Jazz Fest Shabbat
From our beginning in 1828 as Congregation Shangarai-Chasset (Gates of Mercy) through our merger with Nefutzot Yeduda (Dispersed of Judah), Touro Synagogue has evolved through changes in location, liturgy, clergy leadership, and the way New Orleans Jews view their religion. Throughout our history, we have remained grateful to Judah Touro and committed to Touro Synagogue as an ongoing center of Jewish life.
With historic roots and a progressive heart, Touro Synagogue is a community that is filled with beautiful contradictions – a grand, historic sanctuary and an intimate, embracing chapel; an active group of knowledgeable sages and a vibrant young adult community; a love of enduring Jewish traditions and a drive for spiritual innovation and forward motion; a commitment to the inner life of our congregational family and a constant energetic force that engages with the renewal of greater New Orleans.
In 1991, Touro decided to invite guest musicians and a Jazz band to create the first Jazz Fest Shabbat, our own special tribute to one of New Orleans’ greatest traditions, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Since then, this unique and nationally recognized worship fills our historic main sanctuary each year. Special guests have included Ellis Marsalis, Jeremy Davenport, Henry Butler, Theresa Andersson, Kermit Ruffins and his Barbecue Swingers, Marcia Ball, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, John Boutté, Dr. Michael White, the Joe Krown Trio with Walter Wolfman Washington and Russell Batiste, Jr., Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Sunpie Barnes and the Louisiana Sunspots, George Porter Jr. and Runnin’ Pardners, Lost Bayou Ramblers with guest Aurora Nealand, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Each of them has added their own unique talents, making Jazz Fest Shabbat special every year.
Jazz Fest Shabbat is free and open to the public because of the generosity of our Jazz Fest Shabbat Patrons and Community Partners. Such support ensures that we can continue developing and innovating this event each year. If you are interested in being a supporter and wish to make a contribution, please click HERE.