Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Jewish Children's Home of New Orleans

« Back to Projects Dashboard

view all

Profiles

  • Sarah Brill (1859 - 1941)
  • Marx Goldstein (1857 - 1927)
  • Nathan Goldstein (1849 - 1937)
    Ship records show that Nathan arrived in New Orleans on October 18, 1858, on the ship Ariel from Liverpool, England, with his parents, Ezekiel and Rebecca Goldstein (Rebecca is not how we know her, but...
  • Baroness Clara (Claire) von Hirsch (1833 - 1899)
    another possible birth year is 18321913--1996- The Eger Family Association- pg.2 From The American Jewess, The late Baroness Clara de Hirsch Volume 9, Issue 4, May, 1899, pp. 12-16===The Funeral===On M...

The Jewish Widows and Orphans Home, later the Jewish Orphans and now Jewish Regional Services, was founded in 1856. Please add Geni profiles of anyone associated with the organization, the building, the residents, and the philanthropy to this project.

notables

history

From Jewish Children's Home MEDIA NOLA: A Project of Tulane University. Partnership with Music Rising and New Orleans Historical. Private Association House.

Jewish Children's Home

Originally named the Jewish Orphan’s Home, this former institution existed in New Orleans, Louisiana from 1855-1946. Founded as part of the Hebrew Benevolent Society, the home occupied two locations over its lifespan. The original location was somewhere on Chippewah Street, and the second and last location was at 5342 St. Charles Avenue. The home was created out of necessity after a series of yellow fever epidemics that swept through New Orleans in the 1840s and 1850s left many children alone and destitute. [1]

Why the Home was Needed

In the 1840’s and 1850’s a series of yellow fever epidemics beset the New Orleans population. The Louisiana State Board of Health reported on a large group of “Yellow Jack” epidemics in the September 15, 1897 issue of The Daily Picayune. Encompassing 32 years, from 1847-1878, the report listed the total number of yellow fever related deaths in the New Orleans area by month and by year. These numbers are ghastly as evidenced by the 1853 total of 7,849 yellow fever deaths. [2] Even more shocking is that this first decade (1847-1856) of recorded deaths totaled at 17,444. [3] With these figures in mind, it is not hard to see how during this time period an institution like the Jewish Children’s Home would have been needed. Suffice to say though, New Orleans city residents, and not just the Jewish ones, all needed some kind of help.

Who the Home Served

The Hebrew Benevolent Society, a charitable group founded in 1844, sought as its mission to provide medical attention to all those in urgent need, and prior to 1855 it was their responsibility to care for the orphaned and the destitute. [4] Unfortunately, the great upswing in the death toll created a situation where there were too many outstretched hands and not enough people to serve them all. As a result, they could no longer provide adequate care and so the society organized the home.

As the name suggests, the Jewish Children’s Home provided destitute Jewish children of the New Orleans area with a place to live and socialize. What the name leaves out is that for at least a while, the home also catered to destitute Jewish widows as well. There were so many of each (widows and orphans) that in 1880 the governing board of the home changed its name to The Association for the Relief of Jewish Widows & Orphans. [5]

The original location on Chippewah Street is said to have been able to house and accommodate around 150 inmates, but as the epidemics grew worse, the need for a new and larger home became apparent. This is why in 1887 the home moved into a new building located at 5342 St. Charles Avenue (Located where the present day Uptown Jewish Community Center now stands). [6] [7]

The Beginning of the End

Just a few years prior to moving into their new facility, the board of directors made an agreement with the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith (I.O.B.B.), District #7, to take in Jewish children from the entire District #7 region. This meant taking in orphans and widows from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The conditions of this 1875 agreement required that the I.O.B.B. must give financial support to the home on a per capita membership basis. [8] I.O.B.B. #7 remained an integral partner and supporter of the home until it closed in 1946.

When the home moved to their new facility in 1887, many things changed. The home, now taking care of children from all around the region, suddenly began enjoying a new level of notoriety. A local weekly periodical called The Jewish Ledger maintained a section devoted entirely to the home. The section was aptly titled “Our Home.” This sometimes brief column, chronicled the latest news from the home, be it a recap of the annual anniversary event, a list of the newly elected board members, or a list of donations made, “Our Home” is in every issue (The Jewish Ledger was in production till 1963, therefore, this does not include issues past 1946.). Of the home’s biggest donors there are two major players. The first being Founder Isidore Newman, who in 1902 gave vast monies for the establishment of a manual training school, whereby the children in the home could receive a satisfactory education free of charge. [9] Still in existence today, the Isidore Newman School is now known as one of the premier private schools of the south. The second big-name donor was the widow of Baron Maurice de Hirsch, Baroness Clara de Hirsch. Continuing the philanthropic ideals of her husband, the Baroness made at least two large donations to the “Jewish Children’s Home, totaling around $3,500.00. [10] [11]

Changing Names of the Home

  • 1. Jewish Orphan’s Home (March 14, 1855-April 6, 1880)
  • 2. The Association for the Relief of Jewish Widows & Orphans (April 6, 1880-February 28, 1905)
  • 3. The Association for the Relief of Jewish Widows & Orphans of New Orleans (February 28, 1905-February 4, 1924)
  • 4. Jewish Children’s Home (February 4, 1924-November 1, 1946)

Works Cited

  1. Jewish Children’s Home Collection, Manuscripts Collection 180, Manuscripts Department, Tulane University.
  2. “Past Epidemics”. The Daily Picayune, Wednesday, September 15, 1897; pg. 9; Issue 234; col C.
  3. “Past Epidemics”. The Daily Picayune, Wednesday, September 15, 1897; pg. 9; Issue 234; col C.
  4. Jewish Children’s Home Collection, Manuscripts Collection 180, Manuscripts Department, Tulane University.
  5. Magner, Joseph. 1905. The Story of the Jewish Orphans Home of New Orleans. New Orleans, LA: J.G. Hauser.
  6. Myers, W.E. 1904. The Israelites of Louisiana. New Orleans, LA: W.E. Myers.
  7. Jewish Children’s Home Collection, Manuscripts Collection 180, Manuscripts Department, Tulane University.
  8. Jewish Children’s Home Collection, Manuscripts Collection 180, Manuscripts Department, Tulane University.
  9. Konigsmark, Anne Rochell. 2004. Isidore Newman School: One Hundred Years. “Isidore Newman and the Founding of the Isidore Newman Manual Training School”. New Orleans, LA: Isidore Newman School. Retrieved online April 18, 2009 (http://www.newmanschool.org/about/history/default.asp?full=1).
  10. 1896. “Local Notes”. The Jewish Ledger: a weekly journal for Jewish families, October 23, pp. 9.
  11. 1897. “A $2,500 Donation”. The Jewish Ledger: a weekly journal for Jewish families, April 23, pp. 9.
  12. Jewish Children’s Home Collection, Manuscripts Collection 180, Manuscripts Department, Tulane University.

resources