Institute of Southern Jewish Life Shalom Y'all Summer 2020 issue

Title
Institute of Southern Jewish Life Shalom Y'all Summer 2020 issue
Description
Shalom Y'all, a triannual publication of the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL), documents ISJL programs across a thirteen-state southern region. This issue outlines the organization's programs and services, with a focus on changes to programming in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Date Created
June 2020
Community
Institute of Southern Jewish Life
State
Mississippi
Place
Jackson
Genre
Periodical
Language
English
Contributor
Beth Kander-Dauphin
Rights Holder
Institute of Southern Jewish Life
Subject
South
Jewish
Institute of Southern Jewish Life
extracted text
ISJL BOARD
OF DIRECTORS

CONNECTION CONTINUES,
NO MATTER WHAT

CHAIR
Jay Hesdorffer
VICE-CHAIR
Stephen Libowsky
SECRETARY
Charlett Frumin

AS WE PREPARE THIS ISSUE IN THE SPRING OF 2020, TO ARRIVE IN MAILBOXES BY JUNE,

TREASURER
Pepe Finn

the world is different. Most of us are sheltering in place, working from home, and wearing

IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR
Rachel Reagler Schulman

masks when we venture out into the world for groceries or other essentials. It’s not what we
imagined this year would look like, and it’s hard to know what to expect.

CEO
Michele Schipper
DIRECTORS
Imogene Berman
Laura Corman
Clay Crystal
Lynn Crystal
Gail M. Goldberg
Joe Herzog
Sally Schneider Huebscher
Stuart Leviton
Morris "Lew" Lewis
Monica Lizka-Miller
Margaret Meyer
Scott Miller
Leon H. Rittenberg
Robert Roubey
Spencer Simons
Rayman L. Solomon
Joseph Stein, Jr.
Jay Tanenbaum
Mary L. Wiener
Kenneth Zadeck
EMERITUS
Macy B. Hart (President Emeritus)
Kathryn Wiener

That’s why the team at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL)
is emphasizing that, no matter what, our commitment is to maintain a sense of connection.
Even in uncertain times, there is certainty in our sense of community. There is certainty
in tradition, such as gathering around the seder table (even if video conferencing made an
appearance instead of Elijah this year), celebrating Shabbat, and checking in on our community
members. We are continuing to do everything we can to carry out our mission of supporting,
connecting, and celebrating Jewish life in the South.

CONTENTS

lessons, virtual road trips through the Jewish South, playlists featuring southern Jewish artists

Leadership Messages.......................................4

That’s why we have been calling our community contacts, friends, and supporters just to

Connection in the Time of Coronavirus........6
Education................................................................. 7
Fellow Farewells................................................10
Fellow Alumni Network................................ 12
Feature: Chai Club............................................ 13
Community Engagement.......................... 14
Feature: Matching Challenge................... 17
Meet the Donors: The Maers..................... 18

SHALOM Y’ALL STAFF

Heritage & Interpretation............................ 21

EDITOR
Beth Kander-Dauphin

Programming.................................................... 24

DESIGNER
Amanda Jane Long
ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Nora Katz

History..................................................................... 26
Rabbinical............................................................. 28
Gifts & Gratitude............................................... 29

That’s why we launched a new area of our website, providing “Hebrew School at Home”
and themes, and a host of other free, remotely-accessible resources.
check in and see how everyone is doing and what they need.
That’s why, despite working from home, our staff still virtually gathers for meetings—which
have included Funny Hat Day and Team Spirit Day—to keep us smiling while we convene on
screen.
In this issue, you’ll hear about the ways, large and small, that we are readjusting. We’ve had
to pivot quite a bit in order to put health and safety first while ensuring that our connections
remain strong. We miss our community visits, our tour groups, and having our programming
on the road; we will deeply miss holding our annual ISJL Education Conference in person this
summer.
But we know that gam zeh ya’avor—this, too, shall pass. That’s why in many of the articles,
you will also see references to the strategic planning process we are kicking off this year. We
are present and committed to seeing our communities through this very particular moment—
but our eyes are also on the future, with hope, excitement, and strategic thinking. We cannot
wait to be with you again, and in the meantime, we wish you good health and invite you to
continue connecting with us across the social distance.
L’shalom,
The Board & Staff of the ISJL

FROM THE

FROM THE

BOARD CHAIR

CEO

Michele Schipper
CEO

“P

IVOT.” I DON’T THINK I’VE
ever used or heard the word as often
as I have this spring. The COVID-19
pandemic has been forcing all
of us—in our work lives and our
personal lives—to pivot.
In what seemed like mere
moments, the ISJL went from an
organization that brought dozens
of programs and staff directly into
our community partners’ homes,
synagogues,
public
schools,
libraries, and more to, all of a
sudden, an entirely virtual office. It
was a huge pivot: all staff working
remotely, committed to staying
connected, quickly determining
how we continue to bring our staff
and programming directly to our
community partners.
I am so very proud of the ISJL
staff and their creativity as we work
throughout this period of pivoting.
It’s no easy task, when the heart of
one’s work is partnering directly with
communities, to shift to all-remote
support. However, the ISJL team is
used to thinking outside the box, has
strong relationships with our partners,
and in many ways was uniquely
poised for this unexpected pivot.
There is a long road ahead—quite

4

literally—on which our staff will
eventually be able to travel. The ISJL
staff will once again lead worship
services in person, bring excellent
performers to your community,
visit our congregation partners,
and bring our enthusiasm and
creative programming directly to
communities. I, for one, can’t wait!
And yet, we will not entirely
pivot back to how we have always

"THIS PANDEMIC
HAS REQUIRED US
TO CONTINUE TO BE
CREATIVE IN HOW TO DO
THE WORK OF THE ISJL.
IT HAS REQUIRED US TO
ENGAGE IN STRATEGY,
ALBEIT IN A STRANGE AND
UNANTICIPATED WAY."
done our work. This pandemic
has required us to continue to be
creative in how to do the work of the
ISJL. It has required us to engage
in strategy, albeit in a strange and
unanticipated way. As we shared
in the last issue of Shalom Y’all, the
ISJL board and staff had planned
to launch our strategic planning
process setting goals for our next
several years of service—a process

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life • SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020

which will be directly influenced
and informed by the results of
the Listening Tour we conducted
this past year, and the Survey of
Southern Jewish Life (which is still
available on our website; please take
it if you have not already). We have
continued to move forward with
this plan. Engaging conversations
with our board and staff, facilitated
by the strategic planning consultant
we hired, have already begun and
are keeping us all motivated as
we reimagine the ISJL. Our vision
for 2020 and beyond will certainly
include the lessons that we have
learned from our shelter-in-place
time period, as we are challenged
to approach our work in new and
different ways.
As we look ahead to a very bright
future, we have also been given an
exciting opportunity. We have been
issued a matching-dollar fundraising
challenge. For every two dollars
raised, an anonymous foundation will
match the donor’s contribution with
an additional dollar, making every
gift go 50% farther. Please help us in
our mission to support, connect, and
celebrate Jewish life in the South. If
ever there was a time that we needed
your support, it is now.
With my sincere thanks,

Jay Hesdorffer
ISJL Board Chair

I

N OUR CURRENT “STAY-AThome” virtual world, we’re all facing
many challenges. But I am proud to
say that the ISJL is up and running
strong. At a time when it seems so
many things are on hold, postponed,
or cancelled, the ISJL is stepping up
to ensure Jewish life and learning
continue. Now more than ever we
are here to offer connection and
support for individuals, families, and
communities.
As many of us struggle with how
to manage it all, there’s one thing
we now have more of: time at home.
For seniors, this may mean more
time alone. For families, this may
mean more time with kids. These
are unique new needs, and the ISJL
hears your call.
Our rabbis are leading Shabbat
and holiday services over streaming
platforms, holding adult study

"AS MANY OF US
STRUGGLE WITH HOW
TO MANAGE IT ALL,
THERE'S ONE THING
WE NOW HAVE MORE
OF: TIME AT HOME."

sessions, and offering Bar and Bat
Mitzvah support virtually.
Our educators haven’t missed
a beat, creating lesson plans and
using Facebook Live and YouTube
to provide kids with lessons and
projects they can do on their own or
with their parents.
Our cultural programs may be
delayed but not derailed. We’re
maintaining continuity and our
commitment to Jewish culture as we
showcase speakers, presenters, and
musicians through virtual vignettes—
and in May, we even have a virtual
programming circuit underway.
For those who had to postpone
their Southern Jewish Heritage
Tours, we’re creating virtual road
trips. Our commitment to southern
Jewish history also continues; more
people are home with time to take
our calls and help us update the
Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish
Communities.
For the larger community,
including the families from the
public schools with which we
partner, we continue to provide
online
refreshers
for
conflict
resolution and resources for literacy
enrichment at home.
It has been said that great
opportunities are born out of
great disruptions. This is our time
to deliver. As communities feel

"IT HAS BEEN
SAID THAT GREAT
OPPORTUNITIES ARE
BORN OUT OF GREAT
DISRUPTIONS. THIS IS
OUR TIME TO DELIVER.
AS COMMUNITIES FEEL
DISCONNECTED, THIS IS
OUR TIME TO LEAD."
disconnected, this is our time to
lead. Our staff is working hard,
adjusting as necessary, and coming
up with creative solutions to meet
new needs. We’re in touch with
all of our education partners. We
are supporting, connecting, and,
when appropriate, even celebrating
Jewish life in the South.
As communities depend on us
more now in new and evolving
ways, we too depend on those who
believe in our work. In whatever
way or whatever amount you
contribute to the ISJL, thank you
for being part of the glue that
keeps our communities connected.
Thank you for being connected to
the ISJL; your support is more vital
now than ever.
This is our time to shine—and
together, we are doing just that.
This is the ISJL.

SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020 • The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

5

Purim shpiel.

Special Feature

CONNECTION
IN THE TIME OF

CORONAVIRUS
E

VEN IN THE UNPRECEDENTED reality of a global pandemic, the ISJL has been unwavering
in our commitment to support, connect, and celebrate Jewish life in the South. We have quickly
shifted gears, reimagined our efforts, and worked hard every day to ensure that as we adjust
to new realities, we remain in communication with our communities and adjust our programs
and resources to meet their evolving needs. By doing so, we are proud to play a role in providing
community, continuity, and connection for our partners.

Education

In mid-March, we launched an entirely new area of our website, called Connection in
the Time of Coronavirus, where we’re hosting resources available to anyone (including
those outside of our region). Thus far, those resources include:

PARTNERSHIP HELPS US ALL
PERSEVERE

■ Easily-implemented Jewish learning at-home resources for families without access to
Sunday school; lessons are divided into four age categories (3-6, 7-9, 10-12, and 13+), with more
lessons underway
■ Original Judaic coloring sheets and worksheets for elementary school students

By Rabbi Matt Dreffin, MAJE

■ A Virtual Road Trip Through the Jewish South, including an interactive map with
accompanying links, articles, playlists, and more

Director of Education
and

■ A “How to Help” resource sheet with ways folks can make a difference even from home

Bethany Berger, MBA

■ Playlists of music relevant to our departments, including a playlist from our programming
department featuring ISJL Roster Presenters
We are also rolling out these resources on social media as they become available, and housing
them on our website, accessible to all. We are also now doing a livestream on Facebook at 11am
every weekday—a moment of connection that is sometimes specifically Jewish, and other times
features staff members sharing another interest or passion and just providing friendly engagement.
We also compiled a list of congregations throughout our region offering streaming services and
worship opportunities.

If other resources would be helpful, please email
information@isjl.org and let us know.
We’re here for you, always.
6

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life • SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020

Assistant Director of Education

E

VEN NOW— YES, EVEN NOW!—
we’re continuing our outreach
efforts to new communities. Jewish
education is still a vital need. No
virus alters the value of educating
our children.
When
we’re
talking
to
communities who do not currently
partner with us, we like to get a sense
of who they are, so we can talk with
them about all the different ways
in which the Education Partnership
is precisely that—a partnership.
Depending on size, location, and a
host of other factors, how exactly

we can help a congregation varies
as much as the individuals who
make up that community. That’s
why we call it a partnership, not just
a program, because what works for
one congregation may not work for
them all. The best way in which we
enact this partnership is by being
in communication and continuous
consultation with our partners.
Community needs are unique—
and ever-evolving. For example,
a few years ago, a once-thriving
congregation closed down their
religious school as their numbers

dwindled. After a few years and
some demographic shifts, good
news: they had several preschoolaged children once more! The
congregation reached out to us
to tailor six Jewish Education
weekends for all of their families,
using the ISJL curriculum as
the foundation. We spent hours
adapting activities, reorganizing
lesson plans, and gearing up for a
half-dozen full weekends of events
(as opposed to the traditional model
of a once-a-week religious school
throughout the school year). (Cont. pg. 8)

SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020 • The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

7

NEXT YEAR IN
JACKSON...

Left: ISJL Education Fellow Margo Wagner leading
services. Below: ISJL Education Fellow Rena Lubin led a
fun yoga service with students in Galveston, TX.

An update on
the 2020 ISJL
Education
Conference

L'CHAYIM UV'RIYUT

THIS YEAR, FOR THE

first time since 2003,
there will not be an
in-person
gathering
of all of our education
community
partners
for the annual ISJL
Education Conference.
However, we did not
cancel the event—we
mindfully restructured it,
and this year it will be a
virtual conference.
There is no substitute
for the annual time we
spend together, but we
worked hard to hone a
meaningful, engaging,
all-online conference. If
you are attending the
online event, we look
forward to sharing time
with you, and know that
we will still find meaning
in this moment, together.

TO LIFE
AND
HEALTH—
AND NEXT
YEAR IN
JACKSON!

"Partnership..." (cont.) The community’s
ISJL Education Fellow came to support
the congregation in person on three of
those weekends, effectively helping to
jump-start this program.
The program was so successful,
the community decided they wanted
to increase their meetings to twice
a month, meaning 16 sessions. This
meant a new configuration of their
program. We’re used to shifting our
approach to meet a community’s
new needs. In the case of this
particular synagogue, we came up
with a three-year plan for how to

adapt the ISJL curriculum and visits
to make the partnership work best
for them. Of course, at the end of
those three years, we may need to
come up with another plan—or they
may approach us sooner than that
with a new need. We will, of course,
be happy to plan with our partners
as much as possible!
As the COVID-19 crisis emerged,
the ISJL Education Department
was uniquely poised to adapt to the
changing needs of religious schools
and the families they serve. As
communities decided it was unsafe

to meet in person, they reached
out to the ISJL education team for
guidance and support. Because
our work so often involves
supporting communities in unique
circumstances, our department
could nimbly pivot our work from
in-person community support to
digital support, using a variety of
different platforms.
Our strategy, as always, is to
meet people where they are.
We create engaging Jewish
programming that can be led
by anyone. Taking our innovative
teaching style online was a natural
transition. We created Jewish
education lesson plans that are
easy for parents to implement
with their children at home.
We connect with community
members on Facebook with
our daily live sessions. Fellows
lead programs on Zoom for
community members of all ages. 
Even though we can’t connect
in person, our department has
stayed true to its promise of
community support through
creating
meaningful
Jewish
moments—only for now, we’re
doing so with some help from
the internet. Community support
is the cornerstone of our work
in the education department.
Without partnerships with our
communities, we would not be
able to distribute much-needed
educational
resources
and
opportunities throughout the
South.  Thank you for continuing
to partner with us, and we look
forward to welcoming new
communities into the fold.
To learn more about the ISJL’s Education Department, email jewisheducation@isjl.org.
SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020 • The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

9

FELLOW
FAREWELLS
THIS

FAVORITE
ISJL MEMORY:

JUNE, WE GIVE OUR
thanks and bid fond farewells
to five ISJL Fellows whose twoyear fellowships are coming to a
close: Joshua Altshuler (Education
Fellow), Carrie Bohn (Education
Fellow), Mackenzie Haun (Education
Fellow), Becca Leaman (Gutenstein
Family ISJL Education Fellow),
and Ava Pomerantz (Community
Engagement Fellow).
Spring visits and planned
literacy programs were cut short

10

JOSHUA ALTSHULER
EDUCATION FELLOW

CARRIE BOHN
EDUCATION FELLOW

MACKENZIE HAUN
EDUCATION FELLOW

due to health advisories, which
means that many of our fellows
didn’t get to have final in-person
farewells with the communities that
mean so much to them. We invited
them to share some of their favorite
memories and parting thoughts in
the pages of Shalom Y’all. Please
join us in expressing our gratitude
for the meaningful work they did
in their immersive two years at the
ISJL, and wish them n’siya tova (safe
journeys) for their next adventures!

■ CARRIE: My favorite ISJL
memory took place very early on in
my time as a fellow. On one of my
first days of work, I was chatting
with Macy Hart about my new
position, and all of the wonderful
things that the ISJL does. He told
me “don’t blink” during the next two
years because they will go quick!
I think about that message often,
and it has been a gentle reminder
to me these past two years to enjoy
life, and treasure all of the wonderful
memories and relationships that I
have created! 
■ AVA: During an Our Reading
Family session, I led a workshop for
parents that exemplified the loving
commitment our community has
to learning and growing together.
Each parent wrote down their
child's hobby, then passed it around
the table for others to brainstorm
how they could connect that hobby
to literacy. Watching these parents
laugh, think deeply, build each other

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life • SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020

up, and put such love into their
collective growth demonstrated
how much Our Reading Family is
truly a family. 
■ MACKENZIE: My favorite ISJL
memory is more of a conglomeration
of memories. The time I spent with
my cohort both in and outside of work
has been my favorite part of working
at the ISJL. The friendships we built
mean a lot to me, and I am so excited
to see where we all go from here!
■ BECCA: I think my favorite
ISJL memory would be on a fall
visit during my first year. I was
in Clarksdale, MS, and had just
finished doing a program for two
sisters (who also happened to be the
only two students in the religious
school). I was staying for dinner and
it also happened to be one of the
first nights of Chanukah. Before we
had dinner the dad pulled me aside
to thank me for doing what I do.
He explained that without us, and
without me being willing to come

up there, they would have very
little formal Jewish education and
that he was immensely  thankful
for what we do. It was so moving
and meaningful to me, and
something that I've reflected on a
lot throughout my time as a Fellow.
Every time I started to get tired
of traveling I would think back to
that moment and remember how
much of an impact we have on
communities just by being there. 
■ JOSHUA: I was privileged  to
interact with so many special
communities on education visits.
During one particularly meaningful
Kabbalat Shabbat in 2018, the Friday
following the devastating events
at the Tree of Life Congregation
in Pittsburgh, I found myself
surrounded
by
warm
faces,
supportive voices, and soothing
music in Little Rock, Arkansas. I was
a stranger to the synagogue, yet I
immediately felt welcomed into the
community as we observed tradition
and connected to one another.

BECCA LEAMAN
GUTENSTEIN FAMILY
EDUCATION FELLOW

AVA POMERANTZ
COMMUNITY
ENGAGEMENT
FELLOW

MY NEXT
ADVENTURE:
■ AVA: Next year I will be moving
back to Los Angeles, pursuing
a Master’s of Science in Applied
Psychology at the University of
Southern California.

BECCA:
After
much
deliberation, I have decided to
move back to Salt Lake City, Utah.
My plan is to go back into secular
education and teach elementary
school. I'm beyond excited to get
back into the classroom!
■ CARRIE: I am packing my
bags and moving to California to
pursue a Master's degree in Jewish
Nonprofit Management at Hebrew
Union College - Jewish Institute
of Religion! I am so excited to
see where my new adventure
takes me, and to hang ten in Los
Angeles! 
■ JOSHUA: This summer, I will
lead a 4-week bicycle trip around
Lake Michigan called Tour La'Agam,

a program that is connected to
the URJ summer camp OlinSang-Ruby Union Institute. Tour
La'Agam  is an incredibly fun
and rewarding experience as we
explore unique places, witness
amazing sunsets, and indulge
in the perfect amount of ice
cream. After camp, I will return
to my alma mater, the University
of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana,
to pursue a Master of Science in
Library and Information Science. I
am thrilled to be participating in a
program that will develop my love
of humanities education and the
power of a good book.
■ MACKENZIE: I was lucky
enough to be hired by Hillel
International as their Senior
Associate
of
Measurement.
Hopefully, despite the uncertainty
caused by the pandemic, I’ll be
starting there this summer.

SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020 • The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

11

PARTING THOUGHTS:

Fellow Alumni Network
■ JOSHUA: Thank you for opening
your classroom and synagogue doors
to me, joining with me to savor the
sweetness of learning and friendship,
and providing me with an appreciation
of the South through your diverse
perspectives and personal stories—
your gestures of kindness and capacity
for empathy are truly a blessing. 
■ BECCA: Thank you so much to
everyone that I have worked with and
met along the way. I will be forever
grateful for how you all made me feel
welcome throughout my time in your
communities.
■ CARRIE: Thank you to all of the
amazing educators, students, clergy,
and families for adding so much joy to
my life for the past two years!
■ MACKENZIE: Thank you so much
to all of the amazing people I met on this
journey and for all of the opportunities
you gave me to grow and learn with
you!
■ AVA: Thank you for welcoming
me in and expanding my mind and
connection to the South, a place and
people I will always carry in my heart
no matter where I go.

Thank you, 2018-2020 ISJL Fellows!
12

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life • SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020

A VERY
SPECIAL FAN
HAVDALAH
T

HE ISJL FELLOW ALUMNI NETWORK (FAN)
held a very special virtual event this spring. More
than two dozen participants gathered for a videoconferenced Havdalah, coordinated by FAN Chair
Missy Goldstein Gleisser, with music provided
by Lex Rofeberg. While FAN members are
disappointed that discussions about a 2020 FAN
Reunion had to be halted in the wake of the global
pandemic, it was truly lovely for so many of us to
be together to share some updates, check in from
quarantine, and welcome a new week together.
We’re also excited to welcome our newest FAN
members into the fold as they complete their
2018-2020 fellowships:
■ Joshua Altshuler (Education Fellow)
■ Carrie Bohn (Education Fellow)
■ Mackenzie Haun (Education Fellow)
■ Becca Leaman (Gutenstein Family ISJL
Education Fellow)
■ Ava Pomerantz (Community Engagement
Fellow)
The FAN group keeps growing, and every year
we’re thrilled to add new colleagues to our alumni
cohort.
Enjoy the screenshot (above) of the FAN
Havdalah, and we’ll be sharing more FAN updates
soon!

CHAI CLUB: HOW MONTHLY
GIVING HELPS NONPROFITS
T

HERE ARE SO MANY WAYS THAT MONTHLY GIVERS HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON NONPROFITS—
something we’re reminded of at this time in particular. Why is a monthly gift such an important contribution?
■ Monthly gifts provide stability.
Predictable support allows the
ISJL to plan better and to be more
efficient. While there are always
more dollars to be raised, knowing
there is a consistent base of
support coming in each month is
tremendously beneficial.

■ Monthly gifts increase connection.
Ongoing gifts are meaningful and
convey your confidence and trust
in the ISJL’s work—something
for which the ISJL is grateful, and
also something that inspires other
donors to give!

■ Monthly giving can be more
accessible for new donors. In
particular, monthly giving gives
opportunities to our younger
donors, who may not have the
capital yet to make larger gifts. All
gifts at all levels are meaningful to us!

■ Consistent contributions make
a large impact over time. Your gift
of $18/month is an easy monthly
amount to contribute—and also
ensures $216 in our annual budget,
which helps shore up essential
programs and support!

■ Monthly giving is convenient. Once
in place, monthly giving doesn’t
need much maintenance, and the
records are always easy to track for
donors and for institutions.

■ Chai Club contributors truly
shine. Monthly donors to the ISJL
are highlighted and recognized as
Chai Club donors in Shalom Y’all
magazine, and we’re interested in
expanding the ways we celebrate
our donors in the years ahead… feel
free to share your ideas!

We would be delighted if you joined the ISJL’s monthly giving society. It’s easy—just visit
www.isjl.org/donate and select “Join the Chai Club.” Plus, new Chai Club members or those who
grow their gift amounts in 2020 can count toward our ongoing 2020 Matching Challenge,
making your gift go even farther!

Thank you!

SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020 • The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

13

COMMUNITY
ENGAGEMENT

STICKING
TOGETHER
ACROSS
THE SOCIAL
DISTANCE
By Rachel Glazer
Community Engagement
Program Manager

WITH

THIS PAST SPRING AS
proof, I think we can all safely say
that things do not always go as
planned. Before coronavirus and
shelter-in-place, the Community
Engagement
Department
was
working at full force to put on our
fourth annual spring break literacy
day camp, the Literacy Achievement
Bonanza (LAB). Three weeks before
the start of the program, we
received some unfortunate news:
due to unforeseen circumstances,
we would no longer be able to host
the LAB at the local university that
had been the program’s home for
the past three years.
Without missing a beat, our team
switched gears and reached out to
community partners ranging from
schools and churches to community
centers and libraries, trying to find
a site that could accommodate a
program of our size and scope at
such short notice. In a testament to
the strong relationships the ISJL has

built and thanks to the generosity of
our partners in the Jackson Public
School District, the LAB found its new
home at Blackburn Middle School.
With two weeks’ notice, we
adapted the entire day camp to the
new location, adjusting activities,
materials, and processes to the
new space while maintaining the
integrity of the camp culture we
had worked hard to build over the
past four years. Thanks to the hard
work of our staff and volunteers,
the participants arrived on the first
day of the LAB to a camp that had
the familiar buzz of excitement in a
space magically transformed to fit
our needs.
We are so fortunate to have
partners willing to work with us
to bring these services to our
community; with their help, we were
able to implement the program
to its fullest extent without our
participants ever knowing the whir
of behind-the-scenes machinations
that made it happen. Perhaps
luckiest of all, all of this happened
just before the reality of COVID-19
reached Mississippi. Just days before
we began implementing social
distance guidelines, we were able to
come together for our celebration of
literacy.

We had no idea that this
unconventional LAB had actually
set us up to succeed in the
unprecedented times to come.
Suddenly, everyone needed an
unconventional solution to everyday
issues. The ISJL team jumped into
action to do our part. As digital
events popped up all over the
internet (Webinars here! Google
Docs there! Listicles for days!), we
compiled resources that would
be most pertinent to our partners
across the region.
Schools, libraries, and other
community partners were one
challenge. We also knew that many
of our congregational partners
would want to know how they
could help their neighbors while
maintaining everyone’s health and
safety. We published a list of ways
to help from home—digitally and
down the road. All of these resources
are available on our website!
Next,
the
Community
Engagement team reached out
to participants from our various
literacy programs to see what
kinds of support they needed.
Many responded that they were
overwhelmed by the prospect
of distance learning and homeschooling and were not sure where

to begin to look for reputable
resources. We, in turn, began to
adapt literacy activities and parent
workshops from the Our Reading
Family program so that families
could engage over Zoom together
and then replicate the activities
at home with children of various
ages. Staff and volunteers rotated
through live-streamed read-alouds
on social media to continue to
connect with participants from afar.
Our
partnerships
only
strengthened from there. We
connected with the local school
district to see how we could deliver
literacy activity packets for families
to pick up during meal distribution
times. We were also able to find
good homes for boxes of books
that would have otherwise sat in
our office until the next in-person
programs were able to take place.
We were not “prepared” for
this; none of us were. But our
community’s
resilience
and
creativity has helped our partners
continue to flourish. I look forward
to seeing how we can apply
these innovative strategies and
meaningful connections to better
serve communities across the
South as our ever-changing world
enters this next phase.

To learn more about the work of the ISJL’s Community Engagement Department, email engagement@isjl.org.
14

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life • SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020

SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020 • The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

15

MAZEL
TOV TO
RACHEL
GLAZER!

Special Feature

TAKE THE SURVEY OF
SOUTHERN JEWISH LIFE
I

IN MARCH 2020, RACHEL GLAZER

became the ISJL Community
Engagement Program Manager.
Rachel first joined the team as
an ISJL Community Engagement
Fellow (2016-2018). She then served
another two years as Community
Engagement Associate, helping
to grow the department and its
programmatic footprint. When the
department’s leader, Dave Miller,
was offered another opportunity to
work in the nonprofit sector, Rachel
was the natural choice to step up
and lead the department as its work
continues. Please wish her a hearty
mazel tov, and reach out to her with
any questions about the work of
the ISJL Community Engagement
department! We also want to thank
Dave for his five years of leadership,
and wish him all the best in his next
professional journey.

N MARCH, WE LAUNCHED
our 2020 Survey of Southern
Jewish Life. Of course, the survey
was quickly buried as global
events took over everyone’s news
feeds. Originally, the survey was
only going to be featured through
the end of March. However, we
are now keeping it live through
the summer, to enable as many
people as possible to participate.
We hope everyone with an
interest in Jewish life in the

South will take the survey, so your
thoughts, hopes, concerns, and
ideas will be part of a continuing
exploration of how best to serve
southern Jewish communities. Your
input will help inform our strategic
planning process. The survey
should take you approximately 10
minutes to complete. Answers will
be compiled anonymously, and we
will share insights from the survey
once the responses have all been
collected and analyzed.

To access the survey,
simply visit www.isjl.org.
You will find a survey link on the
main page of our website.

Please take the survey and share your thoughts.
We want to envision the future with you.
Thank you!

2020 MATCHING CHALLENGE
STILL ONGOING
E

ARLIER THIS YEAR, WE BEGAN
a new matching challenge as part
of an organizational leadership
program for which the ISJL was
recently selected. We were excited
for the promise of this matching
challenge; for every two dollars
we raise, the challenge donors
will donate an additional dollar—
making every contribution go so
much farther!
However, with the onset of
COVID-19, we were initially hesitant
to continue touting the challenge.
We know some households are
struggling, and everyone’s focus
should rightfully remain on health
and wellness. Thus, while the

challenge continued, it continued
quietly.
As we all adjusted to the
unexpected realities this spring
brought our way, we realized more
and more that life does indeed
go on—and Jewish life, resources,
and support are still vital to keep
our communities connected and
thriving. The work we do is meeting a
challenge head-on, and the matching
challenge is still on the table.
So if you are able to make a
contribution to the ISJL in 2020, we hope
you will do so, knowing your dollars
will be matched—and will be vital to
our organization’s ability to continue
delivering services and support.

Contributions must be made
toward general, operating, and
organizational
sustainability
expenses, not earmarked for
a
specific
program.
General
contributions, new or increased Chai
Club monthly giving memberships,
and family foundation allocations
are just a few of the examples of
ways your gift can count toward
this challenge. As long as it is a
new gift, or increased due to the
inspiration of the challenge match,
it will help us reach our challenge
goal of $500,000 in donations, to
then be matched with a $250,000
contribution from the challenge
donor.

Your Gift Goes Farther.

Support the ISJL by making a new or increased contribution in 2020 and an
anonymous donor will match every $2 with an additional $1
SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020 • The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

17

DEVELOPMENT

WHY WE GIVE: A CONVERSATION
WITH ELIZABETH AND PETER MAER
By Risa Klein Herzog
Director of Development

AS

THE ISJL’S DIRECTOR OF
Development, it is my honor to
get to directly connect with our
supporters. I am always interested
in their stories, their perspectives,
and their inspiration for giving. I
recently had the fortune of asking
Elizabeth and Peter Maer of Fairfax,
Virginia, about their involvement
with the ISJL—which takes more
than one form! I hope you’ll enjoy
hearing from this couple, whose
commitment to Jewish life is
commendable.

Peter and Elizabeth
Maer in Budapest. Right:
Elizabeth and Peter
Maer with their beloved
grandchildren.
18

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life • SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020

What is your connection to the
ISJL?
Peter, a longtime journalist,
is proud to be a part of the ISJL’s
Cultural Programming Roster.  He
shares his non-partisan stories about
Jewish adventures as a network
correspondent who covered six
presidents.  So we have long been
aware of the ISJL's fine work, but it
was really brought home to us last
year when Rabbi Aaron Stucker-

Rozovsky visited our synagogue,
Congregation Olam Tikvah in Fairfax,
Virginia. We were impressed by the
various missions undertaken by the
ISJL, and wanted to deepen our
commitment to the organization.
Why do you choose to donate
to the ISJL?
Elizabeth is from Nashville,
but her family's roots go back to
Murfreesboro, Tennessee. When her
family lived there many decades
ago it was a very small town. Peter
grew up in southern Illinois, where
he was the only Jew in a high school
graduating class of more than 800
students. We know what it is like
to live as Jews in small towns. We
know the importance of having the
kind of educational and community
support offered by the ISJL.
What does giving look like for
you?
This was a highly personal
decision made by Elizabeth and
her brother Dr. Emanuel Doyne,

administrators of a family charitable
fund based in Nashville. While they
grew up in a large congregation,
some of their friends came from
small
town
Tennessee.
They
understood the challenges those
families faced. They wanted to make
a substantial contribution to further
the ISJL's work. Peter and Elizabeth
also made a separate donation. We
feel fortunate to be able to support
the work in these ways.
How does ISJL differ from
other causes you support?
We
appreciate
the
ISJL's
grassroots efforts throughout the
South, especially what it does for
young people growing up in small
communities. We also appreciate the
work of ISJL Fellows. The fellowship
program is undoubtedly developing
future Jewish community leaders. 
And just for fun, what's your
favorite Jewish food?
Elizabeth: Mandel Bread
Peter:  Since this is being written
right before Pesach, I'll say matzo brei.
I am grateful to Peter and Liz
for their contributions, and also for
sharing their insights with us in the
midst of these strange times. Our
supporters enable us to do the work
we do for our communities, every
day, and these conversations always
help to reinforce the value in what
we’re able to achieve, together.
If you’re interested in sharing why
you support the ISJL, please feel free
to reach out—I’d love to hear from
you!

To learn more about ISJL development efforts or how you can support our work, email development@isjl.org.
SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020 • The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

19

BECAUSE
I BELIEVE

HERITAGE & INTERPRETATION

INTERPRETING
COMPLICATED
HISTORIES, SHARING
DIVERSE STORIES

IN THE
FUTURE OF
SOUTHERN
JEWISH LIFE

By Nora Katz

Director of HERITAGE & INTERPRETATION

LEGACY is more than what we LEAVE BEHIND.
It’s what we SEND AHEAD to those we love.
It’s how we IMPACT THE FUTURE, starting today.

“THE

What is a “legacy gift” or “planned giving”?
A planned gift is a charitable gift that you decide now to make at some time in the future as part of your
estate planning. A planned gift can benefit you and loved ones that you name. At the same time, it stands as a
lasting reminder to your children and succeeding generations of the values and charitable works that are most
important to you. Wills, trusts, and endowments are all examples of planned giving and legacy gifts.
How can the ISJL help?
Whether it’s preserving southern Jewish stories, putting rabbis on the road to small towns, furthering Jewish
education, or making our world a better place through literacy and life-changing community engagement
initiatives—whatever touches your heart and resonates with your legacy will shape the conversation of how
together, we can plan for a meaningful future.

The ISJL’s Legacy Giving program can help you meet your planned giving goals.
To learn more, visit www.isjl.org/planned-giving or email rherzog@isjl.org.
20

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life • SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020

From top: View of the Temple B'nai Israel
dome and roof—they were recently repaired;
I & S Moses Store in Natchez; Jane Wexler,
queen of the Natchez Pilgrimage in 1935;
Natchez Under-the-Hill, site of many of the
town's early Jewish businesses.

STORY OF NATCHEZ,
Mississippi, is a story of matzah
balls and magnolias, the Civil War
and synagogues, King Cotton and
merchant life Under-the-Hill.”
That’s how we often begin
histories of Natchez’s Temple B’nai
Israel, home to the oldest Jewish
congregation in Mississippi. It’s a
good line, and one that reflects the
cognitive dissonance that some
folks feel when they bump up
against that big question: “There are
Jews in the South?!”
Temple B’nai Israel has long
been an interfaith space. Within
a few blocks are churches like
Trinity Episcopal and St. Mary’s

Basilica, congregations that have
held services for almost 200 years.
Also close by are dozens of Black
churches, including Rose Hill
Missionary Baptist Church, the
oldest Black Baptist congregation
in the state.
But alongside the inspiring
historical buildings dwell more
difficult histories. Near the temple
is the Natchez Museum of African
American History and Culture, which
interprets the African American
history of Natchez and the South
from slavery to the present. Natchez
is also the site of the Rhythm Club
Fire, a 1940 fire in an African American
dance hall that killed 209 people

SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020 • The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

21

and devastated Natchez’s African
American community. Among the
victims were Walter Barnes and
his Royal Creolians, stars of what
was known as the “Chitlin’ Circuit,”
a collection of Black-owned clubs
across the United States (the name
was a play on the Jewish “Borscht
Belt” in the northeast). The story of
the fire and its widespread impact
is the story of African American
music and the deep inequities
and lasting effects of Jim Crow.
On the way out of town is the
Forks of the Road, once one of the
largest slave markets in the South.
Thousands of people were bought
and sold on that site between 1808

and 1863, providing the labor that
sustained the American economy
for hundreds of years. Outside of
downtown is the Grand Village
of the Natchez Indians, once the
main ceremonial center of the
Natchez people, who dominated
what is now southwest Mississippi
for over a thousand years—from c.
700 to 1730. The Natchez Indians
established
complex
political
systems that are often overlooked
in stories of American history that
begin with European colonization.
The story of the Natchez people
is the story of Mississippi, and our
country’s silenced histories.

Why do these stories matter? We
need to tell these stories because they
shed light on the diversity and complexity
of the American story. Elevating stories
of Natchez’s non-white, non-Christian
residents and truthfully interpreting the
city’s often-painful history challenges us
to re-think our assumptions of what it
means to be American.
In 2020, the caretakers of these
historic sites work together to
tell complicated, nuanced, and
rich stories of Natchez’s history
that resonate in the present. At
Temple B’nai Israel, we welcome
supporters from around the region
to learn about Jewish history and

experience music and theatre in
the synagogue’s historic sanctuary.
We embark on renovation and
rehabilitation projects to ensure that
the building is preserved for future
generations. We tell the story of
Jews in Natchez, because their story
is the story of the Jewish South, and
the American Jewish experience.
Our strategy—and opportunity—
for Heritage and Interpretation will
be all about access and engagement
We want stakeholders from across
the South and across the country to
engage more deeply with southern
Jewish history, and understand how
the southern Jewish story intersects

with
other
southern
stories,
including stories of Native American
history and culture, slavery, the Civil
War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and
the Civil Rights Movement.
How do we make that happen?
We make sure that our programs
are accessible to the widest possible
audience by using tools that have
become familiar to all of us during
the COVID-19 pandemic: online
content,
livestreamed
lectures
and performances, videos, music,
podcasts, and so much more!
Have an idea for making the Jewish
South accessible to all? Get in touch.
We can’t wait to hear your story.

Top: Community Chanukah celebration,
December 2018. Left: audience members
at Cabaret Under the Dome, January 2019.
Right, from top: Tour group on the
steps of Temple B'nai Israel; Hosea
Griffith performs “Old Man River” at
Cabaret Under the Dome, January 2020.

To learn more about Heritage and Interpretation, email heritage@isjl.org.
22

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life • SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020

SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020 • The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

23

PROGRAMMING

CULTURAL
CONNECTIONS:
NOT GOING
ANYWHERE

Left: Saul Kaye. Below: Joel
Hoffman speaking in Lynchburg.

By Ann Zivitz Kientz
Director of Programming

THIS PAST FEBRUARY, AGUDATH

Sholom of Lynchburg, Virginia,
hosted Dr. Joel Hoffman for their
Arthur
Freedlender
Scholar-inResidence weekend. He spoke Friday
night, Saturday morning, Saturday
evening, and Sunday morning. The
congregation, led by Rabbi John
Nimon, were thrilled to have him.
Feedback was phenomenal; as
community member Kaye Chandler
reported, “Everyone raved about our
choice of speaker!” The lectures and
book signings were a huge success.
Knowing that Dr. Hoffman would be
available to extend his tour, as soon
as he was booked in Lynchburg, I
contacted several synagogues in
that area of the country to share
in this terrific tour opportunity.
On Sunday evening, Dr. Hoffman
spoke and signed books at Temple
Emanuel in Winston-Salem, North
Carolina. Rabbi Mark Cohn said:
“We had a great time with Joel. He
was so engaging and his teaching
is so vital for us as Reform Jews as
we strive to both have a clarity of
the text and an understanding of
the various meanings behind the

text. His lecture on the meaning
behind the prayers took us through
the siddur, the bible, ancient
history, mistranslations, and greater
appreciation for our people’s
tradition. I am so grateful that the
ISJL opened the door for us to have
Joel come to visit.”
This last stop on Dr. Hoffman’s
ISJL tour that time around was a
visit to Temple Emanuel in Roanoke,
Virginia. This congregation is
led by Rabbi Kathy Cohen. The
Monday evening lecture and book
signing at Temple Emanuel was
as successful and exciting for
them as the other congregations!
Rabbi Cohen was thrilled to be
a part of this shared-expense
tour, as their congregation would
not otherwise have been able to
independently bring Dr. Hoffman to
their community. Said Rabbi Cohen:
“Joel Hoffman was tremendous. He
was scholarly, engaging, humorous,
and interesting. He is a top-notch
speaker and an excellent scholar.
We cannot wait to invite him back!”
Our past year was full of so
many visits—so many tremendous

opportunities
for
learning,
entertainment, and enrichment. It
was difficult this spring to see so
many programs postponed, as we
all abide by shelter-in-place and
social distancing precautions to
slow the spread of COVID-19. But we
truly see these programs as delayed,
not canceled. Our communities are
eager to host presenters again, and
our presenters cannot wait to hit
the road and once more visit our
southern Jewish communities.
In the meantime, we are
exploring
options
for
virtual
presenter experiences—including
a virtual shared-expense “tour” for
multiple communities featuring Joel
Hoffman, as well as concerts from
another popular ISJL presenter, the
tremendous Jewish blues musician
Saul Kaye. We are reaching out to
communities and staying in touch
as we adjust and move forward,
knowing that when gathering
together is possible once more, we
will have excited, energized Jewish
presenters ready to bring the best of
Jewish cultural programming into
our communities again.

To learn more about the ISJL’s Cultural Programming, email programming@isjl.org.
SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020 • The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

25

HISTORY

AN INTERESTING MOMENT
IN HISTORY
By Dr. Josh Parshall
Director of History

I HAVE AN INTERESTING JOB.

As the Director of History for the
ISJL, I am privileged to conduct
original research on Jewish life in
the South and have a responsibility
to share Jewish stories from the
southern past in ways that are both
accurate and accessible. With the
Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish
Communities, the ISJL provides an
engaging, public-facing historical
resource that generates thousands
of page views each month.
Discovering new ways to share the
Encyclopedia and its rich content is
26

something I’m eager to explore in
our strategic planning process.
In line with the ISJL’s mission
statement, we do “celebrate”
Jewish life in the South, but the
History Department also helps to
commemorate and analyze the
wide range of southern Jewish
experiences. Our hope is that
the Encyclopedia and our other
offerings inspire readers to learn
more about their own families and
communities, to celebrate and
commemorate Jewish life in the
region, and to grapple with some

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life • SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020

of the hard truths of southern and
American histories.
The
ISJL’s
multifaceted
relationships to Jewish communities
and individuals throughout the
region provide one of the most
important tools for the History
Department’s work, and being
embedded in a communityoriented
Jewish
organization
differentiates my work here from
much of the research conducted
by college- and university-affiliated
scholars. When we get something
wrong, I tend to hear about it directly

from the community. When there is
something I need to know, the ISJL’s
extensive network of supporters
and partners usually leads me to the
right place. Sometimes, I don’t even
have to ask.
Most recently, I received a
collection of photographs taken by
Tallahassee resident Bob Canter of
the historic B’nai Israel synagogue
in Thomasville, Georgia. Thomasville
is north of Tallahassee, just over
the state line, and in early March,
Canter joined a number of other
members of Tallahassee’s Temple
Israel to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah
of congregant Jacob Lowe in the
small-town synagogue. The event
reflects a long-standing relationship
between
the
congregations,
and Lowe’s Bar Mitzvah project
focused on restoring the B’nai
Israel building’s doors. Canter’s
photographs will help to illustrate
our yet-to-be-written history of the
Thomasville Jewish community,
and other Tallahassee contacts will
help guide our research.
The photos of B’nai Israel in
Thomasville are just one example of
the strategic advantage that comes
from conducting historical research
as part of the ISJL. Our broad variety
of programs, wide geographic
reach, and commitment to serving
any Jewish community in our
region creates a robust network
that connects me to Jewish stories
from across the South. So when it’s
time to start a new research project,
the ISJL History Department can
always start with our local contacts.
Even in moments of disconnection,
the connections we strengthen and
utilize daily underlie everything we
do—a nice reminder at this time
of the power of interconnected
community.

To learn more about the ISJL’s History Department, email history@isjl.org.
SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020 • The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

27

RABBINICAL

Gifts & Gratitude

AN INSPIRING BEGINNING
TO A RABBINICAL CAREER

THANK YOU
TO OUR SUPPORTERS

Director of Rabbinical Services

IN THESE PAGES, YOU CAN SEE THE IMPACT OUR EDUCATION,

By Rabbi Aaron A. Stucker-Rozovsky

IT SEEMS STRANGE TO ALREADY

be writing my final message for
Shalom Y’all, but, indeed, my time
at the ISJL draws to a close this
June. I have thoroughly enjoyed my
time at the ISJL; from davening in
fascinating historic communities
to meeting wonderful people with
unique stories and lives across our
region, it has been an incredible
way to begin my career as a rabbi.
I feel truly blessed. Although every
rabbi who has had the privilege of
holding the position of ISJL Director
of Rabbinical Services—Batsheva
Appel, Debra Kassoff, Marshal
Klaven, Jeremy Simons, and myself—
performed the same core functions
(visiting communities without fulltime clergy, conducting remote
b’nei mitzvah and conversion

tutoring, writing the weekly Taste
of Torah, and officiating at life-cycle
events for Jews in rural areas), each
of us has been fortunate enough to
make our own individual mark on
the Rabbinical Services department
as well.
During my time at the ISJL, I was
grateful to also continue serving
in the Army National Guard as a
Jewish Chaplain. I led Yom HaShoah
services at a naval base in Gulfport,
Mississippi, and provided overviews
of Judaism to enlisted Navy and Air
Force Chaplain Assistant trainees at
Meridian’s Naval Air Station as well
as Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi.
The
meaningful
moments
throughout my time here have
been plentiful. In October 2019, I
delivered the closing benediction

at the Mississippi Coalition Against
Domestic
Violence’s
annual
candlelight vigil. I was privileged
to give lectures on Judaism to
Methodist and Episcopal churches
in Oklahoma and Mississippi. I am
very proud of these opportunities to
share our Jewish heritage.
An Army mentor once told me,
“Always leave a place better than
you found it.” I strove to do that
every day of my tenure at the ISJL,
not just with these projects, but also
by connecting with communities
across the region, focusing on those
who had not been in touch with the
ISJL in some time, and as reaching
out to synagogues with which we
did not have a prior relationship.
Baruch HaShem (thank God), I am
able to leave feeling confident that
the ISJL’s new Director of Rabbinical
Services will continue our sacred
work. Rabbi Caroline Sim, ordained
this spring from Hebrew Union
College-Jewish Institute of Religion,
joins the ISJL team right as I leave it.
Although Rabbi Sim will have many
set duties and responsibilities, she
will also have the chance to chart
her own course and develop her
own plans. I hope her ideas and
vision are new, innovative, and most
importantly her own, because that
is truly the beauty of this position
and this organization.
It has been an honor to serve the
congregations that partner with
the ISJL. All of you, the congregants
and supporters who keep the light
of Judaism burning so brightly, will
continue to inspire me.

To learn more about the ISJL’s Rabbinical Services Department, email rabbi@isjl.org.
28

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life • SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020

history, heritage and interpretation, cultural, community
engagement, and rabbinical programs have on thousands of
people just like you. With deep appreciation, the Goldring/
Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life extends thanks
to everyone who made a contribution or pledge from January
1 - April 15, 2020, to enable our important work.

$100,000+
The Stanford & Joan Alexander Foundation
Anonymous
Rosalinde & Arthur Gilbert Foundation
Goldring Family Foundation
Robert G. & Ellen Gutenstein Family Foundation
The Marcus Foundation
Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
Woldenberg Foundation
The Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation
Frances & Donald J. Zadeck

$10,000 - $99,999
Dr. Laura Corman
Lynn Crystal

$5,000 - $9,999

Anonymous
Imogene Berman
Clay & Deborah Crystal
Pepe & Terry Finn
Charlett & Dr. Marshall Frumin
Gail & Michael Goldberg
Susan & Macy B. Hart
Joe & Candace Herzog
Jay & Mar Hesdorffer
Sally & Bob Huebscher
Stuart Leviton & Herb K. Schultz
Morris & Stacey Lewis
Stephen & Sue Berman Libowsky
Meyer Family - Margaret, Helen
Marie & Harold Meyer, Jr.
Monica Lizka-Miller & Dr. Alex
Miller
Scott & Julie Miller Philanthropic
Fund of the Dallas Jewish
Community Foundation
Heather & Leon Rittenberg, III
Dr. Robert Roubey & Lisa
Brachman
Michele & Ken Schipper
Rachel Reagler Schulman
Spencer & Debra Simons
Rayman L. Solomon & Carol Avins
Joanne & Joseph Stein, Jr.
Jay & Bz Tanenbaum
Mary L. Wiener & Sandy Cohen
Kenneth Zadeck & Lisa Weiss

$1,000 - $4,999

Toni D. Cooley
Irving & Trenia Feldman
Arnold Feinstein
Rachelle D. Hirsch
Elayne & Howard Levkowitz
Isabel & Peter L. Malkin
Melinda & Morris F. Mintz
The Jean & Saul A. Mintz Family
Foundation
North Louisiana Jewish
Federation
David & Karen Reagler
Judith W. Shanks
Marvin I. Wolf

$500 - $999

Amanda Abrams & Ben Dorfman
Karen Bernstein & David Flores
Samuel & Deborah Brackstone
Cheryl Brownstein & Jane
Thompson
Hope Credit Union - Jackson, MS
Stephen J. Katz
Leo Kayser, III
Jane Stein Kerr
Barbara & Ted Mayden
Ann J. Rubin
Rabbi David E. Stern
Temple Emanu-El - Longview, TX
SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020 • The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

29

THE CHAI CLUB is the
ISJL’s monthly giving
society— all of the
donors listed below
make recurring gifts to
the ISJL each month,
directly deducted from
their accounts; an easy,
meaningful way to give!

$250 - $499

Dr. A. Mitchell Bell
Jack Belz
Beth Shalom: The Jewish
Community of East Alabama
- Auburn, AL
Congregation B'nai Israel
- Jackson, TN
Melanie & Will Dann
Stephen & Barbara Gelman
Michael & Elaine Gutenstein
Adeet Handel
Risa & Drew Herzog
Debra & Joel Jacobs
David & Sharon R. Kessler
Jeremy Medows
Debi & Samuel Mishael
The Honorable J. David Orlansky
Henry & Rose Paris
Helene Paris
Annette F. Simon & Robert M.
Portman
Elinor & Michael Staff
Temple Shalom - Myrtle Beach, SC
Temple Solel - Fort Mill, SC
Ronald & Lillian Zell

$100 - $249

Adath Yeshurun Synagogue
- Aiken, SC
Judith & Stephen B. Alderman
Sissy & Gene Boyd
Ed Buchman
Christopher Clapp
Congregation B'nai Israel
- Columbus, MS
Charles & Bettie Minette Cooper
Annette Corman
Jay & Sheryl Davidson
Rabbi Dr. Jana De Benedetti
Del Webb Sweetgrass Chavurah
- Richmond TX
Nancy & Dr. Isaac Eberstein
Rabbi Denise Eger & Rabbi
30

Rabbi Andrew N. Bachman
The Bleiberg Family
Michelle Blumenthal
Rabbi Erin Boxt
Ed Buchman
Deborah Bush
Sandra & John DeMuth
Mayo (Bren) Dorsey &
Jody Lubritz Dorsey
Lori & Scott Dreffin
Debra & Michael Fein
Irving & Trenia Feldman
Marilyn Gelman
Michael Goodman
Charlotte & Bruce Greely
Susan & Howard Green
Elaine & Michael Gutenstein
Risa & Drew Herzog

Eleanor Steinman
Sarah Einstman
Jean & Robert Eisenbach
Carey & Robert Emmich, Jr.
Dr. Sandor & Deborah Feldman
Suzanne & Dr. Joel Fine
Ann Gerache
Barry & Nancy Glazer
Doris & Dr. Martin I. Goldstein
Susan & Howard Green
David S. & Margaret W. Greenberg
Janet Halbert
Jeri & Van Hart, Jr.
Hickory Jewish Center Hickory, NC
The Kander-Dauphin Family
Leda & Mike Karchmer
Rabbi Debbie & Alec Kassoff
Henry & Laura Kline, II
Judy & Mark Konikoff
Arnold H. Leon
Mrs. Dorothy G. Levin
Diane Fontaine Levy & Igor
Tepermeister
Bobbye & Rabbi Eugene H. Levy
Dr. Michael & Eileen Lieber
Jan Abby Liff
Michael H. Lipman
May Lynn & Dr. Charles Mansbach, II
Dr. Ronald & Nat Marks
Susan & William Martin, Jr.
Lieutenant Colonel Ed Nagler
Sally G. Nash
George Neville
Max & Claire Solomon Nisen
Scott O'Neal
Wendy & Lee Pake
The Posners: Connie, Donald,
Ben, Alan, Valerie, & Corinne
Becky & Don Potts
Mrs. Phrose Raphael
Pam & Lee Rubin
Harold C. Samuels & Susie Shatz
Betty Claire Samuels & Family

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life • SHALOM Y’ALL | SUMMER 2020

Theresa Diane Hunter
Barbara Hyman
Barbara & Curtis Joseph
The Kander-Dauphin Family
Donald & Lyn Kartiganer
Rabbi Debra & Alec Kassoff
Dr. Madelyn Mishkin Katz
Ann & Chris Kientz
Laura & Henry Kline II
Judy & Mark Konikoff
Janet & Dr. Kevin Krane
Marla Greenberg Lepore
William Levinson
Cynthia M. Lyons
Alicia Kate Margolis
Lt. Col. Ed Nagler
Claire Solomon Nisen
& Max Nisen

Mrs. Phrose Raphael
Rabbi Deborah Silver
Loraine Simons
Hayley Smith
Yvonne Stephan
Rachel Stern & Scott Pullen
Adam & Regan Wassell
Diane & Alan Weil

In Memory Of:
Jay Antis
Andrea & Michael Shindler
Alan & Leanne Silverblatt
Morrise Meyer Bell
Dr. A. Mitchell Bell
Elizabeth Bleiberg
The Bleiberg Family
Marvin Z. Botnick
Ray Ann Kremer & George Shapiro

Want to join
the Chai Club?
Visit
isjl.org/donate

Anna K. Bush
Deborah Bush
Hilda Cubell
Darren & Michele Cubell
Barbara Ellin
Rachel Reagler Schulman

Max Schulman
Malkie Schwartz
Rabbi Michael Shefrin
Dana & R. Louis Shepard
Andrea & Michael Shindler
Charitable Fund
Geri Siegel
Rev. Carol & Rev. Frank Spencer
Mrs. Yvonne Stephan
Rachel Stern & Scott Pullen
The Joseph & Helen Swiff Fund
of the Dallas Jewish
Community Foundation
Temple Israel - Jonesboro, AR
Ronald Underberg
Gene Vinik
Linda & Sherwin Weinstein
Lynda & Donald E. Yule
Connie & Robert Zerden

Risa Herzog
Scott O'Neal

Lydia W. Eriksen
Rose Mary I. Foncree
Susan & Macy B. Hart
Risa & Drew Herzog
The Kander-Dauphin Family
Betsy & Joseph Samuels
Michele & Ken Schipper

Nora Katz
Janet Halbert

Sandy Fischer
Susan & Macy B. Hart

Julie Klein
May Lynn & Dr. Charles
Mansbach, II

Bruce Freud
Rachel Reagler Schulman

In Honor Of:

Rabbi Aaron Rozovsky
Congregation B'nai Israel Columbus, MS
Del Webb Sweetgrass Chavurah
- Richmond, TX
Temple Emanu-El - Longview, TX
Temple Shalom - Myrtle Beach, SC
Temple Solel - Fort Mill, SC

Marin L. Bas
Theresa Diane Hunter
Beth Kander-Dauphin
Helene Paris
Rabbi Matthew Dreffin
Rabbi Erin Boxt
Lori & Scott Dreffin
Charlett Frumin
Janet & Mickey Frost
Our 68th wedding anniversary
Jean & Robert Eisenbach
Jay & Marietta Hesdorffer
Nancy & Barry Glazer
Brett Goldstein
Mrs. Phyllis Insler
Macy B. Hart
Jeri & Van Hart, Jr.
Rabbi Debra & Alec Kassoff
Malkie Schwartz

Janet Brueck Lang
Ann J. Rubin
Dr. Richard Levine
Susan & Macy B. Hart
David Packman
Emily Alpert
Dr. Josh Parshall
Tim & Lynn Parshall
Dr. Mark Posner
Susan & Macy B. Hart
Leon Rittenberg, III
Elayne & Howard Levkowitz

Susan & Rabbi Neil Sandler
Susan & Macy B. Hart
Michele Schipper
Patti & Dr. David Micklin
Malkie Schwartz
Edward Smith
Loel & Larry Samuel, III
Rabbi Andrew N. Bachman
Congregation B'nai Israel Jackson, TN
Malia Vasquez
Geri Siegel
Edward Wexler
Charles K. Clark

Jacob "Jimmy" M. Fried, Jr.
Cheryl Brownstein & Jane
Thompson
Charles & Bettie Minette Cooper
Rabbi Denise Eger & Rabbi
Eleanor Steinman
Mary Jo Gunde
Susan & Macy B. Hart
Aleece Hiller
Holly & Ken Kaufher
Laurence Marks
Cindy & Irving Munn
Beth & Steven D. Orlansky
Michele & Ken Schipper
Maxine Solomon
Rayman L. Solomon & Carol Avins
Benjamin & Henia Friedberger
Ronald & Lillian Zell
Evelyn Friedlander
Charles & Bettie Minette Cooper
Dorrit Friedlander
Charles & Bettie Minette Cooper
Elaine Gartenberg
Linda Gartenberg Kline
Carol M. Ginsburg
Barbara & Curtis Joseph
Sylvia M. Goldstein
Karla & Larry Back
Jonnice & Adam Berns
Laurie Bell Dworkin, Mitch Bell
& John Bell
Carey & Robert Emmich, Jr.
Gail & Michael Goldberg
Debra & Joel Jacobs
The Kander-Dauphin Family
Charles & Virgi Stewart Lindsay
Matthews, Cutrer & Lindsay, CPAs
Beth & Steven D. Orlansky

The Honorable J. David Orlansky
The Posners: Connie, Donald,
Ben, Alan, Valerie, & Corinne
Betty Claire Samuels & Family
Harold C. Samuels & Susie Shatz
Michele & Ken Schipper
Alan & Leanne Silverblatt
Rayman L. Solomon & Carol Avins
Carolyn & Mark Wakefield
Lynda & Donald E. Yule

Melvin H. Katz
Rose Mary I. Foncree

Minette S. Scharff
Charles & Bettie Minette Cooper

Alvin & Sarah Landy
Darcy Landy Grabenstein

Rebecca Staff
Elinor & Michael Staff

Abe Goodman
Michael Goodman

Walter Marx
Rachel Reagler Schulman

Phyllis G. Goradesky
Rachel Reagler Schulman
David Grishman
Susan & Macy B. Hart
Hal & Janine Jayson
Rev. Carol & Rev. Frank Spencer
Joseph S. Harris
Doris & Dr. Martin I. Goldstein
Reva S. Hart
Marilyn & Ted Alford
Lynette Allen & Larry Rothenberg
Rabbi Andrew N. Bachman
Belle Pointe Owners Assoc., Inc.
- Madison, MS
Beverly & Dr. Malcolm Bonnheim
Sissy & Gene Boyd
James K. Child, Jr.
Barney & Patti Daly
Nancy & Dr. Isaac Eberstein
Carey & Robert Emmich, Jr.
Amy & Jacob Friedlander
Risa & Drew Herzog
The Kander-Dauphin Family
Leda & Mike Karchmer
Elizabeth & Tommy Lyle
Susan & William Martin, Jr.
Susan & Paul Hart Miller
Sally G. Nash
The Honorable J. David Orlansky
Henry & Rose Paris
Betsy & Joseph Samuels
Michele & Ken Schipper
Melvin & Nonie Schwartz
Earle Schwarz
Alan & Leanne Silverblatt
Billy & Cindy Simmons
Lynda & Donald E. Yule
Rhoda W. Herzog
John & Judy Bell
Catherine Clancy
Christopher Clapp
Melanie & Will Dann
Jay & Sheryl Davidson
Sarah Einstman
Susan & Macy B. Hart
The Kander-Dauphin Family
Charlotte Kughen & Family
Jan Abby Liff
George Neville
Betsy & Joseph Samuels
Michele & Ken Schipper
Annette F. Simon & Robert M.
Portman
Spencer & Debra Simons
Lynda & Donald E. Yule
Kay Seligman Katz
Stephen J. Katz

Nathan Levy, Jr.
Diane Fontaine Levy & Igor
Tepermeister
Roger D. Malkin
Isabel & Peter L. Malkin

David Mosow
Susan & Macy B. Hart
Dr. Ike Muslow
Susan & Macy B. Hart
Fay Rozovsky
Ann Gerache
Susan & Macy B. Hart
The Kander-Dauphin Family
Michele & Ken Schipper
Bettie Rubenstein
Marilyn & Ted Alford
Alan & Leanne Silverblatt
Monroe B. Scharff
Charles & Bettie Minette Cooper

Phyllis B. Stern
Beverly & Dr. Malcolm Bonnheim
Carey & Robert Emmich, Jr.
Gail & Michael Goldberg
Jack & Michal Hart Hillman
The Kander-Dauphin Family
Bobbye & Rabbi Eugene H. Levy
Susan & William Martin, Jr.
Judi & David Mink
Beth & Steven D. Orlansky
The Honorable J. David Orlansky
Henry & Rose Paris
Betsy & Joseph Samuels
Michele & Ken Schipper
Rachel Reagler Schulman
Melvin & Nonie Schwartz
Alan & Leanne Silverblatt
Rayman L. Solomon & Carol Avins
Lynda & Donald E. Yule
The 75th anniversary of the
liberation of Auschwitz
Craig Young

The Institute is indebted to the following foundations and
individuals whose generous investments, past and present,
have enabled us to move our vision forward with confidence:
Anonymous
The Stanford and Joan Alexander Foundation
Maurice Amado Foundation
The David Berg Foundation
Bezalel Foundation
Samuel Bronfman Foundation
Covenant Foundation
Elaine and Emanuel Crystal Charitable Fund
Nathan Cummings Foundation
Mr. & Mrs. Daniel M. Edelman
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation
Goldring Family Foundation
The Gottesman Fund
Eugene M. Grant
Ronne & Donald Hess Foundation
Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.
Jim Joseph Foundation
W. K. Kellogg Foundation
Robert G. & Ellen S. Gutenstein Family Foundation
Charles and Esther Kimerling Foundation
Ben L. and Betty G. Lamensdorf Endowment Fund
Ted Levi
Lawrence Magdovitz z”l
The Marcus Foundation
Ben May Charitable Trust
Mintz Family
Jean and Bill Mosow
Natan
Righteous Persons Foundation
AMSkier Agency Insurance
Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
Shornick Family
The Slingshot Fund
Samuel and Helene Soref Foundation
Soref-Breslauer Texas Foundation
Woldenberg Foundation
M.B. and Edna Zale Foundation
Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation

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P.O. Box 16528, Jackson, MS 39236-6528

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life
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