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20 questions to ask for Katrina's Jewish Voices

These questions are meant to help you think about how you experienced Hurricane Katrina and what it has meant to you, your family, and your community. Feel free to respond to them in any way that feels appropriate. You can pick one or more questions to respond to, focus on a particular incident, or write a general story about your experiences. Or, if you prefer, feel free to write about something that is not asked in these questions.

  1. Where were you during Hurricane Katrina? How did you and your family get through the storm?

  2. Did you temporarily settle elsewhere? Describe your evacuation and how you settled into a new place.

  3. What happened to your home during the storm? Are you living in a different place as a result of Katrina? Has this changed the meaning of "home" for you?

  4. What did you take when you left? Were there any special objects that you took with you? Why were they important to you?

  5. Were there particular family or personal objects left behind that you were most concerned about? What happened to them?

  6. How did you feel when you realized this hurricane was the "big one"?

  7. When and how did you and your family decide whether to return to New Orleans or settle elsewhere? How do you feel about your decision?

  8. Describe your experiences of seeing your home, your business, or your neighborhood in the aftermath of the storm.

  9. What has been the impact of the storm on your work life?

  10. How did you find your family and friends after the storm? What was most helpful to you? Most difficult?

  11. How did you experience the Jewish community's response to Katrina? Can you think of an incident or moment that best captures that response? Has it changed your relationship to or feelings about the Jewish community? If so, how?

  12. What do you think about the government's response to Katrina?

  13. Do you have a favorite memory of life in New Orleans before Katrina?

  14. What are the most important lessons you've learned from this experience?

  15. What was the hardest part of living through Katrina?

  16. What has made you happiest during these difficult times?

  17. If you had to pick one special memory of your own experiences since Katrina, what would it be?

  18. If you could change any one thing, what would it be?

  19. If you had to pick one moment of kindness that you've experienced or witnessed during or since Katrina, what would it be?

  20. What are your hopes and fears for the future? For you and your family? For your community?


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