Touro B’Yachad: Social Justice Initiatives

10,000 Conversations: A Partnership with Together Louisiana

Throughout the summer, Touro Synagogue will join faith communities from all over our state to participate in “10,000 Conversations,” a campaign of connection and relationship-building initiated by the organization Together Louisiana. We will be holding house meetings, mostly over Zoom, in which congregants will share with one another about how the pandemic has affected us and our families. These conversations will not only connect us more deeply to one another, but they will also be important building blocks for future communal work as we discover the most important issues facing all our communities.

To learn more or to host or attend a house meeting, please contact the initiative coordinator, Laura Levy at laura.silven.levy@gmail.com


Fighting Food Insecurity in New Orleans

Touro Synagogue Social Justice leaders are in constant conversation to discern ways our community can alleviate food insecurity in our city. We have an ongoing partnership with Broadmoor Food Pantry and Second Harvest Food Bank. Each of these organizations has financial and volunteering needs that will be shared via email on a weekly basis. Please reach out to Social Justice Committee member Teri Hunter at tlhunter22@gmail.com to become more deeply involved. 


Mental Health and Wellness

Touro’s Mental Health Awareness Committee is in the process of developing summer programming to support and educate the Touro community around issues of mental health, grief, substance abuse, anxiety, and mindfulness.  Please watch your email for announcements, as well as for weekly suggestions for home-based mental wellness activities and reflections for you and your family.  For more information, please contact co-chairs Naomi Yavneh Klos at yavnehklos@gmail.com or Joseph Bodenmiller at jjbodenmiller@gmail.com.


Voting Rights 

Touro’s Voting Rights Initiative and its non-partisan coalition partners in Engaging New Voices and Voters “ENVV,” as well as the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), will be active over the summer and into the fall as we approach November’s Presidential Election. The action plan will include registering new voters, educating voters, and getting out the vote in ways that are safe and appropriate. Please stay tuned and if you are not already receiving the Initiative’s emails and are interested in getting involved, please email Joy Braun at jbraun@sessions-law.com. Also, please mark your calendar. Louisiana’s Presidential Preference Primary is scheduled for July 11, 2020; early voting will be held June 26 through July 4, 2020 (excluding Sunday, June 28 and Friday, July 3).  The municipal general election is on August 15, 2020; early voting will be held August 1-8, 2020 (excluding Sunday, August 2, 2020). The US Census is happening now; it is vitally important for everyone to be in that number.  Please check the Secretary of State’s website to confirm that you are registered to vote and also to request an absentee ballot, if eligible.