Weekly Update • Thursday, October 22
Are you enjoying the ISJL Virtual Vacation so far? We want to hear from you as we plan for the future of the program. Reply to this email with questions, comments, feedback, and ideas for sessions you'd like to see in the future!
Session 8: Virtual Bus Ride
Tuesday, October 27, at 11am Central
Join the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) on Tuesday, October 27, for an interactive reflection session. The ISJL Virtual Vacation civil rights series is coming to an end, and there’s so much to unpack and consider as we move forward. How do the stories of the Selma to Montgomery March and Freedom Summer intersect? What do we know about how rabbis and other clergy played a role in the Movement? How do we commemorate this history in the present? We're re-creating the experience of spending time together on the bus between tour destinations, chatting about what we've learned.

ISJL Director of Heritage and Interpretation Nora Katz and ISJL Director of History Dr. Josh Parshall will lead this conversational, interactive session where we’ll connect some of these threads, reflect on what we’ve learned so far, and talk about what’s next for the Virtual Vacation. If you have questions you’d like us to answer, thoughts to share, or ideas for what you’d like to see in future Virtual Vacation sessions, please email us at heritage@isjl.org

Southern Jewish Heritage Tour participants enjoying dinner together in Memphis.
Past Program: The Movement in Mississippi
This week we learned about key moments in the history of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and met Dr. Robby Luckett, Assistant Professor of History and Director of the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University, and John Spann, Curator of Education and Programming at the Two Mississippi Museums.

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

We covered a lot of ground in this session, and there's definitely more to learn. If you want to read more about Mississippi history and culture, the Mississippi Encyclopedia (available free online in its entirety), is an excellent first step.
Fannie Lou Hamer sitting on her porch, circa 1960s.
Will D. Campbell Papers, University of Southern Mississippi.
Go Deeper
Reflection and road trips go hand-in-hand with music. Listen to music while you take a walk in your neighborhood, cook a delicious meal, or just catch up on work—and make it southern and Jewish! The ISJL's Spotify playlists are here for you. We're particularly excited about Jews Out West, Appalachian Jews, and Broadway Goes South.

This week we talked about some key Jewish activists in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, including Rabbi Perry Nussbaum, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. But Rabbi Charles Mantinband of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, also did important work for Civil Rights. A section of his journal was published in 1967. It provides insights into his experiences navigating the attitudes of his congregation and the Hattiesburg community as well as his motivations for working for racial justice.

The ISJL's Virtual Road Trip Through the Jewish South is an interactive collection of online resources from the South's vibrant museums, historic sites, and cultural institutions—and it's accessible from anywhere. It's also an excellent companion to the ISJL Virtual Vacation. See something in the Virtual Road Trip that you're curious about? Email us and we'll include it in a future ISJL Virtual Vacation session!

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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.
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!