Weekly Update • Thursday, September 10
Session 4: Southern Jews and Civil Rights
Tuesday, September 15, at 11am Central
Join the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) on Tuesday, September 15, for an exploration of the history of southern Jews and Civil Rights. Social justice is an important part of Judaism, but the intersection between Jewish activism and the fight for Black Civil Rights hasn't always been as clear-cut as we might think. Dr. Josh Parshall, ISJL Director of History, returns to the ISJL Virtual Vacation to talk to us about themes of empathy and complicity in southern Jews' responses to and involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.

As we enter the High Holiday season and reflect on the persistent injustices and fights for equity in our society, it's the perfect time to gain a nuanced, comprehensive understanding of the Civil Rights Movement. The next few ISJL Virtual Vacation sessions will focus on Civil Rights in the Jewish South!

Mississippi Freedom Summer, 1964
Photo courtesy of the Ted Polumbaum Photograph Collection at the Newseum in Washington, DC.
Past Program: Summer (Camp) Magic
Nora Katz, ISJL Director of Heritage and Interpretation, brought us back to summer camp.

If you missed the session, it's available any time on our website.

We learned about the Progressive Era, the attitudes and core beliefs that grounded the early years of American organized camping, and the ways that Jewish summer camps grew and changed during the first half of the twentieth century.

We also met Anna Herman, Director of URJ Jacobs Camp in Utica, Mississippi, and heard from ISJL staff members who attended Jewish summer camp.
Image caption: The dining hall at URJ Jacobs Camp in Utica, Mississippi, in 1975.
Go Deeper
Each week, this space will include opportunities to engage with southern Jewish history and the topics we've covered in the week's session. Have suggestions for the kinds of information you'd like to receive in this email? Have more questions about one of our live streams? Email us at heritage@isjl.org.
Listen
Can't get enough of summer camp stories? The podcast Campfires and Color Wars features stories from "everyone who physically left camp years ago but emotionally is still sticking their tongue in a battery-operated fan to see what happens." Hosted by friend of the ISJL Micah Hart, this show is a delightful celebration of summer camp nostalgia.

Read
We had so many great questions and reflections about summer camp this week, so we thought we would share some of the resources that shaped our past session. Check out Marcie Cohen Ferris's "Southern Jewish Summer Camp," Dan Nosowitz's "The Evolving Ideologies of American Jewish Summer Camp," and A Place of Our Own: The Rise of Reform Jewish Camping, edited by Michael M. Lorge and Gary P. Zola.

Do
We're going to spend the next few weeks learning about the Civil Rights Movement—you'll hear some names you might recognize and learn about institutions and organizations that shaped the Movement. One of these organizations was the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Check out the SNCC Digital Gateway's articles about individuals in the Movement, and find a story that speaks to you. Share it with someone in your life who reminds you of that veteran of the Movement—maybe they're the same age, come from the same place, or share a passion for the same issues. Appreciating the voices of the Civil Rights Movement has never been more relevant.

Bonus
Forward this email to someone who you think would love the ISJL Virtual Vacation—we appreciate your help spreading the word about this program!
To support this program and others like it, please consider donating to the ISJL.
Welcome to the ISJL Virtual Vacation!
We're excited to introduce you to the South’s vibrant cultural heritage, the big themes of southern Jewish history, the folks working to advance social justice in the South, and our region’s natural beauty, music, and food. There’s so much to explore—join us for a summer vacation from the comfort of your home!

Weekly digital events—live on the ISJL Facebook page and available any time on the ISJL Virtual Vacation website—feature museums, historic sites, scholars, chefs, and more from across the region.

Sign up now to join the journey. We're excited to travel with you, wherever you are.
Start your virtual southern Jewish journey with ISJL resources designed to provide engaging windows into the history of the Jewish South.
The ISJL's Virtual Road Trip Through the Jewish South is an interactive collection of online resources accessible from anywhere. Check it out and get inspired before you begin the Virtual Vacation!
We'll travel again soon! When it's safe to hit the road, the ISJL can build a variety of trips through different southern states, emphasizing southern Jewish life, Civil Rights history, and southern culture. It's never too early to start planning your group's next adventure!