LimmudFest 2021 LimmudFest 2021
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Buried and Alive: Memory, Commemoration, and Identity in Southern Jewish Cemeteries

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Nora Katz
Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL), Director of Heritage and Interpretation

Nora Katz is a public historian and theatre maker currently serving as the Director of Heritage and Interpretation at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) in Jackson, Mississippi. In her role, she interprets and shares the rich legacy of Jews in the American South through public programs, trips and tours, historic preservation, and more. Originally from rural Pennsylvania, Nora holds a Master’s degree in Public History and Cultural Heritage from Trinity College Dublin and is passionate about the intersection between history and theatre. Nora is also the author of the humor book Literary Starbucks.

Dr. Josh Parshall
Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL), Director of the History Department

Dr. Josh Parshall has served as the Director of the ISJL History Department since July 2017. This is his second stint at the ISJL, having previously worked as oral historian from 2009 to 2013. His academic interests include American Jewish culture and politics, Yiddish language and culture, and southern studies. He holds a Ph.D. from the Department of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where his dissertation research focused on southern branches of the Arbeter Ring (Workmen's Circle).

What is the history of Jewish burial in the Gulf South? How do we remember and commemorate the dead? What can cemeteries tell us about the development and evolution of southern Jewish communities? Join us for a virtual tour of southern Jewish cemeteries, with a special focus on New Orleans. We'll learn about cemeteries in big cities and small towns, think about what these sites can teach us about tensions between assimilation and tradition, and consider the fascinating nuances of Jewish burial culture. We'll also learn about what it takes to preserve these historic places, and how you can engage with historic cemeteries in your home community. This session is offered by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL), based in Jackson, Mississippi. Learn more about us at