What Does A Southern Jewish Office Do for Christmas?


Myers Home (Holiday Cat!)

The ISJL is closed December 25. So, you must be wondering… what does the staff of a Southern Jewish office do for Christmas?

You might be surprised.

With staff members from a variety of backgrounds, Jewish, Christian, multiple faiths within a family, people who chose Judaism, native Southerners, transplanted Southerners, and so on… Well, when we posed the question “What are you doing December 25?” to our staff, we figured we would get an interesting assortment of answers.

And so we did.

Here are some of them – enjoy!

“I take a group of Jewish teens to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald house on Christmas Day.  We play with kids, clean up, or make a meal for the residents.”
Rachel Stern, Director of Education

“Chinese food and movies are always enjoyed in my family, but never more than on Christmas.  Months in advance we keep our eyes open for previews of what movies will be out during the holidays.”
Missy Goldstein, Education Fellow 

“Like many Jewish children, I had always wanted a Christmas tree. When my husband Chris admitted that he had always had an artificial tree, I insisted that we go to the farm to chop down a real one! Just like in the movies! We also made that menorah out of plumbing pipe together. After our big Hannukah party in town, Chris and I spend Christmas Eve in Batesville, MS with this family. I did have a shocking moment my first Christmas in North Mississippi. After opening all the presents and sharing a family meal, I managed to convince his family to practice the ‘Jewish tradition’ of going to the movies on Christmas. Much to my surprise, the theater was packed, and not full of Jewish people! I had honestly believed it was only a Jewish thing.” – Rachel Myers, Museum / Special Projects Coordinator

“In my first job out of college, I worked for a glass studio in New Orleans. My boss liked that I was Jewish because I would keep the shop open until late on Christmas Eve. He then commanded me to go to the casino with him. So now, I go get an awesome meal (either sushi or Chinese food) and then hit up the closest casino. Vicksburg, anyone?” – Rabbi Matt Dreffin, Assistant Director of Education

Posted on December 25, 2013

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