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!