A Portion of the People Main Title Graphic 'A Portion of the People: Three Hundred Years of Southern Jewish Life' chronicles the dynamic, surprising history of Jewish settlers and their descendants in the American South.
First Families This Happy Land Pledging Allegiance Palmetto Jews

This online exhibition is the tale of people who, in the beginning, had to cope with nearly unlimited freedom in a society where more than half the population was held in slavery. The story demonstrates the resilience of Jewish culture over the centuries and the intriguing mix of southern ways and Jewish traditions that characterizes a small but significant portion of the people.

  • First Families begins with the coming of Jewish settlers to Carolina in the late 1600s and ends circa 1820, with the first movement to reform Judaism in America.

  • This Happy Land portrays Jewish communal life in the antebellum period culminating with the defeat of the Confederacy and the turmoil of Reconstruction.

  • Pledging Allegiance, still under construction, will open with the arrival of eastern European Jews after 1880 and span two world wars.

  • Palmetto Jews, a portfolio of photographs by Bill Aron, documents a world on the brink of a new millennium, deeply rooted yet moving fast into the future.

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Last updated: Friday, August 18, 2006