15 June 2009

Mississippi: Preserve a congregation, house a society

A Brookhaven, Mississippi historic synagogue may be the new home for the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society and guarantee Temple B'nai Shalom's preservation, according to this Daily Leader story.

Hal Samuels, facilitator of B'nai Shalom, said letters are being sent across the country to descendants of the former congregation asking permission to donate the structure to the historical society. It would be donated with the understanding that it would be used as a permanent museum for the historical society and as a Jewish heritage museum. ...

He said the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life - a Jackson based non-profit group that provides Jewish services throughout the South - is assisting with the letters, the temple's donation and any facets of setting up the museum. If the past congregation approves of the temple's donation, Samuels said the institute would send a rabbi to Brookhaven to deconsecrate the building, after which the temple would no longer be considered an operational Jewish temple.
If the historical history gets the building, it would have a museum to display a growing collection of artifacts on the county's history and growth; it would not be only a Jewish museum.

Samuel's family has been in the area for six generations. His family has maintained the building since Hurricane Katrina in 2005; about $2,500 each month. To display the museum collection, donated pews would have to be removed, but their nameplates would be displayed in the museum.

Read the complete article at the link above.

1 comment:

  1. For pictures of the synagogue see my blogpost at: