On New Orleans synagogue’s new home


To the Editor:

The article about the new synagogue building in the New Orleans area is somewhat bittersweet to me, but it brought back many memories. From 1984 to 1987 I lived in Metairie, about three miles from the old Beth Israel on Canal Boulevard. My family had relatives in the New Orleans area, and I attended Tulane University as an undergraduate.

When I moved into the apartment I lived in for most of my time there, I began going to shul at Beth Israel. I found my spiritual home there and became a member. The members there made me feel very welcome.

When I read that Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Beth Israel building, it broke my heart. I liked the Lakeview neighborhood, where the old Beth Israel was located. I had lived on the levee of the 17th Street Canal that was breached, but I was on the Metairie side of the canal, so I don’t know how much damage the flooding did to my neighborhood. I read that a lot of the flooding was in Lakeview.

A few years ago I learned about how Congregation Gates of Prayer offered a home to Beth Israel. I am glad that Beth Israel is moving into a permanent home, but I am sad that they could not rebuild on Canal Boulevard.

Sheldon Dan
Boca Raton, Fla.

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