Mapping the story of Jewish life in the Lowcountry

With the release of the latest chapter of Mapping Jewish Charleston, the project brings the story of Jewish life in the Lowcountry up to the present.

Produced by the Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture and the Jewish Heritage Collection (JHC), Mapping Jewish Charleston weaves together original documents, photographs, topical essays and interactive maps to explore how religion and local culture have accommodated one another and occasionally clashed over the past 300 years.

Photo by Jack Alterman

From downtown’s Henry Berlin Block to Chabad’s Center for Jewish Life in Mt. Pleasant, the latest chapter surveys 24 sites of Jewish interest—some prominent, some little known, some recent and some venerable.

“It’s a great accomplishment for our libraries and for Jewish history,” said Harlan Greene, co-principal of the project with Shari Rabin and Dale Rosengarten. “While we’ve been collecting and making materials available for years, this mapping project makes so much more accessible much more quickly. We are literally taking history and our archives to the streets.”

Designed as a tour guide, an educational tool and a scholarly reference, Mapping Jewish Charleston’s latest chapter features new work by the city’s celebrated photographer Jack Alterman and materials from JHC’s rich archival repository, which includes manuscripts, oral histories, photographs, memoirs, genealogies, home movies and other invaluable artifacts, all available to the public, many accessible online through the Lowcountry Digital Library.

Mapping Jewish Charleston was made possible by funding from the Cahnman Foundation, the Charleston Jewish Federation, the Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture and individual donors.

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Written by Vincent Fraley