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Explore the Down Home Exhibit

Jews in North Carolina have built lives around contradictions—rooted in Carolina soil yet tied to a global community, embracing the here and now yet reaching back to ancient traditions. They are Southern Jews and Jewish Southerners. Their story is just one chapter in our country’s ongoing immigrant saga, a story that new arrivals of all faiths and ethnicities are reliving in the changing South.

For more than 400 years, Jews have shaped North Carolina life. Along the way, they themselves were transformed as Jewish culture and traditions encountered Southern customs and manners. North Carolina Jews grounded their lives in timeless values—family, community, faith, learning—but here these values took on new meanings and inflections that blended past and present.

Click on one of the four areas of the exhibit below to explore how for tens of thousands of North Carolina Jews — your ancestors, your friends, your neighbors — “down there” became “down home.”


Keeping the Faith Component LinkFamily Comes First Component Link    Building Businesses, Creating CommunitiesLove of Learning Component Link


Viewing Requirements

The Down Home Online Exhibit was designed using WordPress and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). It should be accessible regardless of what type of computer and browser you use. To experience the site as it was visually designed please use a monitor resolution of 1360 x 768 or greater, and the latest version of one of the following browsers:


Windows PC


Questions to Think About


Why Study Question Link
Which School Question Link
Commandments Question Link
Jewish American Question Link
Never Forget Egypt Question LinkBelieve in God Question Link
Different Denominations Question LinkMarriage Question Link
Obligations Question Link
Three Opinions Question Link



















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Blowing the Shofar, n.d.
Blowing the Shofar, n.d.
Pollock's Shoes, Christmas 1951
Pollock's Shoes, Christmas Shoe Give-away, 1951, Asheville. Courtesy of Ada and Louis Pollock Collection, Special Collections, D. Hiden Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Moses Gladstein (top right) labor contractor hired by Duke Buck, and his family, c. late 1800s
Moses Gladstein (top right) labor contractor hired by Duke Buck, and his family, c. late 1800s. Special Collection, Perkins Library, Duke University.
House of Jacob Sunday School, c. 1928, Raleigh.
House of Jacob Sunday School, c. 1928, Raleigh. Courtesy Francis Penslar. .