Free program Thursday to present county’s Jewish history

Published 10:41 am Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Lincoln County and Brookhaven have benefited from a strong Jewish community from early on in their history. Who were these early settlers to the area?

That question and others will be answered Thursday, Oct. 27, at the Jimmy Furlow Center at a meeting of the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society starting at 6:30 p.m.

Nora Katz, Director of Heritage and Interpretation, for Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL), will be present to discuss the early Jewish pioneers in Lincoln County. The program is free of charge to the public.

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The first Jewish settlers in Lincoln County arrived 170 years ago. These European immigrants first traveled to the area in 1852 in search of places to trade and with intentions of opening mercantile businesses. Though the city of Brookhaven was not incorporated for another six years, the locals of the area welcomed these new arrivals and Jewish people have been part of the area ever since.

“We always welcome the public to bring memorabilia and stories to share during these meetings,” said LCHGS Board member Joe Brown. “Our main purpose is to preserve and inform the community of its history.”

There will be a short show-and-tell time after Katz’s presentation, which will include a slide show from the ISJL’s files. Members of the audience are encouraged to bring photos and memorabilia for viewing, as well.

Katz joined the ISJL in 2017 as director of Heritage and Interpretation. She interprets and shares the rich legacy of Jewish life in the South through public history programs, trips and tours, historic preservation, and other methods.

“We invite everyone to visit our museum in the former Temple B’Nai Shalom, which was built in 1896 by the local Jewish community. We preserve a portion of the original temple for visitors to learn about Jewish life in Lincoln County,” said Brown.

The Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society Museum, located at 227 South Church St., is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on the first Saturday of each month.

The non-profit society will accept new and renewed memberships at $25 per person, or $40 per couple.  LCHGS 2022 Christmas ornaments and the society’s first-ever Historic Calendar will be available to purchase.

Membership payments can be mailed to LCHGS, P.O. Box 150, Brookhaven, MS 39602.