The “Temple Sinai Gala,” themed “This Is Your Life Cantor Joel Colman,” honored Colman for 20 years at Temple Sinai with a sold-out crowd of 235 friends and congregates.

The cantor uses a motorcycle as his means of transportation, so in the foyer sat his very own motorcycle. In keeping with the theme, guests wore “motorcycle chic” or cocktail attire!

Gala Co-Chairs were a mother and daughter team of Susan Kierr and her daughter Sarah Hess, with big help from the immediate past chair and Sarah’s mother-in-law, Susan Hess.

Food for the Patron Party was donated by Ruth’s Chris and Galatoire’s. Sue Barton made chopped liver and Dr. Marc Behar made brisket. The Goldring Family Foundation donated liquor. Food for the seated dinner was catered by Marriott. On tables were circular canisters that turned and held photos from the cantor’s life.

Silent auction items ranged from dinner packages to a Telluride condo stay given by Bill and Susan Hess. There was also a raffle of diamond earrings donated by Friend & Company.

After dinner, a program of This is Your Life with videos, music and speakers highlighted the cantor’s life, hosted by comedian Eric Dreiblatt. Childhood friend Allen Leider, Cantor’s son Josh and Temple President Judge Robin Giarrusso spoke. Robin presented Cantor with a framed program cover. Councilman Joe Giarrusso followed his mother, presenting a resolution from the city.

Temple member Cedric Walker spoke and presented him with a gift for his motorcycle from Indian Motorcycles. Additionally, Cantor sings with NO Vocal Arts group and was asked by maestro Robert Lyall of the New Orleans Opera Association to participate in a production of Samson and Delilah. In honor of this, Tommy Zanca, Aaron Ambeau and Zara Zemmels sang an opera selection.

Salutes continued, including temple youth, staff and rabbis.

The program ended with greetings by video of Joel’s devoted companion, his dog, while Zara Zemmels sang – this time, “How Much is that Doggie in the Window.”

At the end of the evening, Cantor got on his motorcycle and rode out the door!


Event at a Glance

What: “Temple Sinai Gala,” benefiting Temple Sinai

When: Saturday, March 16

Where: Temple Sinai


Philanthropic Fun: Motorcycle Chic for the Cantor

Liz Yager, Dr. Marc Behar and Mindy Brickman

Philanthropic Fun: Motorcycle Chic for the Cantor

Sue and Herbert Barton