Louis (Yarutzky) Yarrut
Looking back on his life, Judge Louis H. Yarrut considered his and his sister Pauline’s admission to the Home in 1896 something of “an inherited right” because their father, Abraham Yarutzky, also had lived in the orphanage before them, from 1877 to 1882.
After leaving the Home at age 15, Abraham worked a series of jobs, including as a clerk in H. Kahnweiler’s Gainestown, Alabama country store and then with S. Richard & Sons wholesale grocers in Mobile. By 1890, he returned to New Orleans where he became a bookkeeper for Leonard Krower & Co. jeweler. When he married Tillie Loeb the following year, Abraham had already helped establish the Home’s alumni association and, as its founding president, called on his fellow former wards to repay “their inestimable obligation” to their alma mater for equipping them “to go out into the great world as architects of our own fortunes.”
Louis Yarutzky in 1916 when he graduated from Isidore Newman Manual Training School. Photo courtesy of Isidore Newman School.
In 1896, two years after the birth of their second child, Tillie died. Abraham admitted three-year-old Pauline and two-year-old Louis to the Home, knowing from his own experience his children would receive the care he alone could not provide. The Home did not disappoint, continuing to care for the youngsters after Abraham died of appendicitis in 1899.
Pauline and Louis lived in the Home for 13 years before they were discharged to an uncle in New Orleans. The Home permitted Louis to finish his education at the Isidore Newman Manual Training School, from which he graduated in 1913. He later attended Tulane’s law school and, known as Louis H. Yarrut, began his law practice. He also married fellow Home alumna Eva Levenberg and began to repay the orphanage by becoming president of the alumni association and the first alumnus president of the Home’s board. He won election in 1948 to Orleans Parish Civil District Court and a dozen years later to Louisiana’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal.
Louis Yarrut, as pictured in Tulane’s 1916 Jambalaya, graduated that year from the university’s law school.
Judge Louis Yarrut, shown here in 1955, served twelve years on the city’s district court before winning election to the state court of appeal.
Although Abraham and Louis are the only parent-and-child alumni duo who held elected offices for the institution, the Home’s history abounds with multi-generational alumni connections. Indeed, in 1921, after the death of her husband, Max Slobotzky, Pauline admitted her daughter into the Home, marking three generations of Home alumni in one family.
In 1964, the Jewish Community Center demolished the Home’s former building to erect a new center, but preserved the Home’s 1886 cornerstone. Judge Louis Yarrut, at left, is shown holding the lead “time capsule” that was discovered in the cornerstone. He is pictured with JCC vice-president Margery Katz Stich, Home alumni association vice-president Jean Segal Avegno, and JCC president Richard Wise. Photo courtesy of JCC.