Sandy Levy

b. 1947

Sandy Levy’s lifetime of experience in New Orleans as a fundraiser and a preservationist made her uniquely suited to help survivors of Katrina rebuild their lives and their homes. Sandy Levy began working for the city of New Orleans in 1969 and within two years became the federal programs administrator, in charge of seeking grants for city projects. She created the Historic District Landmarks Commission in 1975 and became its first director, regulating the preservation of the city’s beautiful architecture and seeking ways to grow the city’s economy without losing its unique character. She retired from that post in 1991 but remained active as president of Temple Sinai, director of the Jewish Endowment Foundation (where she expanded their planned giving funds fivefold), and a member of the boards of numerous organizations, from Le Petit Theatre to the ADL. When Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, Levy helped raise funds to distribute to those affected by the storm.

Scope and Content Note

Sandy talks about her family background and growing up in an Orthodox family with deep roots in New Orleans. She grew up in Beth Israel, an Orthodox community, and now identifies as a Reform Jew and Feminist. When Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana, Sandy was the President of Temple Sinai and the executive director of the Jewish Endowment Fund. She describes the impacts of the storm on her loved ones, her community, and their homes and neighborhoods. Sandy describes first Rosh Hashanah service in the Temple Sinai Sanctuary in 2006. She says the Jewish community in New Orleans is resilient and resourceful.

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How to cite this page

Oral History of Sandy Levy. Interviewed by Rosalind Hinton. 3 October 2006. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on April 22, 2024) <http://jwa.org/oralhistories/levy-sandy>.

Oral History of Sandy Levy 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.