First Alabama Jewish Culture and History Symposium announced

A statewide effort to collaborate on Alabama Jewish history is being launched with a July symposium, under the auspices of the Alabama Folklife Association.

The first Alabama Jewish Culture and History Symposium will be held at Temple Beth Or in Montgomery on July 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., bringing laypeople and academics together to explore what historical resources are already available, and how communities can preserve the types of information that historians rely on.

The goal is to strengthen the documentation and preservation of Jewish life in Alabama.

The Symposium will include community and research project sharing, archives training, a musical performance by Dahlia Road, art and oral history exhibits, a Jewish book table, and open time for conversation.

A working group has been meeting online quarterly since last summer, to plan the Symposium and start compiling a list of Jewish Alabama archival resources in the state and around the country. Many large collections of Alabama Jewish history are in archives in Atlanta, Cincinnati and New York.

Part of the symposium will help congregational volunteers who collect historical materials focus on things that are of interest to historians, and not mistakenly toss items they think wouldn’t be relevant.

The Symposium is co-sponsored by the Alabama Folklife Association, Alabama State Council on the Arts, Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life in Jackson, Old Dominion University, Southern Jewish Life magazine, Temple Beth-El in Birmingham, Temple Beth Or, Troy University, the University of Alabama and the University of South Alabama.

Registration for the symposium is $5, and is available here.