Biographies

Ruth Dreyfous (1901 -- 1998): Born to a family of public-minded Jewish New Orleanians, Ruth Dreyfous' life was dedicated to improving the community in which she lived. She was one of the founding members of the ACLU of Louisiana and a founder of the New Orleans League of Women Voters. A distinguished volunteer, she taught in Plaquemines Parish schools when segregationists threatened to close them. She was also a patron of education and a woman deeply involved in the welfare and education of New Orleans, initiating the first remedial reading program at Isidore Newman school and serving on many city welfare boards, all while travelling extensively throughout the world. As she said of her own life, "[It] has been rich and full and worthwhile, but above all, it's been very interesting."

Rosalie Cohen (1910 -- ): Like her friend Ruth Dreyfous, Rosalie Cohen was deeply involved in her community. Her experience, coming from an Orthodox Jewish background, was somewhat different but no less rewarding or active. Rosalie Cohen was the only woman to serve as president in the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans in the early 1960s, helped create the National Foundation for Jewish Culture in 1969, was the first chairman for Israel Bonds, and helped start Hillel Foundation at Tulane. As part of her work with Israel Bonds, she brought Eleanor Roosevelet to New Orleans to speak at the group's inaugural dinner. She was president of the Isidore Newman School PTA, and a board member for many civic groups. She says of her life, "Honors... are wonderful experiences. But they pass. The important thing is the work, that it lives on and grows."

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