Roselle Ungar

b. March 1, 1957

As assistant executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, Roselle Ungar helped evacuees maintain community and find aid from necessities to scholarships for children. Ungar began her career as a registered nurse briefly in 1979 before shifting her focus to Jewish leadership. She served as president of Congregation Beth Israel’s sisterhood and national vice president of Hadassah and, in 1997, became the assistant executive director of the Jewish Federation. Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, when the executive director left in 2006, Ungar became the interim director, then left to become director of community and philanthropic affairs for Crescent Bank and Trust from 2007 to 2013. In the wake of the storm, she also became president of Congregation Beth Israel and chaired their capital campaign to build their new congregational home in nearby Metairie. In 2013, Roselle created Strategic Nonprofit Consulting, helping New Orleans-area nonprofits plan fundraising and board development. In 2015 she also became executive director of Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans.

Scope and Content Note

During Katrina, Roselle Ungar evacuated with her husband and son, a law student at Loyola. As assistant executive director of the Jewish Federation, Ungar had been in the midst of creating an interactive website for the Federation when the Hurricane hit. This site quickly became the best way for evacuees scattered across the country to find aid and maintain community. This website quickly became a central hub for the evacuated community, helping members connect to one another across the country and find aid, from basic needs like housing and clothes to schools and scholarships for children. In 2006, the executive director left, and Ungar took over as interim ED. She then helped the Federation create a task force with representatives from across all movements to rebuild the Jewish community in New Orleans.


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 Roselle Ungar. Interviewed by Rosalind Hinton. 30 August 2006. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on April 24, 2024) <>.

Oral History of Roselle Ungar 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