunch.

Interested in Leading Serv ices?

Are you interested in leading services or reading the Torah or Haftara, but would like some help?

Rabbi Polsky is available to study and meet with you to train for any and all services you'd be interested in leading. Please contact him at if you'd like to meet.

Anshe Sfard Synagogue 
2230 Carondelet St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 522-4714
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