Whenever I mention the fascinating history and dynamic modern communities of Jews in Georgia, Tennesee, Mississippi, people look at me like I’ve just brought the ancient civilizations of Mars into the conversation. For heaven’s sake: The city of Atlanta boasts one of the biggest Jewish populations as well as one of best Jewish magazines around!
Friends, there are Jews in them thar’ red states, and they’ve been there longer than most. (Mikve Israel in Savannah, Georgia, where I married a Jewish Southern son, is the third-oldest congregation in the country.)
But really, you don’t need to take my Californian word for it you only need to read Deep South Jewish Voice‘s informed blog on “jewish news with a southern accent.” Obviously, these days Jewish news coming from the South is mostly about the outpouring of tzedakah and the rebuilding of communities that have been damaged by the hurricane bee-otches; but what better proof that tikkun olam is alive and well below the Mason-Dixon?