This Southern Jewish Life

Recently, the BBC worked with us to coordinate a trip down South for a news segment on Jewish life in Mississippi (particularly the Mississippi Delta) and the work of the ISJL rabbinic department.

The intrepid BBC crew traveled with Rabbi Marshal Klaven, visited with community members in Jackson, Vicksburg, Greenwood, and Greenville – where they also attended the Delta Jewish Open.

A few weeks after their trip, they posted a terrific teaser about the upcoming story; soon after that, the full story aired and became available online.

It’s a great story, absolutely worth a listen and a read – particularly since listening means hearing the music, full quotes, and sounds of the South portrayed in beautiful audio, and reading the story means a stroll through some great images. The keen observations and reflections the reporter conveys move the piece along thoughtfully and swiftly. It’s a great piece, and for a radio piece, quite long.

But such pieces are never quite long enough to tell the full story. That’s why we’re grateful for this blog, for social media, for traveling staff and speaking opportunities and the chance for longer storytelling. The chance to share observations like this one, from ISJL Board Member Gail Goldberg of Greenwood, Mississippi (who was interviewed for the story, and shared these thoughts after hearing it air and seeing the “End of a Deep South Way of Life” headline):

Gail Goldberg with ISJL Education Fellows


Gail Goldberg with ISJL Education Fellows

“The BBC story was a great tribute to those before us and for whom we ‘stand on their shoulders’ to move forward. With great respect to the amazing story, I offer my thoughts: My personal commitment to Judaism has been strengthened by our small community size. For my husband Mike and me, sustaining Jewish life here is not only a responsibility, but also a sacred privilege.  Perhaps we are the ‘new’ model for Judaism. In bigger cities, when a congregation grows too large to be personal anymore, families splinter off and start chavurah groups or new congregations.

Posted on January 10, 2014

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