Friday Night Lights Vs… Friday Night Lights

By Gerry Dincher from Hope Mills, NC (Rodney K. Morgans Stadium  Uploaded by GrapedApe) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

“Where’s your family?” A friendly “old timer” asked me at Friday night services a couple of weeks ago. When you’re a member of a smaller congregation, like our home synagogue in Jackson, Mississippi, everyone knows each other. It’s perfectly charming when the question is “where’s your family,” and I never mind giving an honest answer.

Posted on October 13, 2015

Read More »

How “Hamilton” Will Help Me Teach About Jewish History

Hamilton: An American Musical. Image copyright Hamilton: An American Musical.

Hamilton, a new musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, has captivated my nerdy history-and-Broadway-musical-loving-heart in a big way. That’s not surprising — but what is maybe a little bit more surprising is how it’s once again helping me make connections to my work sharing Southern Jewish history… including something I bet you didn’t know about Alexander Hamilton.

Posted on October 9, 2015

Read More »

From Mourning to Memory: Chasing Balloons, Wearing a Ring


For those of you who wear rings, this probably sounds familiar: you fiddle with your ring, a thousand times a day, without thinking about it — and all of the sudden, you stop and think about the significance of that ring? There’s that overwhelming woosh of emotion that stops you in your tracks and suddenly you find that you have completely forgotten about what it was you were working on and are reliving some key moment tied to the ring.

Posted on October 6, 2015

Read More »

What Makes This Lulav So Southern?


In elementary school, the Jewish holidays were never an issue — I went to a Jewish day school, so school was out for each holiday. But in my public high school, I was the only student who took off for two days of Rosh Hashanah, the first two and last two days of Sukkot and Passover, and both days of Shavuot. Needless to say, my attendance was spotty the first month of my freshman year, when all of the holidays fell on weekdays.

Posted on October 2, 2015

Read More »

Is Living in Jackson, Mississippi “Different”? Yes, It Is…

for bethany blog

When I tell people that I live in Jackson, Mississippi, they often remark on how “different” it must be from where I grew up. “Different” in this context is loaded with the implicit understanding that what the word really means is worse; the sentiment being expressed is that Jackson is not a great place to live. People wonder why I would choose to come to a place like Jackson.

Posted on September 24, 2015

Read More »