After delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new interactive museum exploring the history of the Jewish community in the South is set to open in the Central Business District.
The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience will open at 818 Howard Ave. on May 27.
According to a release, the museum’s opening marks the first new major tourist attraction opening in 2021. The attraction was originally scheduled to open in fall 2020 before construction delays and a drastically slowed tourism economy from the effects of COVID-19.
Multimedia exhibits will explore the many ways Jews in the South influenced and were influence by the distinct cultural heritage of their communities, covering 13 states and more than 300 years of history – including Colonial, Civil War, World War II and the Civil Rights Movement.
“We are excited to announce an opening date after a pause as a result of the pandemic,” said Jay Tanenbaum, museum chair. “Jews in the south formed bonds of deep friendship and community-building with their non-Jewish neighbors. These stories show how people of different backgrounds come together to create the American experience. This can be a bridge to a better understanding and future for all of us.”
Exhibits throughout the new museum will illustrate how Jewish immigrants and succeeding generations adapted to life in the South. The museum will also address issues of race and antisemitism, and the many ways that Southern Jews navigated them at different times, museum officials said in a release.
The museum’s collection of more than 7,000 artifacts was transferred from the original Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, established in 1986 at Jacobs Camp, in Utica, Mississippi and shuttered in 2012.
Museum officials said New Orleans was chosen for the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience based on the city’s vibrant tourism economy, long Jewish history and historical connection to the broader southern region.
For more information about the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, visit the website.
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