New Orleans City Park leader to speak when Jewish women gather during Sukkot _lowres

Photo provided by National Council of Jewish WomenÑBob Becker

Bob Becker, CEO of New Orleans City Park, will be the guest speaker when the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater New Orleans Section, meets from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 4 at the home of Susan and Bill Hess, 8 Garden Lane, in New Orleans.

The gathering, with the theme “Resilience under the Oaks: The Past, Present and Future of City Park,” will take place during Sukkot, the Jewish harvest festival.

Becker is credited not only with repairing the catastrophic damage done by Hurricane Katrina but also remaking the park into one of the top 10 public parks in the United States, visited by 14 million people annually. Since the storm, Becker has put together a public-private financing plan that has raised more than $122 million.

Before coming to City Park, Becker was senior vice president for the Audubon Nature Institute and was executive director of the New Orleans City Planning Commission.

“This is a time when we take meals in temporary dwellings open to the sky and when we celebrate how our life is lived under the shelter of the divine,” event Chairwoman Brenda Brasher said on the relevance of Sukkot. “It is very appropriate that we have as our topic the past, present and future of City Park, a public outdoor space with strong links to the Jewish community from its inception to the present.”

Other volunteers involved in organizing the event include Gail Chalew, Susan Kierr and Sue Singer. Catering is being handled by Melanie Blitz. Serving on the NCJW Program Committee with Brasher are Cole Trosclair Bernstein, Chalew, Sefira Fialkoff, Robin Goldblum, Barbara Kaplinsky, Kierr, Jenny Nathan, Lonnie Schaffer and Singer.

Reservations should be made by Sept. 27.Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at ncjwnew orleans.org or by sending a check to NCJW, 6221 S. Claiborne Ave., Suite 208, New Orleans, LA 70125. Contact NCJW at (504) 861-7788 or Brasher at brashebe@yahoo.com.