Our Rich History

The Jewish Community Center’s long, rich history dates back to 1855 when the Young Men’s Hebrew and Literary Society was formed. In 1891, the Young Men’s Hebrew Association was organized by the members of the fashionable Harmony Club. A building was erected in 1895 on the corner of Clio Street and St. Charles Avenue and was used by all citizens of New Orleans for debates and musical activities. In 1939, a new building, to replace the original which was destroyed by fire, opened its doors on Clio Street as the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association. A second fire in 1947 destroyed that building. In 1948, the agency relocated in the Jewish Children’s Home at 5342 St. Charles Avenue and changed its name to the Jewish Community Center of New Orleans. The agency’s facility remained a part of the Jewish Children’s Home until 1966 when that building was replaced by the present facility. A $4 million renovation of the Uptown facility was completed in 1997. In 1986 a satellite facility was established in Metairie to better serve the membership. The Center continues to serve the Metairie members with the new state-of-the-art facility which opened January 2003 at 3747 W. Esplanade. The Jewish Community Center continues to serve the entire New Orleans community with quality programming in the areas of pre-school education, physical education, public affairs, political forums, lectures and especially Jewish education.