The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Lainie Breaux

b. August 6, 1966

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Lainie Breaux until we are able to commission a full entry.

Lainie Breaux.

Courtesy of Lainie Breaux.

When the hospital tending Lainie Breaux’s newborn son temporarily lost contact with her during Hurricane Katrina, Breaux used her fifteen minutes of fame to call attention to the plight of others devastated by the hurricane. Helene Waltzer Breaux grew up in New Orleans and earned a BA in communications from Boston University in 1988. She returned to her hometown to work in television. She taught special education in Jefferson Parish for several years, earned an MSW from Southern University, and worked for Covenant House as a family therapist and service coordinator before becoming the Jewish Enrichment Director at the New Orleans Jewish Community Center in 2002. In 2005 Breaux had just given birth to her second child, who had a breathing disorder, when news broke that Hurricane Katrina was approaching. Told that it would be irresponsible to remove her baby from the hospital, she evacuated to Houston with the rest of her family and lost contact with hospital workers when the levees broke. Breaux went into action, using the media to track down her child and finally locating her baby in Fort Worth moments before she was scheduled to appear on CNN. Since returning to New Orleans, she has resumed her career as a therapist with the Covenant House and in private practice.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Lainie Breaux." (Viewed on October 1, 2023) <>.


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