Community leader Margot Garon is dead at 91

MARGOT STRAUSS GARON, a leader of the New Orleans Jewish community, died on April 13, 2018, two weeks after her 91st birthday.  


A tireless worker and Jewish community volunteer, she held numerous local, regional and national positions of leadership in a number of organizations.  She served as a national board member for the Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL), the National Council of Jewish Women serving as the president of the Greater New Orleans Section, and the Women’s Division for the Council of Jewish Federations.  

Locally she served on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, Jewish Family Service, the Jewish Community Center, Jewish Endowment Foundation, Woldenberg Living Center and was very involved with her congregation, Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation.  She was the chair of Federation’s 1967 annual campaign.

She was born in Kirschheimbolanden, Germany and, along with her parents and brother, was brought to the United States at age 10 by her uncle. She was raised in Monroe, La., before attending LSU in Baton Rouge, where she met her future husband.

She was a resident of New Orleans since 1948, where she moved with her attorney husband and community leader Herbert J. Garon. The couple were married for 39 years.  

In 1961, she and her husband participated in a mission to Israel – the first of many missions to Israel that she participated in and later led.  When her children were fully grown she worked professionally at the Federation where she performed many roles culminating in her being assistant director and in charge of the annual fundraising campaign as well as the missions to Israel. Margot was one of the first women in New Orleans to step forward to endow her Lion of Judah annual Federation gift and served as its chair for over ten years.

Predeceased by her husband, she is survived by her daughter Kathy Bauman (David) of Little Rock, Arkansas, her son Kenny Garon (Bruria) of Kibbutz Revadim, Israel and her son R. Justin “Bobby” Garon (Robin Levy), seven grandchildren and one great-grandson. She also leaves behind her longtime companion Rene Lehmann.

Family and friends are invited to attend the funeral celebrating her long and distinguished life. Visitation will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, April 16, 2018 at Shir Chadash, 3737 W. Esplanade Ave. in Metairie followed by a service at 1:00 p.m.  Rabbi Alan Lehmann will officiate.

Burial will be at Jefferson Memorial Gardens at 11316 River Rd in St. Rose, LA for those who wish to join the family.

For those unable to attend the service, it will be streamed live to the Shir Chadash Facebook page. A recording will be available for download for those who wish to view it later.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans at 3747 W. Esplanade Av., Metairie, LA 70002;  Shir Chadash or a charity of your choice. Arrangements by Tharp-Sontheimer-Tharp Funeral Home of Metairie. Condolences may be expressed online.

Another shiva minyan will be held tonight, April 17, at the Uptown home of Bobby Garon and Robin Levy, led by Rabbi Deborah Silver at 6:30 p.m.

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