Congregation Beth Israel in Houston hosted a meeting of the New Orleans Jewish community last night. About 200 attended the meeting, which was the first chance many of them had to reconnect with friends.

Barbara Raynor noted ironically that last night was supposed to have been the annual meeting for the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans. Rabbi Andrew Busch of Touro Synagogue gave an invocation, during which he noted that he was supposed to give the invocation at that meeting as well.

It is estimated that half of the New Orleans Jewish community is now in the Houston area. Currently, about 85 children from New Orleans are enrolled in Houston’s Jewish Day Schools.

The Federation is trying to build a database of the community and wants to hear from anyone from the New Orleans Jewish community who is now elsewhere. An updated list is at

Raynor added that the Federation “has accounted for the whereabouts of most of the Jewish New Orleanians they are aware of. I believe only about 4 to 6 more still need to be either located or evacuated from the area.”