Hebrew schools in New Orleans see increased enrollment, defying national trend

Photo shows girls sitting at a table. They are holding pencils and pens and working on Hebrew notebooks.

Students work on reading Hebrew at the Adath Jeshurun synagogue in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Photo: Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images

While national Jewish organizations are concerned about a downward trend in Hebrew school enrollment, New Orleans institutions are growing.

Why it matters: The city's Jewish population is increasing, as is the national Jewish population. But the difference between here and elsewhere is that interest in Hebrew schools is up too, local officials tell Axios.

New Orleans finally completes post-Katrina school restoration project

Photo shows a dirty classroom with chairs knocked over and grime everywhere

Hurricane Katrina devastated public school buildings in New Orleans, including Stuart R. Bradley Elementary. The school has been fixed and is now Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary. Photo: Courtesy of NOLA Public Schools

Nearly 18 years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans officials are celebrating a long-awaited milestone:

  • All public school buildings in the city damaged or destroyed during the storm have been rebuilt or restored.

The big picture: The project, completed in March 2023 with the opening of the Dr. Alice Geoffray High School, was the largest school rebuilding program in the country’s history.

With 188 college acceptances, New Orleans student picks Cornell

International High School senior Dennis Maliq Barnes announced he'll attend Cornell University. Photo: Courtesy of International High School

Louisiana's most sought-after high school senior made his decision Friday on where he'll go to college.

Driving the news: International High School's Dennis Maliq Barnes is headed to Cornell University in New York. The 16-year-old student made his choice after receiving more than $10 million in scholarship offers and acceptances at 188 colleges.

Louisiana ranks last on U.S. News' Best States list

Illustration of a trophy that says "Womp womp."

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

U.S. News and World Report released its Best States rankings this week, putting Louisiana all the way at the bottom of its list.

Why it matters: Well, it certainly doesn’t look good. The magazine based its rankings on survey data across eight distinct categories, including subjects like health care, infrastructure, crime and education.

French immersion school for Indigenous students is a Louisiana first

Illustration of a fleur de lis in a speech bubble.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Louisiana’s first-ever French immersion school serving a primarily Indigenous population is due to open this fall, marking a major moment in the state’s complicated history with its French language history.

Why it matters: For decades, it was illegal to educate Louisiana students in French and culturally frowned upon to even speak it, but the effort to protect the state’s unique language heritage for Indigenous students is paying off.

New Orleans student scores $9M in scholarships from 180 colleges

International High School senior Dennis Maliq Barnes expects to make a decision about where he'll attend college by May 2. Photo: Courtesy of International High School

A New Orleans high school student set a new record by raking in $9 million in college scholarship offers among 180 college acceptance letters.

Why it matters: It's fun to see a local student do so well. And he's not done yet, with new offers continuing to arrive from the more than 200 schools where he applied.

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