Weekly Update • Thursday, December 17
Are you enjoying the ISJL Virtual Vacation? 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 episodes you'd like to see in the future!
Session 10: Holiday Shopping in the Jewish South
Tuesday, December 22, at 11am Central
Join the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) on Tuesday, December 22, for a visit to the Jewish South's family-owned businesses. Many people in small southern towns are familiar with Jewish names on storefronts—it was fairly common for Jews to work in dry goods and retail, and for downtown streets to be lined with Jewish-owned shops. In this episode, we'll meet Jewish people who grew up in (or currently run) small businesses in the South. We'll hear their stories—and their memories of the Christmas season at Jewish-run businesses.

Expect personal reflections, nostalgia, and insights into an important slice of southern Jewish history!

Goldberg's Shoe Store in Greenwood, Mississippi. Photo courtesy of Gail Goldberg.
Past Program: Jewish Cemeteries
Last month, we traveled to Jewish cemeteries across the South and heard from experts about what makes these historic places special. Rabbi Caroline Sim, ISJL Director of Rabbinical Services, told us about what makes Jewish burial unique. ISJL Director of History Dr. Josh Parshall told us about his research on the Arbeter Ring (Workmen's Circle) at Greenwood Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia. Marcy Breffle of Historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta told us about her work interpreting the city's history through its burials. Juliette Hotard, a cemetery restoration professional at Save Our Cemeteries, introduced us to her work preserving and restoring tombs in New Orleans' historic cemeteries.

If you missed the session, it's available any time on our website.
Southern Jewish Historical Society members at Natchez City Cemetery.
Go Deeper
One of the most well-known books about the experience of southern Jewish small business owners is Stella Suberman's memoir The Jew Store. If you are interested in reading more about the economic history of the Jewish South, the Southern Jewish Historical Society's bibliography is a terrific place to start.

If our upcoming episode has you inspired to support small businesses and shop local this holiday season (and all year round!), it's easy to find myriad options. A quick search for "small businesses to support in 2020" yields lots of incredible entrepreneurs. Check out lists from Vogue, the Strategist, Forbes, and many others. Need even more? The Strategist has a list of 180 Black-owned businesses that should be on your radar.

This was a challenging and exciting year to bring you nuanced, diverse, and engaging stories of the Jewish South. If the ISJL Virtual Vacation was meaningful or educational for you in 2020, consider making a year-end gift to the ISJL. Your support makes this program possible.

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!