The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

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

Susan Hess

b. September 28, 1945

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

Susan Hess with her husband, Bill Hess.

Courtesy of Susan Hess.

A lifelong volunteer, Susan Hess used her talents as a fundraiser to help the Louisiana SPCA, City Park, and other organizations mobilize after Hurricane Katrina. Born Susan Okun, Hess came to New Orleans at age nineteen as a young bride, three days before Hurricane Betsy in 1965. The collective experience made her part of the community from the start, and her own experience of volunteering to help with cleanup and recovery efforts marked the beginning of a lifetime of serving the New Orleans community in a variety of roles, fundraising for the National Council of Jewish Women, the Jewish Federation, the University of New Orleans, the Louisiana SPCA, City Park, and other local and national organizations. Over time she served as vice president of NCJW, president of the Louisiana SPCA, and founding president of the Louisiana Nature and Science Center. After Hurricane Katrina, Hess raised funds for the Louisiana SPCA and City Park and served on the boards of both organizations, helping them respond to the devastation of the storm. She later served as president of the Louisiana SPCA, and in December 2014 became president of the City Park board.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Susan Hess." (Viewed on October 3, 2023) <>.


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