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Moishe House New Orleans provides a home and space for social programing capable of enriching the local community. Central to our mission is a focus on the Broadmoor Neighborhood and Jewish culture and religion.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Moishe Nola in the Picayune

Thank you to all our supporters, friends, funders and guests. There would be no article, no dinners, movie nights and trips without your continued interest and participation. A shout-out to Bruce Nolan for spending time with us in writing the great article. And last but not least, thank you to the Moishe House Foundation for being bold enough to offer New Orleans this opportunity

Jewish Learning #2: The Radical Contradictions of Tikkun Olam

Rabbi Uri from Beth Israel shared a fantastic lesson with Moishe Nola Monday, July 27th on the history, interpretations and teachings on Tikkun Olam - perfecting/fixing the world. Pictures can be seen here:

Jewish learning #2 With Rabbi Uri

For the selected teachings see the following links. Please email us if you want to be added to the list and help us plan the next series of classes.

Overview of Tikkun Olam Origin and Interpretation
Elements of Rabbi Kook Text - Not exact text used but good supplement.

Text Used Last Night (see below provided by Rabbi Uri)


A discussion about the roots of social justice in Jewish tradition

Lights of Holiness by Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook (early 1900s)

“Two Values of Perfection”

We understand in the Absolute divine perfection, two values of perfection.

One value of perfection, because of its greatness and completeness, has no relationship to any growth. However, if there was not a possibility of growth, this itself would be a deficiency. Because the Perfection which progresses and increases consistently has no extra, transcendental pleasure - a certain height that we yearn for, to grow from power to power, and therefore the divine perfection could not miss this advantage for growth.

Therefore there is to divinity the ability to create, a no end actualization of worlds, that continues in its full value and ascends, and therefore, what gives life to the soul is this constant power to ascend, this is its divine foundation, the call to actualize and improve.

To the extent that science progresses and establishes itself upon the principle of evolution, it progresses and comes closer to the clearest divine light, the highest vision.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

An Evening With New Orleans Master Plan

An Evening with the New Orleans Master Plan

By: Gill Benedek
Soon to be Published in The NPN Trumpet

On June 18th, a group of young-professionals gathered at the Moishe House to review the New Orleans Master Plan. The Moishe House invited planners David Dixon and Raphael Rabalais from Goody-Clancy & Associates to join the Master Plan review session. Earlier this year, New Orleans’ a voted on a Charter Amendment that would give the Master Plan the "force-of-law" - thus making it a legally binding document that greatly influences zoning and policy decisions for the next twenty years. A Master Plan is a document that describes, through narrative, maps and other data an overall development vision for a city's future development. The master plan is used to coordinate the preparation of more detailed plans or may be a collection of detailed plans. The plan may be prepared by a local government to guide private and public development or by a developer on a specific project.

Currently weighing in at over 500 pages, the Master Plan is packed with data, historical analysis, land use maps and sweeping policy suggestions. The evening’s purpose was to offer an opportunity for an in-depth review of the current Master Plan draft. Out of the approximately 40 people in attendance, only a handful of the evening’s participants were raised in New Orleans. While this bolstered Goody Clancy’s hope and belief that the 23-35 age demographic will migrate to New Orleans, it also highlighted the existing divisions among New Orleans' Generation Y demographics.

After a 40 minutes overview of the Masterplan, the participants broke out into 3 groups to discuss their areas of greatest interest: land use, economic development and housing. Every table engaged in a lively discussion of the issues and were tasked with identifying the Master Plan policies they supported, challenging the Master Plan’s assumptions and suggesting new strategies.
As one participant that evening noted, “The master plan meeting was an incredible opportunity to meet directly with David Dixon and Raphael Rabalais who have worked on the master plan as well as other planning efforts in New Orleans.”

The following is a summary of points concluded by the breakout groups:

Land Use: The land use maps, ultimately one of the most important elements due to its influence on zoning, did not reflect the forward-thinking, bold revitalization suggestions discussed in other chapters. By suggesting more of the same, the land us maps only re-enforce a "status quo"for development rather than leading the coordinated, innovative and sustainable urban growth that the Master Plan recommends.

Housing: Being such a large issue, this group spent a good deal of time asking David Dixon further questions about housing policy in New Orleans. Common points that were echoed by the participants included strategic suggestions such as:
  • New city agency positions to interact as liaisons to neighborhoods.
  • Increase funding to important housing departments like NORA.
  • Raising city salaries to attract talented people to work in city hall.
Economic Development: Participants in the Economic Development acknowledged the interdisciplinary nature of improving New Orleans’ economy. Increasing investment in New Orleans’ public schools and university infrastructure was also acknowledged as a primary drive for a establishing a strong economic base for any city. Companies seek city’s that have reliable public education systems and a highly trained workforce . Participants felt that not enough funding serves alternative or vocational programs.