Sally Bronston

b. 1991

Committed to youth leadership long before Hurricane Katrina, Sally Bronston lobbied on behalf of her community through the New Orleans Youth Leadership Council before turning to a career in journalism. Bronston grew up in New Orleans, where she became involved in Jewish and local youth leadership at an early age through the Reform Movement’s National Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) and its Henry S. Jacobs and Kutz Camps, as well as through her temple, Gates of Prayer. She attended Ben Franklin High School for just seven days before evacuating with her family to Houston to escape Hurricane Katrina. After returning to New Orleans, she began volunteering at the Upper Ninth Ward Women’s Shelter and joined the New Orleans Youth Leadership Council. Bronston graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 and joined MSNBC as an intern in 2012, becoming production assistant on PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton in 2013 and earning a promotion to associate producer in 2015.

Scope and Content Note

Sally talks about her Jewish and general education growing up in the greater New Orleans area, attending synagogue at Gates of Prayer, and her involvement and leadership roles in Union for Reform Judaism Kutz Camp and the North American Federation of Temple Youth. Sally describes the Jewish community in New Orleans and the community of friends she has there.  Sally had just started a new school when Hurricane Katrina hit.  She was prepared for the storm, having packed several suitcases full of belongings she was afraid to lose. Initially, Sally evacuated to Alexandria, Louisiana, with her mother before relocating to Houston with her father and grandparents for several months. During this time, her mother, Barri, who works for a newspaper, traveled back and forth.  Sally attended Jewish Day School in Houston.  Sally remembers her first return trip to New Orleans was over Yom Kippur, 2005, and the water damage her mother and father's houses sustained from flooding.  She insisted on being back in New Orleans at Gates of Prayer.  After the storm, Sally's grandparents lived with her, and she describes this as a challenge.  Also, many of her family members did not return to New Orleans after Katrina, and she misses them.  Sally reflects on her bond with her classmates and peers, having gone through this terrible event together.  They had to grow up fast and face things other kids had not yet faced.   Finally, Sally provides her thoughts on God and Judaism. One version of Tikkun Alum for her is talking with youth groups that come through New Orleans and sharing her experiences. She feels her age group in New Orleans can bring new ideas to the table about volunteering and Tzedakah because of what they have been through.  She has great plans for the future, perhaps pursuing law or politics or becoming a Rabbi.

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How to cite this page

Oral History of Sally Bronston. Interviewed by Rosalind Hinton. 10 August 2007. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on February 25, 2024) <http://jwa.org/oralhistories/bronston-sally>.

Oral History of Sally Bronston by the Jewish Women's Archive is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://jwa.org/contact/OralHistory.