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
Programs: Rabbinic & educational services - the rabbinic services department leads services, teaches classes and provides a rabbinic presence in southern congregations that cannot afford a full-time rabbi of their own. The education department supports congregational religious schools large and small. All partnering schools utilize the isjl's comprehensive, trans-denominational religious school curriculum designed to promote a common body of jewish knowledge delivered by itinerant educators.
history/oral history - the history department delivers lectures, maintains archives and is currently building a web-based archive with a history of every southern jewish community. To ensure that the rich history of the southern jewish experience is captured, oral histories as well as research are placed in a digital archive online and artifacts are preserved through the museum of the southern jewish experience. Curatorial-through the museum of southern jewish experience, isjl seeks to preserve, interpret, and document the long and rich tradition of jewish life in the south.
department of community engagement - enhancement of adult education, outreach opportunities, entertainment, fundraising & family programing in the region served by isjl.
cultural & arts programming-the cultural & arts programmming department is responsible for isjl's marketing and delivers a variety of performances , film, lectures and special events to communities large and small.
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.