The Schmooze

Historic Mississippi Synagogue Now a Museum

Crossposted from Samuel Gruber’s Jewish Art & Monuments

Twenty years ago I had the pleasure of visiting the small but lovely Temple B’nai Sholom in Brookhaven, Mississippi. Even then there were few Jews left in the town to use the synagogue, built in 1896. Still, it was well maintained, and could still serve the community on holidays. But even in 1991 it was clear something would have to be done to save this building and its history for another generation. I wrote about the building in June 2009, and shortly afterward the synagogue was deconsecrated.

With just two Jews in town, B’nai Sholom was too much to care for. But the tiny congregation had planned ahead and when the doors closed for worship it was announced that the building was being donated to the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society to be used as a county history museum, which would include a B’nai Sholom Jewish heritage exhibit, organized by the Institute of Southern Jewish Life. The new museum and exhibition opened March 11, 2011.

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Historic Mississippi Synagogue Now a Museum

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