Upcoming Events

Sunday Conversations with Judge Richard Gergel and Robert Rosen
South Carolina’s Jewish Merchants

Sunday, March 7 5:30 PM


How to Document Your Synagogue (and Other Buildings) for Planning, Protection, and Posterity

A workshop with architectural historian and historic preservationist Dr. Samuel Gruber.

Join us for this special workshop on Sunday, March 21 from 3 until 5 PM via Zoom.

Sam Gruber is an expert in synagogue architecture. He has 30 years’ experience working with congregations and communities to document, protect, and preserve their congregational, material, and artistic history. In this workshop he will address broad questions of what to document and why, and then offer a step-by-step instruction on how to photograph and describe a synagogue and its contents.


American Experience Films presents
“The Blinding of Isaac Woodard”

Tuesday, March 30 from 9 until 11 PM on Local PBS Stations


In 1946, Isaac Woodard, a Black army sergeant on his way home to South Carolina after serving in WWII, was pulled from a bus for arguing with the driver. The local chief of police savagely beat him, leaving him unconscious and permanently blind. The shocking incident made national headlines and, when the police chief was acquitted by an all-white jury, the blatant injustice would change the course of American history.

Based on Richard Gergel’s book Unexampled Courage, the film details how the crime led to the racial awakening of President Harry Truman, who desegregated federal offices and the military two years later. The event also ultimately set the stage for the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, which finally outlawed segregation in public schools and jumpstarted the modern civil rights movement.


A special event for JHSSC members and friends with the author, Judge Richard Gergel

Robert Rosen will join Judge Richard Gergel as they discuss his book, “Unexampled Courage”, with guests Pat Sullivan and director/producer Jamila Ephron.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE presents “The Blinding of Isaac Woodard”


Ongoing Projects

JHSSC’s Jewish Merchant Project

For more than 300 years, Jewish settlers – from across the Atlantic and around the country – have made their homes in South Carolina. The earliest Jews populated Charleston, Georgetown, and later Columbia, where they held a variety of occupations and became immersed in civic life. By the late 1800s, Jewish merchants had set up shop on downtown streets in towns big and small, and more than 100 years later their legacy remains alive through their descendants. The Jewish Merchant Project (JMP) goal is to preserve memories of the men and women who have played vital roles in communities across South Carolina. Their stories are our history.

Beginning in 2017, the JHSSC partnered with Historic Columbia and the College of Charleston to undertake a state-wide survey of Jewish merchants, past and present. The JMP website is the foundational product of that survey and will capture the impact of Jewish businessmen and women on communities, large and small, as well as the networks of family and friends that led Jewish men and women to call this state home.

Jewish Merchant Project | Explore the Merchant Map

Historic Columbia and Columbia Jewish Heritage Initiative

Purpose: Identify and fill gaps in the documentation of Columbia’s Jewish History; Document stories of Holocaust survivors who settled in Columbia; Encourage dialogue by collecting and sharing stories, images, and documents; Broadcast information to diverse audiences through print and web-based media and public programs; Create an ongoing coalition to sustain the effort in the future; Record stories of elders of Columbia’s Jewish community. To read the entire article about the Columbia Jewish Heritage Initiative go to Page 11 of the Fall 2015 Magazine.

To learn more about or participate in the Columbia Jewish Heritage Initiate,  go to www.historiccolumbia.org/CJHI or Contact: Robin Waites, Executive Director Historic Columbia, rwaites@historiccolumbia.org.

Are you planning an event pertaining to South Carolina Jewish History?
Contact us to have it listed here on our site.

Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina


JHSSC Office
96 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843 953 3918
Email: jhssc2020@gmail.com

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