Find yourself in the Jewish South.
In 1964, almost 1,000 college students came to Mississippi to lead voter registration drives, engage young people in activism, and organize voters during Freedom Summer, an initiative of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. We are inspired by the legacy of Jewish (and non-Jewish) volunteers who have come to Mississippi, and want students have an understanding of the shoulders they are standing on. Many individuals who spent time in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement look back on their time here as a formative experience. We hope that students will leave with similar memories.
Along with developing an itinerary and setting up service learning opportunities, the ISJL provides educational materials exploring Jewish, civil rights, and southern history. We believe that being in Mississippi provides the opportunity to have conversations that you wouldn’t normally have in your home community. Broken up into short interactive lesson plans, we’ve included our favorite essays, primary sources, and documentaries to give students a thorough and thoughtful overview of the southern Jewish experience. These will serve as a supplement to the local representatives who will share their own contemporary experiences.
Working with local service providers on projects that confront community challenges of poverty, food inequity, education injustice, and institutional racism, students will learn about the unique strengths and strategies used to promote social change in Mississippi.
The goal is for students to not only learn about Mississippi, past and present Jewish communities, and the role of social justice in the state, but also to make connections to their own lives that will inspire positive social change in their home communities.
Download our service learning catalog to learn more about our trip-planning service and our unique and comprehensive curriculum. For more information about this enriching opportunity, please call 601.362.6357 or email Director of Heritage and Interpretation Nora Katz.