Down Home is a multimedia project that could not have come to fruition without the leadership of former Governor Jim Hunt, Jr. as honorary chair. “The Down Home project will acquaint millions of our citizens, both children and adults, with Jewish values and beliefs…. It will help to develop acceptance, tolerance and respect amongst our citizens.”
For more than three centuries North Carolina has welcomed Jews with hospitality and opportunity. And Jews, often escaping poverty and persecution, have brought their energy and talents to their new homelands. As peddlers in the countryside, storekeepers in small towns, and industrialists in emerging cities, Jews helped create the prosperity that has made North Carolina a leader of the New South. Committed to faith, family, and community, Jews have endowed hospitals, educated our youth, and led the struggle for racial and social justice.
Along the way, they themselves were transformed as Jewish culture and traditions encountered Southern customs and manners. North Carolina Jews grounded their lives in timeless values– family, community, faith, learning—but here these values took on new meanings and inflections that blended past and present. Yet, despite their remarkable contributions to our state, the Jewish story remains little known and largely untold.
All this and more is detailed in a lively informative style with personal stories and humorous tales. Down Home: Jewish Life in North Carolina, is a hallmark multimedia project of the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina and has woven these stories to create a traveling museum exhibit, documentary film, heritage book and school curriculum.