LimmudFest Saturday Night featuring Distant Cousins

After a beautiful shabbat spent worshiping, learning and celebrating Jewish culture, LimmudFest’s special Saturday Night programming moves to the newly expanded Uptown JCC. This year, after a musical Havdalah, we will open the doors to the entire community for a live performance from Distant Cousins.



Distant Cousins is Duvid Swirsky, Dov Rosenblatt and Ami Kozak, Los Angeles-based songwriters and producers who have been lighting up live audiences nationwide with their energized performances. In addition to releasing two critically acclaimed albums, their music has been featured in films (This Is Where I Leave You), commercials (Macy’s), and television shows (The Voice, American Idol and Reign). Their spirited chemistry and down-to-earth musical sensibilities should make for an enjoyable evening.

Or Choose An Award Winning Documentary

In true Limmud fashion, Saturday evening will be about choice as well. Concurrent to the live concert, we will be screening Shalom, Y’all, Brian Bain’s award-winning 2002 documentary on the unique and diverse life of Southern Jews. Bain covers 4,200 miles from small Mississippi Delta towns to sprawling Texas ranchlands, and uncovers a vibrant regional culture and hundreds of years of colorful history.


But That’s Not All

Then, stick around for The Rebbetzin Disco, a multimedia dance party experience like no other. A soundtrack of heart & soul, blues, funk, hip-hop, R&B, rock, indie disco, reggae and euro-pop is coupled with immersive visuals that will stir up your body and your soul, sending you to seventh heaven!

This community event begins at 8:30PM on Saturday, March 17 and is free and open to the public. Please encourage your friends, even if they are not yet Limmudnicks, to join us for an amazing evening at the Uptown JCC. Light refreshments will be provided.

LimmudFest Brings Topics of Interest to Young Jews

Dating, Jewish identity, interracial and community interactions, Jewish involvement in the labor movement — these and many other topics will be of particular interest to young Jews when LimmudFest returns to New Orleans March 16-18. There even will be a performance by a folk/pop trio from Los Angeles.

The band Distant Cousins, consisting of Duvid Swirsky, Dov Rosenblatt and Ami Kozak, has been lighting up audiences nationwide with their energized performances and winning over screen audiences with their music featured in films (This Is Where I Leave You), commercials (Macy’s), trailers (Daddy’s Home), and television shows (The Voice, American Idol, Reign, etc). With multiple singles and two acclaimed EPs to date, Distant Cousins is now partnering with Jullian Records to release their debut full-length album this spring.

Sophie Unterman will address “In Search of the Male Shiksa: One Millennial Jew’s Tale of Interfaith and Interracial Dating.” Unterman’s essays have appeared in The Forward, The Iowa Review, and Guernica. She is the recipient of a 2016 Rockower Award for Best Personal Essay (2nd Place) from the American Jewish Press Association, for her essay, “In Search of the Male Shiksa.” A Tulane University alumna, she holds an MFA from Columbia University and has taught writing at Columbia, Lehman College, and the University of New Orleans. Along with writing and instructing at the university level, Unterman teaches English in the New Orleans public school system.

Dana Keren will present a session on “From ‘Jew vs. Jew’ to ‘Me and You’: Working Toward Pluralism.” The senior administrator for Tulane University School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is a proud alumna of Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps. Prior to joining Tulane, Dana co-founded Birthmark Doula Collective, a reproductive justice cooperative that provides pregnancy and parenting support services to New Orleans families. Dana graduated with an M.B.A from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business and is a board member of the National Council of Jewish Women Greater New Orleans Section.

Alysse Fuchs will discuss “The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory through Today: Jews and the Labor Movement.” Fuchs moved to New Orleans to participate in Avodah’s Jewish Service Corps as a corps member in 2013–2014. After working as a religious school teacher, waitress and babysitter, Fuchs returned to Avodah in 2016 and she is currently the Program Director for Avodah New Orleans. She feels fortunate to engage in a vibrant Jewish community with those who similarly prioritize social justice and believes that New Orleans is one of the best cities in the world.

LimmudFest is a weekend festival of Big Tent Jewish arts, culture, spirituality and learning locally planned and run by a community of volunteers. LimmudFest 2018 will feature over 100 presentations across 10 learning tracks, plus a lineup of quality programming for children and teens of all ages.

This year, LimmudFest’s celebration of learning, community and culture includes a Shabbaton at Congregation Gates of Prayer on Friday and Saturday, and more learning and cultural programs at the newly expanded Uptown Jewish Community Center on Saturday night and Sunday. Register now!