Exhibit: Women Who Dared
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  Florence Schornstein
  Community Building through Volunteerism
  New Orleans WWD Event 2005
   
  Ran Parks & Pathways Department; creating a volunteer corps of 13,000 to beautify the city
 
Biography  up to top

Florence Schornstein was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, an only child raised in an adoring, extended family. Flo's volunteer career began in the Civil Rights Movement and has encompassed civic issues including voter registration, school integration, equity for women, and pro-choice rights. She credits the National Council of Jewish Women with giving her a start in political leadership, and says, "For me, the best expression of my Judaism is to make the world a better place for other people."

When the mayor of New Orleans asked Flo to run his Parks and Parkways Department in 1982, she took on the challenge with gusto. Although she had no experience in horticulture, her skills as an organizer and coalition-builder allowed her to marshal a corps of 13,000 volunteers who are dedicated to keeping the city's green spaces healthy and beautiful. It is no understatement to say that Flo transformed the face of the city.

In addition, Flo has served as Chairwoman of the Board of United Way, Chairwoman of the Board of Touro Infirmary (and later Executive Director of the Touro Infirmary Foundation) and, through NCJW, helped create a precursor of the Head Start program. She says, "I often wonder who and how many will follow our mandate for tikkun olam, repair of the world? Judaism teaches that to save a single life is to save the world. I once heard a Shabbat prayer that expresses this, and it goes like this: God bless everybody's children, and mine too."

 
What She Said  up to top
ON JEWISH VALUES
My family was not a religious family. ...More 
ON FAMILY UPBRINGING
My family really was not involved in the Jewish community in an organized sense. ...More 
ON ROLE MODELS
During the years when I grew up, there were not too many women role models who were being something. People were getting married, having children, becoming volunteers—which is what I did! ...More 
ON BEING A WOMAN ACTIVIST
It was all so inspiring, and for young girls from the South who had led very sheltered lives, it was quite an opportunity. ...More 
ON TRADITIONAL ROLES
Women no longer have the career that I've had. ...More 
ON WOMEN'S MOVEMENT
I was involved in issues that relate to equity for women... ...More 
ON PATH TO ACTIVISM
If people trust you and know of your reputation... ...More 
ON IMPACT ON WORLD
My proudest achievement is... ...More 
 
Multimedia  up to top
Photographs Photographs
Articles, Brochures, other papers Papers 

Letter to to Florence Schornstein from Lillie Richardella of the International Women’s Forum

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How to Cite This Page
For a bibliography: Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA - Women Who Dared - Biography Florence Schornstein." <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/bio.jsp?personID=pfschornstein>.

For a footnote: Jewish Women's Archive, "JWA - Women Who Dared - Biography Florence Schornstein," <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/bio.jsp?personID=pfschornstein>.