The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

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

Carol Wise

b. October 29, 1929

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

Jewish Women's Archive (JWA) former board member Carol Wise stands beside JWA's Women of Valor poster of Hannah Solomon in the abandoned Congregation Beth Israel in Biloxi.

This photograph was taken by Jayne K. Guberman, Director of Oral History at the Jewish Women’s Archive, on June 21, 2007.

Frustrated with Jewish organizations that geared their offerings for women’s involvement around the interests and schedules of stay-at-home mothers, Carol Wise forged a more welcoming place for professional women in the Jewish community. Wise studied at Sophie Newcomb College in New Orleans, but transferred to the National College of Education in Chicago for a teaching degree. She married Richard Wise in 1951, returned to New Orleans with him in 1953, and began selling real estate. After hearing a talk given by the captain of the Exodus, she was moved to become more involved in the Jewish community. Frustrated with women’s programs scheduled during the workday, she began a group for professional women for the Jewish Federation of New Orleans in the mid-1980s, eventually joining the Federation’s executive committee and later serving a term as president. Her experience with meeting the specific needs of women led her to help found the Women’s Leadership Initiative for United Way, and in the wake of Katrina, she worked with United Way to restore New Orleans’ decimated network of childcare facilities and rebuild playgrounds. She served on the board of the Jewish Women’s Archive for ten years, and as of 2015 continues to serve on the board of United Way.

More on Carol Wise

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Carol Wise." (Viewed on May 28, 2023) <>.


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