On June 9, 2021, Josh Parshall presented “Digital History and Jewish Mississippi: Revisions to the Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities” as part of the History Is Lunch series.
The Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities is a free online resource providing accessible but substantive histories of Jewish life in the South. The website was created by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL), a Jackson-based organization that works with partners across a thirteen-state region to offer educational, spiritual, and cultural programming.
“Since the website’s launch some fifteen years ago, both Mississippi’s Jewish community and the field of digital public history have changed,” said Parshall, who serves as director of history for the ISJL. “These recent revisions include updates about synagogue life and practice and the decline of Mississippi's smallest Jewish populations. We are also connecting Jewish experiences to the histories of Indigenous nations, Black communities, and other minority groups in our state.”
The ISJL's work on the Mississippi section of the Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities has been supported by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council.
Josh Parshall has served as director of the ISJL history department since July 2017. He was the organization's oral historian from 2009 to 2013. Parshall earned his BA from the University of Kansas and his MA and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
History Is Lunch has returned to an in-person format with chairs safely spaced in the Neilsen Auditorium. Programs will continue to be livestreamed on the MDAH Facebook page.
History Is Lunch is sponsored by the John and Lucy Shackelford Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation for Mississippi. The weekly lecture series of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History explores different aspects of the state's past. The hour-long programs are held in the Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium of the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum building at 222 North Street in Jackson.