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About

Overview

Katrina’s Jewish Voices is an online collection project to collect, preserve, and present the American Jewish community’s experiences of Hurricane Katrina and their recollections of the Jewish communities of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. The Jewish Women’s Archive organized the project, in collaboration with the Center for History and New Media, with generous funding from foundations and individual donors.

Katrina’s Jewish Voices welcomes members of the Jewish community—women and men alike—to tell their own stories of how the storm affected them, and to share their memories of these historic Jewish communities. The project is collecting digital artifacts in a variety of forms, including photos, blog postings, podcasts, emails, essays and other first-hand accounts, from American Jews nationwide.

These collections serve as a vital resource for future historians of the American Jewish experience, as well as for those interested in exploring how individuals and different faith communities responded to this vast humanitarian crisis.

Sharing our stories is also a way to create powerful connections in the present. We hope that those who contribute to this online collection and those who immerse themselves in the stories and images they find here come away moved and inspired by these varied Jewish voices of Katrina.

Questions? Feel free to contact us or to call at 617-232-2258.

Member of the media? Press releases are available in our Pressroom archive. You can also contact us using our contact form or call at 617-232-2258.

About the Katrina’s Jewish Voices Oral History Project

In a complementary part of the Katrina’s Jewish Voices project, JWA partnered with the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) to conduct 80 in-depth oral histories with members of the Jewish communities of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and the Gulf Coast. This has enabled a wide cross-section of these communities to serve as “historic witnesses” to a watershed event in its (and our) communal history. These interviews will be permanently housed at ISJL and made available on the Katrina’s Jewish Voices website. For more information about the Katrina’s Jewish Voices oral history project, please visit our Pressroom archives or contact us.

The 80 oral histories gathered by this project are not archived at the ISJL for long term preservation. Copies of them are available for free online, in the Internet Archive, where you will find the original video (all but one interview were done with video), audio-only versions, and the transcripts. Visit the collection at archive.org/details/KatrinasJewishVoices.

About the Jewish Women’s Archive

The mission of the Jewish Women’s Archive (JWA) is to uncover, chronicle, and transmit the rich history of American Jewish women.

Since its founding in 1995, the Jewish Women’s Archive has been developing innovative formats and collaborative partnerships to transmit the rich history of American Jewish women and their accomplishments to a broad public. JWA seeks to make known the contributions of outstanding Jewish women of achievement as well as the profound, but often unacknowledged, impact Jewish women have had within their local communities. One of the first organizations in the Jewish community to recognize and invest in the potential of the Internet for academic, cultural, archival, and educational purposes, JWA continues to innovate in its use of technology to convey and provide access to Jewish women’s stories on its website.

A national, non-profit membership organization headquartered in Brookline, Massachusetts, JWA has entering its second decade of changing the way history is researched, recorded, and taught.

Contact JWA at:

Jewish Women’s Archive One Harvard Street Brookline, MA 02445 617.232.2258 jwa.org

JWA Project Staff

Past and current staff who made this project happen:

Jayne K. Guberman, Project Director, Katrina’s Jewish Voices, and Director of Oral History Jewish Women’s Archive One Harvard Street Brookline, MA 02445 617.232.2258 jwa.org
Ari Davidow, Director of Online Strategy Jewish Women’s Archive One Harvard Street Brookline, MA 02445 617.232.2258 jwa.org
Ruth Pearlstein, Program Manager Jewish Women’s Archive One Harvard Street Brookline, MA 02445 617.232.2258 jwa.org
Ellen Kanner, Director of Development Jewish Women’s Archive One Harvard Street Brookline, MA 02445 617.232.2258 jwa.org
Gail T. Reimer, Executive Director Jewish Women’s Archive One Harvard Street Brookline, MA 02445 617.232.2258 jwa.org
Jaymie Saks, Chief Operating Officer Jewish Women’s Archive One Harvard Street Brookline, MA 02445 617.232.2258 jwa.org

Collaborating Institutions

The Jewish Women’s Archive would like to thank the following collaborating institutions for participating in Katrina’s Jewish Voices and for encouraging their communities to add their voices to the online collection.

  • Congregation Gates of Prayer, Metairie, Louisiana
  • Jewish Endowment Foundation, New Orleans
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Houston
  • Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans
  • New Orleans Hillel
  • New Orleans Jewish Community Center
  • Northshore Jewish Congregation, Mandeville, Louisiana
  • Touro Synagogue, New Orleans
  • United Jewish Communities

Supporters

Katrina’s Jewish Voices is funded by generous individuals and foundations. Please add your financial support.

JWA would like to thank the following major donors:

  • The 350 Fund: The American Jewish Historical Society, Celebrate 350: Jewish Life in America, and the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in celebration of 350 years of Jewish life in America.
  • Jan Aronson
  • Asher Calechman Family
  • Jewish Endowment Foundation, New Orleans
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge
  • Southern Jewish Historical Society
  • The Louisiana ladies at SPANX®
  • The Wise Women

If you have any questions about making a contribution of financial support, please contact us.

Photo Credit: The photograph of a menorah from Beth Israel Congregation in the Katrina's Jewish Voices header is courtesy of Frederick D. Weil.