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.

Arlene Barron

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Arlene Barron on December 14, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Arlene Barron discusses her childhood, involvement with the Jewish Community Center (JCC), experiences during Hurricane Katrina, and the emotional impact of the storm on herself and her family.

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.

Martha Bergadine

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Martha Bergadine on November 3, 2006, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as a part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Rabbi Bergadine discusses her journey to Judaism, her work with the Jewish Federation, the impact of Hurricane Katrina on Baton Rouge, and the sense of community that emerged from the disaster.

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.

Helen "Lainie" Breaux

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Lainie Breaux on September 17, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Breaux reflects on her upbringing, activist family background, evacuation during the storm with her newborn son, and her ongoing work as a therapist in New Orleans.

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.

Andy Busch

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Andy Busch on August 2, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Rabbi Bush discusses his childhood, rabbinical training, serving as the rabbi of Touro Synagogue in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina, their evacuation and exile experience, rebuilding the community in Houston, and reflecting on the impact of the storm and the efforts of the Jewish Reform Movement.

Vivian Cahn

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Vivian Cahn on October 21, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Cahn tells her experiences of growing up in the South, moving to New Orleans, evacuating during Hurricane Katrina, and the challenges and recovery efforts faced by the Jewish community in rebuilding the city after the storm.

Gail Chalew

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Gail Chalew on August 15, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Chalew remembers Hurricane Katrina's impact, her evacuation to Baltimore with her son, and her dedication to rebuilding her community while reflecting on the changes in herself, the Jewish community, and New Orleans.

Pamela Cohen

Project
Women Who Dared

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Pamela Cohen on February 7, 2005, in Chicago, Illinois, as part of the Jewish Women’s Archive’s Women Who Dared project. Cohen discusses her family's immigration, her activism for Soviet Jewry, her career in advocacy, her reflections on Judaism, and her hopes for future generations in human rights work.

Edward Cohn

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Rabbi Edward Cohn on July 25, 2007, in New Orleans, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices project. Rabbi Cohn talks about his family background, his role at Temple Sinai in New Orleans, their preparation for Hurricane Katrina, community outreach efforts, and the collective trauma experienced by Southern communities.

Joel Colman

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Cantor Joel Colman on August 31, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina’s Jewish Voices project. Rabbi Colman discusses his background, relocation to New Orleans, evacuation during Hurricane Katrina, living in a FEMA trailer, the significant turnout for the first High Holiday celebration after the storm, fundraising efforts, reflections on the storm's impact, and his son's plan to become a firefighter in New Orleans.

Michael Ferrand

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Michael Ferrand on November 1, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina’s Jewish Voices Project. Ferrand shares his Jewish upbringing, experiences studying in Jerusalem, relocation to New Orleans, involvement in the local Jewish community, and his bike shop while attending Anshe Sfard synagogue.

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.

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.

Milton Grishman

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Milton Grishman on November 9, 2006, in Biloxi, Mississippi, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Girshman recounts his upbringing in Mississippi, his involvement in Jewish rituals and traditions, his experience during Hurricane Katrina, and the impact of the storm on the Jewish community, highlighting the resilience and support offered by faith groups in the aftermath.

Moody Grishman

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Moody Grishman in his home in Biloxi, Mississippi, on November 9, 2006, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Girshman traces his family history from his father's immigration to New Orleans, recalls his upbringing, experiences growing up in the South, and his involvement in the Jewish community, and shares his account of Hurricane Katrina and the rebuilding efforts of Congregation Beth Israel.

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.

Susan Hess

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Susan Hess on November 16, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Hess talks about her family background, experiences during Hurricane Betsy and Hurricane Katrina, her journey towards more observant Judaism, and her involvement in raising funds for the Louisiana SPCA and City Park after Katrina.

Les Hirsch

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Les Hirsch on November 13, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Hirsch reflects on growing up as a Jew in a Newark suburb, his role in medical administration, his experiences during Hurricane Katrina at Touro Infirmary, the subsequent evacuation and recovery efforts, and his determination to stay in New Orleans and contribute to the community's future.

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Project

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Oral History Collection." (Viewed on May 20, 2024) <http://jwa.org/oralhistories>.