Oral History Collection

The Nicki Newman Tanner

Oral History Collection

As part of JWA’s mission to expand the narrative of Jewish history, we have collected and recorded hundreds of interviews with leaders, activists, and community members across the United States, documenting their encounters with major events and movements of the 20th and 21st centuries and the many ways that gender, class, place, and religious and ethnic identities have shaped women’s lives. With generous support from Nicki Newman Tanner,  Mass Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, we are proud to make these interviews and transcripts available to the public. All entries include transcripts; audio or video recordings are also available where narrator permissions allow. 

More about the collection

Diane Africk

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Diane Africk on July 11, 2007, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Africk, a pediatric neurologist, recounts her experiences growing up in the city, her Jewish identity and involvement in Touro Synagogue, her career at Tulane Medical Center, the challenges she faced during and after Hurricane Katrina, and her criticism of the government's response to the storm.

Brian Bain

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Brian Bain on July 5, 2007, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Brian talks about his experiences growing up in Metairie, his involvement in Touro Synagogue and SoFTY, the impact of Hurricane Katrina on his family, and his current involvement in the local Jewish community.

Joan Berenson

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Joan Berenson on August 31, 2007, in Metairie, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Joan Berenson talks about her New Orleans upbringing, connection to Judaism, involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, the impact of Hurricane Katrina, and her hopes for the future.

Allan Bissinger

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Allan Bissinger on August 3, 2006, in Metairie, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina’s Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Bissinger talks about his upbringing in New Orleans, his experience during Hurricane Katrina, his involvement in the Jewish community's recovery efforts, and how his Jewish identity has influenced his life, despite not being religious.

Sally Bronston

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Sally Bronston on August 10, 2007, in Metairie, Louisiana, as part of Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Bronston shares her Jewish upbringing, education, involvement in Jewish organizations, experiences during Hurricane Katrina, challenges of post-storm life, and reflections on God and Judaism.

Joel Brown

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Joel Brown on October 23, 2006, in Metairie, Louisiana, as part of Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Brown explains his family background, education, Jewish upbringing, opening a kosher restaurant in New Orleans, the impact of Hurricane Katrina on his business and life, the support from the Memphis Jewish community, and his hopeful return to New Orleans.

Cynthia Farber

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Stuart Rockoff interviewed Cynthia Farber on August 30, 2007, in Atlanta, Georgia, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Farber shares her family's history, Hurricane Katrina experience, relocation from New Orleans to Atlanta, and involvement in organizations, reflecting on the hurricane's impact on her life and New Orleans.

David Freedman

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed David Freedman on December 8, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Freedman shares his journey from New Orleans to California, his rediscovery of Judaism and passion for text study, his experience during Hurricane Katrina, his involvement with WWOZ radio station, and his efforts to rebuild the city through community radio.

Deena Gerber

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Deena Garber on December 12, 2006, in Metairie, Louisiana, as part of Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Garber talks about her experiences growing up in New Orleans, her involvement in Young Judea, her evacuation during Hurricane Katrina, and her role as the executive director of Jewish Family Services in providing aid and services to the community.

Alan Gerson

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Alan Gerson on August 3, 2007, in New Orleans, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Gerson discusses his family history, childhood as a Jew in New Orleans, college experience, artistic pursuits, evacuation and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, emotional toll, community support for artists, disillusionment with the government, and a vivid memory of an abandoned beach ball after the storm.

Myron Goldberg

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Myron Goldberg on July 5, 2007, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Goldberg, a first-generation American from New Orleans, discusses his family history, involvement with Congregation Beth Israel, running a store, raising a family, experiencing Hurricane Katrina, and rebuilding his home and business.

Jackie Gothard

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Jackie Gothard on September 20, 2006, in Metairie, Louisiana, as part of Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Gothard shares her experiences growing up as an orthodox Jew in New Orleans, the destruction of Beth Israel synagogue during Hurricane Katrina, her efforts to restore the synagogue and reassemble the congregation, and her reflections on gender and Southern politics in the Orthodox community.

Julie Harris

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Julie Schwam Harris on October 14, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Harris shares her family background, her work in the Mayor's office during Hurricane Katrina, witnessing the impact on vulnerable populations, her identity as an agnostic Jew, her involvement in grassroots politics, and her hopes for a more equitable future for New Orleans.

Lee Isaacson

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Lee Isaacson on August 30, 2007, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Isaacson talks about his family background, education, experiences during Hurricane Katrina, and his current work at the Jewish Community Center, expressing his disaffiliation with organized religion and frustration with government negligence.

Ben Jaffe

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Ben Jaffe on September 6, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina’s Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Jaffe talks about his upbringing in the French Quarter of New Orleans, his family's contribution to the revival of traditional jazz through Preservation Hall, his experiences during Hurricane Katrina, and his efforts to rebuild and preserve the city's music culture.

Catherine Kahn

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Catherine Kahn on October 17, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Kahn reflects on her family history, experiences growing up in New Orleans, her husband's illness, the evacuation during Hurricane Katrina, the impact of the storm on her and her community, and her return to New Orleans and her work.

Alan Krilov

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Alan Krilov on October 18, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina’s Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Krilov, a member of the Chabad community, recounts his challenging experience during Hurricane Katrina, including his evacuation and subsequent efforts to rebuild his life and reconnect with the Jewish community.

Stephen Kupperman

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Stephen Kupperman on September 8, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina’s Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Kupperman speaks about his childhood in New Orleans, his involvement in Jewish non-profits, and his experience during Hurricane Katrina, including his evacuation to Baton Rogue, reflecting on the changes in the city since then.

Irwin Lachoff

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Irwin Lachoff on August 24, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina’s Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Lachoff reminisces on his upbringing in New Orleans, his involvement with Beth Israel Synagogue, his experience during Hurricane Katrina, and his concerns for the future of the local Jewish community.

Frank Levy

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Frank Levy on September 3, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Levy recounts his family history, connection to New Orleans, the discovery of Judaism, a career in education and theater, experiences during Hurricane Katrina, involvement in relief efforts through interactive theater, support of the Jewish community, and the post-storm changes.

Sandy Levy

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Sandy Levy on October 3, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina’s Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Levy speaks about her Orthodox upbringing, transition to Reform Judaism, and her experiences during Hurricane Katrina, highlighting the resilience and resourcefulness of the Jewish community in New Orleans.

Julie Wise Oreck

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Julie Wise Oreck was interviewed by Rosalind Hinton, on July 2, 2007, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Oreck discusses her Jewish upbringing, involvement in Jewish organizations, and her active role in the recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina, expressing frustration with the government's response but not attributing it to racism.

Sophie Oreck

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Sophie Oreck on July 2, 2007, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Sophie shares her school life, experiences during Hurricane Katrina, finding stability in soccer, benefiting from her connected Jewish family, and her Jewish life, including her bat mitzvah, trips to Israel, and passion for Jewish history.

Zoe Oreck

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Zoe Oreck on July 3, 2007, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Oreck, an eighteen-year-old resident of New Orleans, reflects on her displacement during Hurricane Katrina, her temporary life in Houston, and her changed perspective on government, community, spirituality, and Jewish social life.

Joshua Mann Pailet

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Joshua Pailet on August 2, 2007, in New Orleans, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Pailet reflects on his childhood, artistic journey, the atmosphere of New Orleans, his firsthand experience of Hurricane Katrina, participation in the "Torah rescue," the rebuilding process, the importance of grassroots efforts, and his strengthened Jewish identity

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Oral History Collection." (Viewed on February 25, 2024) <http://jwa.org/oralhistories>.