Jackson’s Beth Israel Holding 150th Anniversary

Beth Israel in Jackson, one of Mississippi’s oldest synagogues, is preparing for its 150th anniversary celebration weekend, Sept. 16 to 18. Over 1000 invitations have gone out to current and former congregants, and supporters.

The weekend will feature a “welcome home” congregational dinner, gala event coordinated with a Joshua Nelson concert, a morning at the Henry S. Jacobs Camp, and a golf tournament.

The Celebration 150 weekend kicks off on Sept. 16 with a Shabbat service at 6:15 p.m., featuring Union of Reform Judaism Senior Vice President Rabbi Dan Freelander. Past rabbis, congregants and families will be welcomed back to Jackson during the service.

Afterward, there will be a Shabbat dinner, with a suggested donation of $15. Reservations are required, preferably by Sept. 1.

On Sept. 17, there will be a 10:15 a.m. Shabbat service at the Jacobs Camp, followed by lunch and free time to visit with friends.

“Homecoming Ballyhoo” will feature a gala dinner at the Mississippi Museum of Art at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 17. At 8 p.m., Joshua Nelson, “the Prince of Kosher Gospel,” will perform at the Jackson Convention Center, joined by the Mississippi Mass Choir and the Beth Israel Shirim Choir.

Nelson’s musical style marries Jewish religious lyrics with the soulful sounds and African stylings of American churches. He began fusing the styles upon returning to the United States after two years living in Israel.

The gala dinner and concert are $125 per person, or tickets for just the concert are $30, available from the Jackson Coliseum box office or Ticketmaster.

The golf tournament will be Sept. 18 with registration at 8 a.m. and a shofar start at 9 a.m. A four-person team is $300, or $75 for individuals. The four-person scramble tournament will benefit the congregation’s community and interfaith programs. Lunch and awards follow at 1:30 p.m.

A memory book is also being published and is expected to be ready by the end of the year. Books are $25 and can be reserved from the Beth Israel office.

More information about the weekend is available from the Beth Israel office or on the congregation’s website.