May is Jewish American Heritage Month

Not widely known perhaps, but May is a time to celebrate our Jewish heritage in the United States. Our historian, Len Rogoff has written about the first Jewish person to settle in the English speaking colonies. The locale for this settlement was none other than North Carolina on Roanoke Island. This Jew, by the name…

Jewish Congregational Histories Online!

The JHFNC is contributing its resources to an on-line Religion in North Carolina Digital Collection. This project is a collaboration of Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest University. RNCDC is collecting, preserving, and making accessible primary materials on all religious bodies in the state. Once digitized, anyone, anywhere will…

Down Home: Digital Exhibit

JHFNC is happy to announce the birth of Down Home: A Virtual Museum on its web site: http://sites.duke.edu/downhome/ . While hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians saw the exhibit in person at one of its several venues, Raleigh, Charlotte, or Wilmington, mounting our interactive site means that Down Home will live on for many years…

The Piyyut (Poem) Akdamut Milin: The Enigma and Perseverance of Tradition

In this article, that originally appeared at http://thetorah.com/akdamut-milin/, Duke Professor Laura Lieber gives a fascinating historical account of the famous and enigmatic piyyut—liturgical poem or hymn—of the Shavuot festival, Akdamut Milin. Listen to the Poem here אקדמות מלין ושריות שותא אולא שקלנא חרמן ורשותא “An introduction of words and a beginning of speech: From the…

Harry Golden Takes On The Seersuckered South

In this article from Charlotte NPR by Tom Bullock, the digital “Down Home” exhibit is featured.  View the original article at: http://wfae.org/post/harry-golden-takes-seersuckered-south Harry Golden Takes On The Seersuckered South By Tom Bullock Harry Golden, journalist and civil rights activist in Charlotte c.1970’s. Courtesy of J Murrey Atkins Library / UNC Charlotte 1 of 5 Long…

Down Home: Cantata: Listen LIVE on The State of Things

Professor Eric Meyers, Composer Alejandro Rutty, and Conductress Lorena Guillen will be on The State of Things with Frank Stasio this afternoon at 12:40PM to discuss Down Home: The Cantata! You can listen LIVE to the interview at the following: http://wunc.org/programs/state-things The last performance of the Cantata for this Spring will be held in Greensboro…

Have a Ball at Purim!!

Purim is now most memorable as a family celebration, a raucous children’s party with creative costumes, home-baked hamantaschen, and a noisy service during which the megillah, the Scroll of Esther, is read. The name of Haman is cursed with groggers even as that of Mordecai is cheered. A century ago the memorable Purim event would…

An American Hanukkah

Hanukkah for us has become the Jewish Christmas, as Jews replicate the gift giving and seasonal cheer that mark the Yuletide holiday. Indeed, the public display of Christmas trees is legitimatized if a Hanukkiah is placed beside it.  Holiday choirs add a dreidel song to their repertoire of carols. Yet, in memoirs and oral histories…