Goldring / Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) is a non-profit Jewish organization serving a thirteen-state southern region. Based in Jackson, Mississippi, the ISJL provides programming throughout the South.

Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL)
TypeNon-profit organization
Coordinates32°23′40″N 90°8′37″W / 32.39444°N 90.14361°W / 32.39444; -90.14361Coordinates: 32°23′40″N 90°8′37″W / 32.39444°N 90.14361°W / 32.39444; -90.14361
Michele Schipper


Mission: The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) supports, connects, and celebrates Jewish life in the South.

Structure: The ISJL has three core service areas - Education, Culture, and Spirituality. The ISJL serves a thirteen-state region that includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

History: began as the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience in 1986. The Museum, which now exists as a separate New Orleans-based entity, was formed as a response to an outcry from small-town southern Jews in need of a repository for artifacts, sacred objects, historical documents, and stories. The ISJL remains committed to supporting the museum efforts, and ensuring that the stories and impact of the southern Jewish community will not be forgotten. But the story of Southern Jewish life is not merely a story of shuttering synagogues and diminishing numbers. It's also a story of growing communities, vibrant congregations, and active Jewish communities of all sizes. Thus, in 2000, we became the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, and now focus on connecting communities throughout the region through our Education, Culture, and Spirituality resources. We also work with partners including libraries and public schools to provide dynamic secular literacy programming.

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