Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community
The Southern Jewish Experience: Explore its Rich History as Shavuot Begins on May 25
In celebration of Shavuot, Kol Ami will be holding a tikkun/study session on Zoom on the first night of the holiday, Thursday May 25, starting at 8 pm. With us will be Lizzi Meister, Public Programs Manager of the Museum of the Southern Experience in New Orleans. Lizzi will be our tour guide through this fascinating and complex piece of American Jewish history. Following the online tour and discussion, Mindi Weisenbloom will reflect on her participation in the Southern history pilgrimage to Atlanta, Selma, and Montgomery undertaken by Reconstructing Judaism in March. We’ll make kiddush together and bring in this quiet holiday of revelation, blintzes, and learning.
Did you know? Southern Jews make up fewer than 1% of southern states’ population, but they’ve made an outsize mark on their communities and our nation. From cheering for the local high school football team (even when “Friday Night Lights” has a very different connotation), to keeping your store open on Saturday (because that’s when everyone comes into town to shop), Jews in the Bible Belt have faced unique challenges since they arrived as immigrant peddlers, struggling to keep kosher in the land of pork. How did they handle the controversies of racial relations, anti-Semitism, and class differences? We’ll touch on these and other issues as we follow southern Jews’ rise to prominence in their communities.