Shalom Y’All: The Valley’s Jewish Heritage

February 20, 2014 - July 13, 2014
History Gallery

  • Prayer Shawl
    Prayer shawl used in Columbus
    Gift of Mrs. Theodore Arenowitch

  • Lazarus & Sara Straus
    ca. 1856
    Lazarus and Sara Straus in Talbotton
    Courtesy of the Straus Historical Society

  • Aron Kodesh
    Miniature Aron Kodesh, or Holy Ark, used as teaching tool for Jewish children in LaGrange, ca. 1940
    Courtesy of the Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History of the Breman Museum

  • Handmade Beaded Child's Slipper
    Handmade beaded child’s slipper used as a key holder at the Louis Coolik home in Poland and brought with the family to Talbotton in 1913
    Courtesy of the Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History of the Breman Museum

View our Gallery Guide online.

European Jewish settlers first came to the Chattahoochee Valley in the 1830s and continued to arrive through the 1940s. These immigrants established stores and traveling businesses, conducted religious services in homes and synagogues, and became integrated into their small Southern communities while maintaining distinctive cultural traditions. This exhibition focuses on Jewish life in Columbus and surrounding communities, including LaGrange and Talbotton, Georgia; Eufaula, Alabama; and West Point, Georgia/Valley, Alabama. Migration, businesses, religious and cultural institutions, and the growth, decline, and perseverance of Jewish communities in the region over time are spotlighted, all with an eye on how these local stories exemplify broader trends in Southern Jewish life.

The exhibition will feature a number of historic images and three-dimensional artifacts, drawing from a wide range of public and private collections, including the William Breman Museum in Atlanta, the Cobb Memorial Archives in Valley, and the Straus Historical Society in New York. These are supplemented by items from private collectors and Jewish organizations in Columbus, Talbotton, Eufaula, and other communities.

This exhibition is made possible by the generous funding from the Jewish Federation of Columbus, the Jewish Ladies Aid Society of Temple Israel, Shearith Israel Synagogue, the Southern Jewish Historical Society, and several friends from the Columbus Jewish Community.



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