SJHS Grants & Applications

The Committee is now accepting grant requests for 2015. 

1)  The Project Completion Grant is intended to facilitate the completion of projects relevant to Jewish history in the Southern United States. Such projects might include the publication of books or exhibit catalogs or the preparation of exhibit modules. Grants may not be used to fund research or travel. 

Proposals should include the following:

  1. The submitter's name, address, telephone numbers, and affiliation.
  2. A brief abstract of the project, including information about its format, content, calendar for completion, plans for dissemination, and relevance to Southern Jewish history.
  3. Resumes of key individuals involved in the project, with an emphasis on their relevant expertise and a record indicating an ability to execute the project in a manner that would meet professional standards. Applicants should consult knowledgeable historians and indicate their role in the project.
  4. If the project is to be published, some endorsement from a publisher concerning the likelihood of publication.
  5. Evidence of any additional funding which complements the grant request.
  6. If the project is a book or exhibit catalog, short writing samples; if the project is a video or other media project, appropriate samples of work in that area; if the project is an exhibit module, a description of how the module fits into the overall exhibit plan.
  7.  A budget for the specific amount requested form the SJHS and an explanation of how the fund would be used.

2)  The Research/Travel Grant assists individuals with travel and other expenses related to conducting research in Southern Jewish history.  Applicants must present a plan of research, indicating the libraries and/or archives where they intend to work, and their goal, as well as a budget of expenses and other sources of funding and contact information.

3)  The Scott and Donna Langston Archival Grant encourages the preservation of archival materials related to Southern Jewish history.  A total of $1900 will be divided among funded applications.  Applicants must include a description of the project and a budget and contact information.

The deadline for applications to all grant programs is June 15, 2015.

Grant Committee Members

The SJHS Grant Committee will evaluate each proposal based on its relevance to the goal of the Society, its scholarly merits, its significance and educational impact, and the likelihood of its successful completion. The committee is composed of:

  • Dr. Phyllis K. Leffler (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.), chair
  • Ms. Hollace Weiner (Author, Ft. Worth, TX)
  • Ms. Marni Davis (Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA)
  • Ms. Catherine Kahn (Archivist, Touro Infirmary, New Orleans, LA)
  • Peggy Pearlstein (Retired Head of Hebraic Section, Library of Congress, Washington, DC)

Awards will be presented at the Society's annual fall conference, with recipients being notified in advance. Application materials will not be returned unless a self-addressed, stamped envelope is included. Recipients must acknowledge SJHS support by presenting an appropriate representation of their projects to the SJHS president, and they may be invited to showcase their projects at the following annual conference.

Grant applications and requests should be sent electronically  to:

Dr. Phyllis K. Leffler at

Past Grant Winners


For the Project Completion Grant:

The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington for an exhibit on Jewish Life in Mr. Lincoln's City. This exhibit will correspond with the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth (2009) and will include a section focusing on Jewish life in Alexandria, VA.

Rosie Moosnick for assistance in conducting an oral history project entitled, “Arabs and Jews Keep Shop in Kentucky.”

For the Kawaler Research/Travel Grant:

Sally Stokes, Senior Research Specialist at the White House Historical Association, for research in Ithaca, NY (Cornell University) on a paper entitled, “Builders of the Mishkan”; research includes work on the papers of Clarence Stein, Henry Wright, and Warren J. Vinton.

For the Lowenstein Archival Grant:

The Archives of Springhill Avenue Temple for the continuing project of organizing and preserving historic records of the oldest Jewish congregation in Mobile, AL and one of the oldest in the southern United States.


For the Project Completion Grant:

The Institute of Southern Jewish Life and the Jewish Women’s Archive to support the costs of conducting and processing oral history interviews related to the Jewish experience of Hurricane Katrina.

Hollace Ava Weiner for costs related to the publication of her book, The Jewish Junior League: The Rise and Decline of the Fort Worth Council of Jewish Women, 1901-2002 (Texas A&M University Press).

For the Kawaler Research/Travel Grant:

Cristi L. Schwarcz to support research expenses for a project designed to explore the experiences of Jews in Washington, D.C. over the past forty years. This research will rely heavily on oral histories.

Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett to support research expenses related to writing a biography of Harry Golden. The biography has a working title of, The Next Issue Will Be A Little Late: How Harry Golden Sold The Civil Rights Movement to America, and will open at the end of the 1950s, as Golden’s first book, Only in America, debuted. The subsequent chapters will re-trace earlier decades of his life, and then continue through the civil-rights movement of the 1950s-70s, examining the rise and fall of Golden’s influence until his death in 1981.

For the Lowenstein Archival Grant:

Special Collections, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA to assist in restoring records damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Two sets of records were identified for restoration: the records of the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater New Orleans Section and the records of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans.


For the Project Completion Grant:

Dr. Marcie C. Ferris to assist with costs related to the publication of her book, Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South, published by the University of North Carolina Press at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Deborah R. Weiner to assist with costs related to the publication of her book, Coalfield Jews: An Appalachian History, to be published by the University of Illinois Press.

For the Kawaler Research/Travel Grant:

Susan Cooper  to assist in retrieving any remaining written, oral, and photographic materials associated with the diminishing Jewish community of Corsicana, TX.  

Mary Stanton to support research for writing the history of the Jews of Montgomery, AL during the 1956 Bus Boycott.

Adam Mendelsohn to aid in researching the mercantile, familial, and religious connections between southern Jews and their co-religionists in England and the British Caribbean during the mid-nineteenth century. 

For the Lowenstein Archival Grant:

Congregation Sha’arai Shomayim (formerly Springhill Avenue Temple), Mobile, AL to assist in microfilming the congregation’s most significant records.


Dr. Mark Bauman and The University of Alabama Press to aid in the publication of the book, Southern Jewish History: An Anthology, edited by Dr. Bauman and to be published by The University of Alabama Press.

The Jewish Heritage Collection at the College of Charleston Library to aid in the publication of the book, Orthodoxy in Charleston: Brith Sholom Beth Israel and American Jewish History by Dr. Jeffrey S. Gurock.


Dr. Linda J. Borish, Associate Professor of History, Western Michigan University--The grant was  to assist in the production of the documentary film "Settlement Houses to Olympic Stadiums:  Jewish Women in American Sport."

Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina--The grant was for assistance in the production of a teacher's guide to accompany the documentary, "Down Home:  Jewish Life in North Carolina."

Louisville Jewish Community Center--The grant was to aid in the production of the historical drama, "General Orders No. 11."


The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, Atlanta, GA for their statewide archival project seeking to document Jewish life in small communities throughout the state of Georgia.

Dr. Andrea Greenbaum, Assistant Professor of English at Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida to aid in the production of her book, "Jews of South Florida" (Brandeis University Press).

Beth-el Congregation of Ft. Worth, TX to aid in the publication of their centennial volume.

Mr. Julius Herscovici of Vicksburg, MS to aid in the publication of a book on the history of the Jewish community in Vicksburg.


Marcie Cohen Ferris towards "Matzah Ball Gumbo, Gasper Goo Gefilte Fish, and Big Momma's Kreplach: Exploring Southern Jewish Foodways"

National Council of Jewish Women, Nashville Section towards creation of a brief video of the history of NCJW in Nashville.

Ohef Sholom Temple Archives towards exhibit "Scout Troops of the 1920s - 1940s: Congregational Leaders in the Making".

Donna Schatz towards "The Southern Jewish Store: A Video Documentary" on Miller's Department Store, the only remaining Jewish store in Winston-Salem, NC.

University of South Carolina Research Foundation towards "…A Portion of the People" exhibit brochure (McKissick Museum)


Reprinting of American Jewry and the Civil War by Bertram Korn, The Jewish Publication Society

Documentary film Shalom Y’all, Shalom Y’all Films, LLC


Congregation Gates of Prayer: From Jackson Avenue to West Esplanade Avenue in One Hundred and Fifty Years, Daniel B. Alexander

The Cousins Club: East Tennessee Jews 1840-2000, Wendy Lowe Besmann

Expanding the Horizons of American Judaism: The Achievements of Gershom Kursheedt 1817-1863, Dr. Kenneth Libo

History of Richmond, Virginia’s Jewish Family Services which is celebrating its 150th year, Peter Opper, Ph.D. M.S.S.

Traveling museum project Migrations: The Jewish Settlers of Eastern North Carolina, The Rosenzweig Museum and Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina


Multi-faceted project to preserve, protect and share their history, Birmingham Jewish Community Center

Book detailing history of Congregation Agudath Achim in Shreveport, Louisiana


Guide to sources in New Orleans for the study of Jewish history, Greater New Orleans Archivists

Jewish Stars in Texas, Hollace Ava Weiner

Animated adaptation of “The Tale of a Kite”, Mya Akerling


The Quiet Voices: Southern Rabbis and Black Civil Rights from the Late Nineteenth Century to the Modern Era, Professor Mark K. Bauman and Dr. Berkley Kalin

The Jews of Atlanta: 150 Years of Creating Community, William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, Atlanta, Georgia

Documentary entitled From Pushcarts to Plantations: A History of the Jews of Louisiana, Apple West Productions

Self-guided walking tour of greater Miami's three oldest Jewish quarters, Judaic Studies Program, University of Miami

Profile of the existence of West Feliciana Parish, formerly known as St. Francisville, Louisiana, Brenda S. Levine

Exhibit "Teachers of The Temple" at Ohef Sholom Temple in Norfolk, Virginia

Documentary entitled The Righteous Remnant on Jewish experience of West Virginia with focus on Jews of Beckley, West Virginia, West Virginia University Research Corporation


“Max Heller: Progressive and Zionist in the American South”, Dr. Bobbie Malone

“Delta Jews: A Public Television Documentary”, Mike Dewitt

“Jewish Life in Wilkinson County, 1820-1929”, Ernesto Caldeira, David Smith, and Marsha Oates

“Migrations: A Social History of the Durham-Chapel Hill Jewish Community”, Dr. Leonard Rogoff


The Synagogues of Kentucky, Dr. Lee Shai Weissbach

Conference on “Southern Rabbis and Civil Rights”, Memphis, Dr. Berkley Kalin

Documentary on “The Jews of Rural Texas”, Brian Cohen

Story and painting entitled “Kaddish”, Jenny Lukacs


Illustrated sesquicentennial history of Springhill Avenue Temple of Mobile, Alabama

“The Jews of Colonial Maryland 1656-1776”, Jewish Historical Society of Maryland


Traveling exhibit and speaker series on Jewish life in Mississippi, Museum of Southern Jewish Experience

Documentary entitled “Write for your Life: The Story of Ludwig Lewisohn”, Roy Lekus and Allagash Films of Charleston, South Carolina

Book by Dr. Selma Lewis on history of Jews of Memphis, Tennessee, Jewish Historical Society of Memphis and the Mid-South