The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State recently introduced 37 visitors from San Francisco to the Delta’s rich cultural heritage on a tour called Jews, Blues and Jazz.
The group flew from California to Memphis, traveled through the Delta on their way to Natchez and then New Orleans before heading home. It was led by Fred Rosenbaum, an educator and historian and founding director of Lehrhaus Judaica. He was formerly on the faculty at the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.
Rosenbaum was assisted by his colleague, Peretz Wolf-Prusan, who served for 20 years at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco before assuming his current position as rabbi and senior educator for Lehrhaus Judaica in October 2010. The group learned about the Delta Center through The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life in Jackson. The institute is a group that the Delta Center has worked with several times in the past.
The promotional materials for the tour described the experience as follows: “In the land of bagels and grits, we will explore Jewish Life in the Deep South: its rich history from colonial times, the war between the states, Civil Rights, and the new South. We will enjoy the music, food and hospitality that makes the Delta home sweet home to a historic Jewish community.”
The Center is the manager of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, a partnership between the people of the Mississippi Delta and the National Park Service. For information about the National Heritage Area, contact the center at 662-846-4311.