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About Us

President's Message 

When 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 memorized.

Some 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.

This 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.

The Society facilitates 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.

In 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.

It 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.

Marcia Levy

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