Louisiana, USA
Louisiana, USA iStock

Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience opening in New Orleans on May 27.

A museum centered around the lives and experiences of Jews in America’s South will be opening up in New Orleans on May 27.

The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience will feature exhibits exploring the “many ways Jews in the American South influenced and were influenced by the distinct cultural heritage of their communities.”

The museum looks at Jews living in 13 states over more than 300 years. Jewish communities in the South lived though the colonial period, the War of Independence, the Civil War, World Wars I and II and the Civil Rights Movement.

“We are excited to announce an opening date after a pause as a result of the pandemic,” museum chair Jay Tanenbaum told My New Orleans. “Jews in the south formed bonds of deep friendship and community-building with their non-Jewish neighbors. These stories show how people of different backgrounds come together to create the American experience. This can be a bridge to a better understanding and future for all of us.”

The museum will feature multimedia exhibits showing the ways in which Jewish immigrants and their descendants adapted to life in the American South. Issues such as anti-Semitism and race will also be discussed, especially the differing ways in which Jews navigated these complex issues during different time periods.

The museum said that its primary goal is “understanding through education.”

It will explore “the many ways that Jews in the American South influenced and were influenced by the distinct cultural heritage of their new homes. Through exhibits, collections and programs focused on the unique and remarkable history of Southern Jews, the Museum encourages new understanding and appreciation for identity, diversity, and acceptance.”