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Editor’s Note

A Note from Bev – JCRS, Mardi Gras and More!

Jewish Children’s Regional Service has been in existence since 1855 and is the only regional Jewish child welfare agency in the country! They provide needs-based scholarships for summer camp, college aid and assistance to children with special needs. This year, JCRS will serve or fund over 1,800 children in the Mid-South region. In order to fund these scholarships, JCRS will present its “Jewish Roots of Sports” gala on Sunday, March 27. We are honored to present our February cover featuring Gala Co-Commissioners Sue Singer, Carole Neff and Barbara Kaplinsky and Executive Director Mark Rubin.

The evening will feature a seated three course dinner, music and a silent auction focused on sports memorabilia, once-in-a-lifetime vacations and sporting experiences. The gala will celebrate the great achievements of Jewish athletes and professionals from all over the United States. Athletes, owners and professionals will appear in person and on video. The event will honor three Most Valuable Players, Gayle Baer Ph.D., Alan Krilov and Dr. Mark Sands, who have all made a lasting impact on JCRS. All proceeds will support the needs-based scholarships and services of JCRS!

With this dynamic group leading the way, you don’t want to miss this event! Tickets are available at JCRS.org or by calling 800-729-5277.

Please check out “Traditions Transformed” where more than 10 experts on luxe weddings share their tips for today’s luxurious weddings. And now that Valentine’s and Mardi Gras are upon us, you have to read, “When Romance and Debauchery Collide.” This feature profiles more than 12 restaurants luring diners with Valentine’s and Mardi Gras drink and dining specials – even for your pups!

You don’t want to miss my column on alternative throws for Mardi Gras featuring Allison Tiller, Dr. Melissa Montgomery, Penn Iarocci and Starr Hagenbring. We can all make a difference this Mardi Gras by using recycled and biodegradable throws and can have fun making our own! Be a part of the solution and not the problem. Our drains and the planet will thank you! Thanks to Barry Kern of Mardi Gras World for allowing us to photograph our column there!

Happy Valentine’s Day and especially have a safe and Covid-free Mardi Gras!

Editor's Note

Beverly Reese Church



Every year the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of United Way of Southeast Louisiana presents its highest award for exemplary leadership in community volunteerism and philanthropy, the Alexis de Tocqueville Award. 

The 2021 recipient is philanthropist, public servant and volunteer Marcus V. Brown of the Entergy Corporation. Brown is pictured here with Board Chair Tod Smith, Former Board Chair Cathy McRae, (Brown) and President and CEO Michael Williamson. They invite you to celebrate with them and honor Brown on Thursday, February 10, at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. 

Discounted tickets are available for Tocqueville Society Members. Sponsorship benefits are also available. Learn more and purchase your ticket today by calling 337-540-5969 and visiting UnitedWaySELA.org.


On the Cover
Photo by Jeffery Johnston

Gala Co-Commissioner Carole Neff, Executive Director Mark Rubin and Gala Co-Commissioners Sue Singer and Barbara Kaplinsky and for Jewish Children’s Regional Service’s “Jewish Roots of Sports.”

Jewish Children’s Regional Service’s 11th annual “Jewish Roots Gala,” “Jewish Roots of Sports,” will take place on Sunday, March 27 at 6 p.m. at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. 

This year’s gala will celebrate the great achievements of Jewish athletes and professionals from across the country and will honor three Most Valuable Players – Gayle Baer Ph.D., Alan Krilov and Dr. Mark Sands – who’ve made a lasting impact on JCRS. 

The evening will feature a seated three-course dinner, music and a silent auction focused on sports memorabilia, once-in-a-lifetime vacations and sporting experiences. 

This tribute will also feature sports notables in person and on video including Dan Grunfeld (author of By the Grace of the Game and son of an NBA Player), Olympic gold medalist Ernie Grunfeld and Donna Orender (sports executive, former collegiate and professional basketball player, and formerly president of the Women’s National Basketball Association and senior vice president of the PGA), along with a special message from MLB Hall of Fame inductee Ken Griffey Jr. 

All proceeds will support the needs-based scholarship programs and services of JCRS for Jewish children throughout the Mid-South. JCRS is currently the oldest existing Jewish children’s social service organization in the United States, as well as the only regional Jewish child welfare agency in the country. JCRS provides needs-based scholarships for summer camp experiences, college aid and assistance to children with special needs. Additional outreach programs include the Oscar J. Tolmas Hanukkah Gift Program and the PJ Library program for Jewish children ages 11 and under. This year, JCRS will serve or fund over 1,800 Jewish children from 200+ communities across our seven-state Mid-South region.

Tickets are available at JCRS.org and by calling 800-729-5277. 



A Note from Bev – Podcasts, Parades & Promises

With COVID, Carnvial, work, family, friends and those hobbies we’re supposed to have to keep us sane and engaged with the world, I find that lately my mind is spinning a million miles every minute. 

To counteract that I’ve gone back to my Pilates classes (Hi Juan!), have been attempting to start a meditation practice and have taken to listening to podcasts while I clean and do laundry and dishes and such. I highly recommend anything from the Grim & Mild channel (if you like your folklore with a little spice), Gone South (by former Times-Picayune reporter Jed Lipinski about the murder of Margaret Coon, a prominent ex-prosecutor in Beau Chene. Thanks for the recommendation, Margaret!) and anything by Brené Brown (for when you’re in the mood for challenging the status quo of the world and your place in it).

I’ve also decided to farm out the section of my brain that keeps telling me to carve some time to learn to do all the cute crafty things for my kid (and to buy all the tools to do so) to others! I keep hearing about local moms who use their Cricuts, embroidery machines and talents to make wonderful, personalized things. If you’re one of those people (I know that more than moms are doing this), or you have a favorite, let me know (Morgan@MyNewOrleans.com). I promise to share the riches!

Now isn’t the time to let down our guard. When you’re out and you feel that nagging sense that something isn’t right, pay attention to that and look around you, maybe walk a little faster, put on your mask and wash your hands. We have so many celebrations to look forward to and I know we all want to be able to catch something that’s not a sickness on Mardi Gras Day! 

Quieting our minds is just the first step. Let’s listen to what our minds and bodies are trying to tell us (Maybe now is a great time for a glass of water?) and enjoy this joyous time safely together.

Happy Mardi Gras!

Editor's Note

Morgan Packard Griffith


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