Weekly Update • Thursday, September 17
The ISJL Virtual Vacation is taking a two-week hiatus in observance of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We will be back with our next session on Tuesday, October 6. If you'd like to attend ISJL High Holiday streaming services, visit our High Holidays Helper website.
Session 5: Visit Selma, Alabama
Tuesday, October 6, at 11am Central
Join the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) on Tuesday, October 6, for a visit to Selma, Alabama. Selma is a place of contradictions and complexities—it's the site of one of the most important moments in Civil Rights history, but it is also deeply connected to white supremacy. Nora Katz, ISJL Director of Heritage and Interpretation, will bring our virtual tour group to Selma to learn about the struggle for voting rights, the ongoing legacy of white supremacy, and the fight to preserve and interpret Selma's Jewish history.

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!

Southern Jewish Heritage Tour participants on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.
Photo by Barbara Balkin.
Past Program: Southern Jews and Civil Rights
Dr. Josh Parshall, ISJL Director of History, returned 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.

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

We learned about the rise of Jim Crow, Jewish involvement in school desegregation, national Jewish organizations' political stances during the "classical era" of the Civil Rights Movement, the bombings of Jewish institutions during the 1950s and 1960s, and the spectrum of attitudes adopted by southern Jews during this period—some were ardent segregationists, and others espoused progressive values.

We will continue learning about this period in history and unpacking its complicated legacy during our next few ISJL Virtual Vacation sessions.
Mississippi Freedom Summer, 1964
Photo courtesy of the Ted Polumbaum Photograph Collection at the Newseum in Washington, DC.
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.
Watch and Listen
On October 6th, we're visiting Selma! Get into the spirit of the session and meet some of the key players in the Selma to Montgomery March with a screening of Ava DuVernay's film Selma. Get inspired for the work that's to come with Common and John Legend's song "Glory" from the movie. Their performance of the song at the Oscars in 2015 is particularly moving.

Want to learn more about the history of southern Jews and civil rights? Key texts include Clive Webb's Fight Against Fear, P. Allen Krause's To Stand Aside or Stand Alone, and Eric Goldstein's The Price of Whiteness. In our session this week, we talked about the pamphlet "A Jewish View on Segregation," a virulently racist document published in the 1960s by the White Citizens' Council of Mississippi. It's available through the University of Mississippi's Citizens' Council Collection.

The story of Selma, Alabama, is the story of the ongoing struggle for voting rights in the United States. With an election around the corner, it's important to make sure that everyone in your life is registered to vote. Many states' voter registration and mail-in ballot deadlines are fast approaching! Visit the website of the National Association of Secretaries of State to check your voter registration and contact your local board of elections.

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!