Institute of Southern Jewish Life

Rating: 4.95 stars   21 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: PO Box 16528 Jackson MS 39236 USA

Mission: The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) is dedicated to providing educational and rabbinic services to Southern Jewish communities, documenting and preserving the rich history of the Southern Jewish experience, and promoting a Jewish cultural presence throughout a thirteen state region.
Geographic areas served: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia

2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 64-0762027
(601) 362-6357
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Wonderful job of preserving history and also teaching about Judaism thoughtout the south.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have researched southern Jewish life through their website and shared the information with others. http://www.msje.org/

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not enough knowledge

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I grew up in Miami (not the South but a suburb of NY or Havana) but because of my involvement in a high school youth group befriended many Jews in the South. I think what they have done to preserve the history of the Jewish South as well as to educate those in the South is fabulous.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

reading and learning about the Jews of the South.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

really make a difference in the South.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

We live in an area with few other Jewish families. We are able to attend services once a month in borrowed space at a Presbyterian church. The Taste of Torah from the ISJLl provides us with a weekly d'var torah (sermon) Their dynamic rabbi attended our Seder and and plans to return next Passover. ISJL provides a comprehensive K-12 Sunday school curriculum so that every Jewish child can recieve a quality religious education. Although there are no children in the Shalom b'Harim congregation right now, as our group grows we will make good use of that curriculum. The ISJL education fellows travel throughout a 13 state area working with congregations and their educators. This is an invaluable program for small congregations that are struggling to survive.






I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Our oldest daughter grew up as the only Jewish child in her school. It was an enormous struggle to provide her with a religious education. In college, she connected with the campus Hillel and made her Birthright trip to Israel. After graduate school, she accepted an appointment to a two year fellowship at the ISJL. She now travels, serving congregations much like the one she grew up in.Through her, I've seen the hard work and immense dedication of the education fellows and the entire ISJL staff.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

These services are needed nationwide- it's not just in the south that congregations are struggling to survive.

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Personal Bible study is invaluable to me. For several years I have printed the Taste of Torah lessons to read and reread, finding the portions by the Director to be masterfully taught, insightful, humorous, and at times, even personally moving. I became acquainted with ISJL through my high school best friend, now the Rabbi's secretary. The benefit of my involvement is in knowing that more Jewish children and young adults in small communities in the South will have their very rich and most unique heritage among the world's cultures opened up to them, and nurtured, and that it will change their lives forever.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly, caring, personally available and especially qualified in their department at the Institute.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

As a member of a small synagogue in a small city, I deeply value the services and information which we can get through the ISJL. Since I teach in our parent-run religious school, the curriculum and instructional assistance from the Education program has been sanity-saving. It works so much better than each person selecting his/her own books each year and stumbling through based on their limited knowledge. And the Taste of Torah emails are great too!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

learning about the range of Jewish communities in the South and learning more about Judaism as a whole. Also, I love seeing my kids learn more through the curriculum and visits.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I am a member of ISJL Board. The leadership is outstanding and the staff, without exception, is talented, efficient, and gracious. The Education program is, in my opinion, the most important of the various programs in which ISJL engages. It is of invaluable help to the Jews in the smaller communities of the region served by ISJL but also of major help to the larger communities. The head of this program is one of the most capable young ladies I have met and her staff reflects her leadership. I also think that the Jewish History program has outstanding and devoted personnel. In fact all of the various ISJL programs are staffed by energetic, sincere, capable people and contribute to the Jewish experience of the region.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Interacting with the gracious, talented staff, from the CEO on down, and with the friendly and capable Board members.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I enjoy receiving the weekly Taste of Torah and always find it well written and insightful. I am trying to review and renew and this venue is extremely helpful. I always try and pass it on to others

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

... reach so many more people

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

As a former director of our religious school my experience and the experience of our school children has been outstanding. The curriculum is very helpful and the visits from our fellow are always something that everyone looks forward too. I also enjoy receiving "Taste of Torah" in my inbox each week.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

our fellow, Janine!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Since my daughter began her 2 year fellowship with the ISJL, I've naturally become interested in the organization and it's mission. I look forward to the weekly Taste of Torah d'var Torah, especially since our congregation, like many served by the ISJL, meets only once a month. I'm thrilled at the opportunities that are opening up for my daughter as a result of her ISJL work and it's wonderful to see her grow and mature in her faith and traditions. This is such great group of people doing important work with humor, grace and devotion...the Glazer family loves the ISJL!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

through the eyes of my daughter who is an ISJL fellow. She's having such wonderful experiences and meeting great people- this is an experience that will effect her for years to come

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

see above:)

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Gracious and friendly- both the people we've met on our visit to the ISJL office and the fellows who are our daughter's friends.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

My husband and I attended the fly-in which was attended by representatives of many southern synagogues, to learn more about putting on Jewish Film festivals in our communties. The ISJL staff were so well organized and hospitable to us and it was a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow Jews from across the south! The religious school curriculum has been a huge help for our children and young people. We always enjoy it so much when the ISJL fellows come and lead services too. I also eagerly await my devar Torah - "Taste of Torah" wrtten by ISJL's rabbi and emailed to me each week. Thank you ISJL for all you do! Suzanne and Jim Geiger, dothan, alabama

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Participating in worship services with fellows from the ISJL

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the fly-In for Jewish Film Festival

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

a broad cross section- wonderful, talented, creative, intelligent people

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help subnsidize film festivals for smaller communities that can't come up with the funds

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

having a very positive effect on our sunday school. provides curricula that are consistent year to year.great holiday programs provides opportunities for entire community to participate

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach more congregations and strengthen Jewish education where it is most needed

Ways to make it better...

not much needs to change

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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