Main Entrance, Brother Martin High, 1971

Main Entrance, Brother Martin High, 1971

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The main entrance at Brother Martin High School in 1971. BMHS Main Entrance From Yesterday 1972, this photo shows the main entrance to Brother Martin High School in its third year of existence. To the left is the oeriginal Cor Jesu building. To the right is the lobby and administration wing. The main entrance connected old and new. Over time,...
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Spring Week 1976 #BOSHSunday

Spring Week 1976 #BOSHSunday

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Spring Week mini-classes replaced third quarter exams in 1976. Spring Week Brother Gaspar Rodrigue, SC, conducting a "gourmet cooking" class for Spring Week at Brother Martin High School, 1976. Brother Gaspar lived across the street from the school, on Elysian Fields, at the corner of Sumpter Street. The BOSH owned the house. At the time, Brothers Gaspar and More Schaefer...
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Brother Leo Godin, SC #BOSHSunday

Brother Leo Godin, SC #BOSHSunday

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Brother Leo Godin in the "Bursar's Office," in the late 1970s. Brother Leo, SC Working the Brother Martin High School bookstore was Brother Leo Godin, SC's job in the late 1970s. Note the all-khaki uniform of the time. I can't identify the student in this photo. If you can, please drop me a line or mention it in comments! The...
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Norman Mayer Library @NOLALibrary

Norman Mayer Library @NOLALibrary

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The Norman Mayer Library branch of NOPL serves Gentilly. Norman Mayer Library Franck Studios photo (via HNOC) of the Norman Mayer Library. This branch of the New Orleans Public Library opened in 1949. The London Avenue Canal breach during the Federal Flood of 2005 forced NOPL to demolish this building. Gentilly's Library The Norman Mayer Library continues to serve the...
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Basketball Championships #BOSHSunday

Basketball Championships #BOSHSunday

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Brother Martin High School has a rich history of basketball championships. Basketball Championships Crusader forward Leroy Oliver (1975) goes up over Felton Young of Holy Cross in second-round district play, 1974. Center Rick Robey (1974) looks on, hoping he doesn't have to go for a rebound. (photo courtesy Brother Martin High School) I was reminded of the 1973-74 season yesterday...
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Hebrew Rest Cemetery Gentilly 1961

Hebrew Rest Cemetery Gentilly 1961

Hebrew Rest Cemetery, just off of Elysian Fields Avenue and Gentilly Boulevard.

hebrew rest cemetery

Hebrew Rest Cemetery

This aerial shot of Gentilly captures both sections of Hebrew Rest Cemetery. Latter and Blum commissioned this aerial set. The set documents the development of shopping centers running from Frenchmen Street to Elysian Fields Avenue in 1961. Hebrew Rest Cemetery predates those shopping centers by 100 years.

Jewish Cemeteries

Jewish congregations formed in New Orleans in the 1820s. By the 1840s, those congregations built cemeteries. They started at the end of Canal Street. As the city grew, more cemeteries were needed. Additionally, diseases like Yellow Fever struck New Orleans. In 1860, the city’s oldest congregation, Shangari Chasset, acquired land n Gentilly for a cemetery.

Cemetery Management

Reform Jews in New Orleans formed Congregation Temple Sinai in 1870. Shangari Chasset turned over all of their cemetery properties to Temple Sinai two years later.

The congregation re-organized the Gentilly cemetery in 1872. They formed a separate corporation, the Hebrew Rest Cemetery Association. This separated the cemetery from a single congregation. In 1892, the Association purchased the land in Gentilly. So, they built Hebrew Rest #2. They constructed a third expansion in 1935.

Above ground

Jewish tradition calls for in-ground burials. While we think of New Orleans cemeteries and their above-ground tombs, the city’s Jews weren’t the only ones who dug graves. So, a walk through St. Patrick Cemetery No 1, on Canal Street, reveals a number of in-ground graves. These graves are actually “copings.” Rather than simply a hole in the ground, a concrete frame surrounds a coping. Dirt fills the frame. So, the coping is an in-ground burial, but raised by a foot or two. This addresses concerns that the city’s high water table might push a coffin out of the ground.

Hebrew Rest sits on the Gentilly Ridge, one of the highest points in New Orleans.