Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience to Open May 27
NEW ORLEANS – The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience announced it will open to the public on Thursday, May 27 at 818 Howard Avenue, a few blocks from the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the National World War II Museum.
MSJE exhibits will explore the “many ways Jews in the American South influenced and were influenced by the distinct cultural heritage of their communities,” according a press release. The museum will focus on the history of 13 states over the last three centuries – including colonial times, the Civil War, World War II and the Civil Rights Movement.
“We are excited to announce an opening date after a pause as a result of the pandemic,” said Jay Tanenbaum, museum chair, in a press release. “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 original Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience was open from 1986 to 2012 in Utica, Miss. In 2017, the board of the Institute of Southern Jewish Life separated itself from the museum, giving it the flexibility to re-establish itself in a new city. The planning committee chose New Orleans because it has a vibrant Jewish population, a healthy tourism economy and it didn’t already have a Jewish-themed museum cultural attraction in place.
The MSJE said its multi-media exhibits will examine how Jewish immigrants and succeeding generations adapted to life in the South. The museum will also address the many ways that Southern Jews navigated issues of race and antisemitism.
The museum is still seeking artifacts for its exhibits. Visit www.msje.org/our-collection to learn more.