After Success in the Senate, Jews Against Gassing Members will Testify in the House to Support Bill to Eliminate Gas Executions

Baton Rouge, LA — On Tuesday, May 21, Jewish Community members with the Jews Against Gassing coalition will testify at a hearing on the bill to remove the gassing method, Senate Bill 430, in the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee. Senate Bill 430 removes the gassing method of execution, known as nitrogen hypoxia or nitrogen suffocation from the law. Senator Katrina Jackson-Andrews (D-Monroe) filed SB 430 to remove the gassing from the list of approved execution methods. The bill passed unanimously out of the Senate Judiciary B committee on April 16, and passed with bi-partisan support off the Senate floor on April 22 (11 Republicans and 11 Democrats voted in favor of the bill). The bill is one of four bills scheduled to be heard in the House Administration of Criminal Justice committee on Tuesday, May 21st at 9:00am.

The Jews Against Gassing coalition is a group of Jewish organizations, faith leaders, and individuals in the Jewish community from across Louisiana seeking the removal of the gassing alternative method of execution from the law and statements of allyship by elected leaders that Louisiana should not engage in experimental methods of killing that invoke the Holocaust. The coalition is singularly focused on this urgent issue and includes members of varying perspectives on the death penalty. Jews Against Gassing is offended and troubled by the potential use of gassing in executions in Louisiana.

What: Jews Against Gassing Members to Testify at Hearing on Bill to Remove Gassing

When: Tuesday, May 21, 9:00 am local time

Where: House Committee Room 6 at the Louisiana State Capitol, 900 N. 3rd Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Who: Louisiana Jewish leaders who will testify as members of JAG will include:

  • Aaron Bloch, Director of Jewish-Multicultural & Governmental Affairs at the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans
  • Arnie Fielkow, former CEO of Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans
  • Jacquelyn Stern, Executive Board Member of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and Board Member of the Jewish Community Center of New Orleans
  • Rabbi Cohen-Henriquez, incoming Rabbi of Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation
  • Hazzan Kevin Margolius, Hazzan of Touro Synagogue

Livestream: The hearing for the Administration of Criminal Justice committee will be livestreamed on Louisiana Legislature’s website. Once the committee convenes, the link will be available here:

“For Jewish people living here in Louisiana – and Jews everywhere – gassing executions give rise to the most horrific memories of our ancestors being gassed in Nazi Germany,” said Jacquelyn Stern, coalition steering committee member.

“Life is very precious and to snuff it out like 6 million people, including 1.5 million children, is unconscionable, horrible, and barbaric,” said Holocaust survivor and retired Louisiana judge, Miriam Waltzer.

“The prospect of a gassing execution in Louisiana horrifyingly evokes the memory of Nazi Germany, which should under no circumstances be used as a model for justice,” said Hazzan Kevin Margolius, Hazzan of Touro Synagogue.

“It is because of the historical bond that we ask that Senate Bill 430 be passed and that gassing forever be removed as a method of execution,” said Arnie Fielkow, former CEO of Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and former New Orleans City Council Member-at-Large. “It is not only unnecessary but, for survivors and all Jewish people, brings back images of evil and horror which should never again see the light of day.”

The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans passed a resolution against the use of gassing in state executions saying, “We cannot imagine it possible that Jewish communities anywhere could stand by while prisoners are executed in our names, using any variation of that mechanism.”

The full resolution is available here.

For more information, or to interview members of Jews Against Gassing before the hearing, or immediately following the hearing, contact Jacquelyn Stern, Steering Committee Member of Jews Against Gassing at 504-255-4057 or

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