I was in college, I never signed up for a single history course. At
that time, my concept of history was that it consisted of nothing
more than boring lists of battles and dates, all of which had to be
years later, I
awakened one morning with the sudden realization that whether I liked
it or not, I would eventually become a part of history. Along with
that realization came the understanding that history is truly learned
only by learning about the people who lived it. History connects each
generation to those that preceded it; through the study of history,
future generations someday will be connected to our own.
can happen only if
our history is preserved. The Jewish Historical Society of Memphis
and the Mid-South collects, preserves, presents, and interprets the
history of the lives of Jews in this region. Although we may be
unable to reclaim past history that is lost, each of us should feel
an obligation to ensure that there is no further loss of the stories,
photos, and memorabilia that link our generation to the next.
this effort through various projects. Our Oral History Committee
conducts and records individual interviews. These are stored in a
special section of the Temple Israel Archives along with our
collection of a variety of documents related to Jewish life in
Memphis and the Mid-South. Our Archives Committee focuses on
identifying persons in “Photos from the Past.” Our newsletter
contains original articles pertaining to Southern Jewish history.
addition, we present
monthly programs featuring local as well as national speakers whose
topics relate to Jewish history in the Mid-South and throughout the
world. These programs are free of charge and open to the community.
All our projects and programs are funded through memberships and
donations to the Sumner Levine Speaker Series Fund. I encourage you
to explore this website to view the many ways in which we are
involved in preserving history.
is an honor to serve as
president of the Jewish Historical Society of Memphis and the
Mid-South. With your help, I’ll do everything I can to fulfill our
mission in the coming year. I still have much to learn about history.
Join the Society—come and learn along with me.