Barbara Jacobs

b. 1935

Barbara Ann Jacobs was born in 1935 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Her father was a jeweler, and her mother was a homemaker.  Barbara grew up attending a Reform synagogue with her family.  She attended Newcomb College in New Orleans in 1952, fell in love with the city, and remained there until Hurricane Katrina.  While in college, she met her husband, Roger Jacobs, a life-long resident of New Orleans and student at Tulane University.  Barbara had a challenging experience evacuating from her home and taking care of her husband and disabled children.  Although Barbara has not yet returned to New Orleans, she still lives in Louisiana and hopes to return someday. In 2006, and after fifty-one years of marriage, Roger passed away.  

Scope and Content Note

Barbara details her Reform upbringing in Indiana and her move to New Orleans for college and meeting her husband.  She also discusses her involvement with the Henry S. Jacobs Camp in Mississippi.  Barbara talks about the events leading up to Hurricane Katrina and how she prepared for the storm.    She remembers the devastation caused by Katrina and the many funerals she attended afterward.  After the hurricane, Barbara traveled around the South with her family and disabled children, eventually placing her children in school in Texas.  Barbara is saddened as she recalls the piano she lost in her home in New Orleans.  Barbara shares her and her husband's love of music.  She talks about the death of her husband and moving to Baton Rouge.  Barbara conveys the hardships caused by Hurricane Katrina and how her family has helped her through it.  She criticizes the government's response to the hurricane and recounts watching the news coverage during Katrina.  Barbara then highlights the best parts of New Orleans before the hurricane, including the nightlife and the Jewish community.  Finally, Barbara affirms her connection to New Orleans, Judaism, and her family. 


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox

Read the latest from JWA from your inbox.

sign up now

How to cite this page

Oral History of Barbara Jacobs. Interviewed by Rosalind Hinton. 5 November 2006. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on February 29, 2024) <>.

Oral History of Barbara Jacobs 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