Shalom Y’All: The Valley’s Jewish Heritage
February 20, 2014 - July 13, 2014
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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.