“Another Promised Land? A Texan Perspective on Southern Jewish History”
Professor Joshua Furman
“There are Jews in Texas?” Nearly forty years ago, the documentary film West of Hester Street attempted to shed light on the history of Jews in Texas by narrating the story of the Galveston Movement, a project that brought almost 10,000 Jews to the United States via the port on Galveston Island in the years before World War I.
Today, Texas Jewish history and the larger history of Jews and Jewish communities across the southern United States are enjoying a 21st-century renaissance, as evidenced by the work of the Institute for Southern Jewish Life in Mississippi, the formation of the Joan and Stanford Alexander South Texas Jewish Archives at Rice University in 2018, and the opening of the new Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience in New Orleans. Nevertheless, outside of Texas and the Deep South, Jews who have made this region their home remain something of an obscure curiosity.