November 14, 2005
This past Shabbat Chabad House reopened on a permanent basis. Rabbi and Mrs. Zelig Rivkin moved back to New Orleans. I was in town with my family and it was our turn to do what tens of thousands of New Orleanians have been doing - go through our stuff - salvage and throw out. We spent the three days sifting through our possesions that had been on a flooded moving truck. Thank G-d we were able to salvage alot. However, we also had to throw alot away. Needless to say it was a depressing few days. Shabbat at Chabad House on the other hand was a wonderful experience. We had services Friday night with nice attendance. In addition to the locals we had, several visitors in town in connection with the relief effort - FEMA people, medical personell etc. Dinner was a packed affair. Shabbat morning we had a nice sized minyan and many people joined us for the meal afterward. This morning we restarted the daily morning Minyan. We hope that it will maintain itself and provide the important service of having a daily Minyan to the community. The Kosher restaurants are reopening with the hope that they can survive the difficult mothns of no tourism and conventions and stay afloat. We wish them well. As more people come back there is more optimism but we are a very long way off from being able to function properly. We are now planning activities for the months ahead including Chanukah. The Kaufmanns, whose daughter Rachel is engaged to a Houston boy, Mendy Traxler, are doing some serious research into holding the wedding here in New Orleans. Stay tuned for more details on all of the above.