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About Us

President's Message 

Its hard to believe that a year has gone by since I took on the position of President of The Jewish Historical Society of Memphis and the Mid-South. It’s been a wonderful experience! In that time, I have learned a great deal about the depth and commitment of the Jewish community in Memphis. We are a people who love our faith and our culture and wrap it all up in warm southern hospitality. Although diverse in our lifestyles and our individual religious practices, we are united in our role in ensuring the survival and stability of our Jewish heritage.

In the last year I have seen first-hand that while we each have a unique Jewish family history, the collective conscience and the memories of the Jewish people bind us all together. The JHSMM endeavors to keep those stories and memories alive; be they personal or public, home-grown or of world-wide impact. We do that through our programming, which is open to the entire community, and through our Oral History Project, which captures the first-hand stories of those who helped shape our Jewish community, our city and beyond.

In our 2017-2018 program year Greg Siskind brought us all an introduction to online genealogy tools, which started many people on a quest to discover their own family roots. Interesting and historically significant personal revelations on life during and after the Holocaust were explored with our speakers Rita Goldberg and Paula Burger. Annabelle Gurwitch provided us with a humorous look into what it was like to be part of a Southern Jewish family from Alabama. Closer to home, the JHSMM took over 50 people on a trip down Memphis memory lane as we toured the city by bus and explored how and where the city’s Jewish community grew and flourished. And finally, our year was capped with an outstanding panel discussion on Elvis’ Jewish Connections, featuring Chaim Fruchter, Hal Lansky, David Fleishman and Larry Moss, who gave us a fascinating inside look at how Elvis touched and was touched by the Memphis Jewish community. I hope you enjoyed and learned something from each and every speaker.

As we prepare for the coming year, I am excited by the opportunities to bring unique and meaningful programs on Jewish history, culture and lifestyle to our membership and the entire Memphis community. Our Board of Directors is dedicated to collecting, preserving, presenting, and interpreting the history of the lives of Jews in this region and beyond. Let us hear from you about what events or topics interest you.

Mark your calendars for our opening program on October 28, 2018, Chronicles of the Last Jewish Gangster: From Meyer to Myron, with author, Myron Sugerman. It’s a fascinating story that follows the author from 1959 to the present day, as he traversed the globe, from Europe to Africa to South America to Asia, rubbing shoulders with legendary mob figures. The story covers everything from his dealings with the fearsome Cali cartel to helping famous Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal track down Dr. Josef Mengele in Paraguay. You don’t want to miss it!

Mimi Clemons


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