The first female president of her childhood synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, Jackie Gothard helped the Orthodox synagogue rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. Born Jacqueline Pressner, Jackie Gothard grew up working in her family’s kosher deli. She graduated from Sophie Newcomb College in New Orleans in 1955 at age 20 and went on to earn an MSW in 1957 from Case Western Reserve University, where she married fellow student Sol Gothard soon after graduation. The couple returned to New Orleans, where Jackie Gothard served as a social worker for the New Orleans Family Service, working with adoptions and foster care. In the 1980s she began taking high school students on Israel trips, leading to her becoming a travel agent for Town & Country Travel, specializing in Israel. The career shift was part of her lifelong involvement with the Jewish community as president of the communal Hebrew school and of Lakeshore Hebrew Day School, and active member of Hadassah, B’nai B’rith, Israel Bonds, the National Council of Jewish Women, and the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans. When her synagogue was severely damaged by Katrina, Gothard helped lead rebuilding efforts, and Congregation Beth Israel dedicated their new building in 2012. Beth Israel honored Gothard for her work, and she was also honored by Israel Bonds for hosting the first Bonds event for New Orleans shortly after Katrina.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Jackie Gothard." (Viewed on July 29, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/gothard-jackie>.