Karen Weissbecker Remer

b. April 6, 1960

Dr. Karen Remer was born in 1960 in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  She was raised Conservative but entered Orthodoxy through marriage.  Remer attended the Medical College of Virginia, earned her Ph.D. in genetics, and moved to New Orleans with her family in 1990.  She works as an Assistant Research Professor of Genetics at the Tulane University Medical Center.  Additionally, Dr. Remar has served as Parent Association president for the New Orleans Jewish Day School and volunteers for the Democratic Party and the National Council of Jewish Women.

Scope and Content Note

Karen discusses her identity as a modern Orthodox Jewish woman who came to New Orleans in 1990 from Richmond, Virginia.   She explains how she grew up Conservative but entered Orthodoxy through her marriage.  Karen talks about her experience during Hurricane Katrina.  She evacuated with her children to the Washington, D.C., area.  After the storm, Karen and her ex-husband took turns living in Silver Springs, Maryland, to give their children some continuity.  She talks about her role as a researcher at Tulane Medical School.  Karen explains that, like for many in the Orthodox community, the experience away from New Orleans was rewarding because families did not have to struggle to be Orthodox.  They could live their lives around the ebb and flow of the Jewish calendar and easily keep kosher.  She highlights the Jewish community in Silver Spring and New Orleans and how they assisted after Hurricane Katrina.  Karen discusses her current relationship and balancing all the parts of her life.  Finally, Karen reflects on the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, her vision for the city, and how the hurricane changed her life.

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How to cite this page

Oral History of Karen Weissbecker Remer. Interviewed by Rosalind Hinton. 27 September 2006. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on April 24, 2024) <http://jwa.org/oralhistories/remer-karen>.

Oral History of Karen Weissbecker Remer 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.