Simcha in Selma: Back to my Family's Roots

For my Bar Mitzvah Project, I am raising money for the Mishkan Israel Temple in Selma, Alabama. When my ancestors came to the United States, instead of staying in New York like most Jews, they went to the south, specifically Alabama. Out of the nine siblings in the Erdreich family, seven of them settled in and around Selma. Those siblings are my great-great grandfather and his brothers and sisters. At the time, Selma had a thriving Jewish population, most of whom were members of the Mishkan Israel congregation.

The synagogue itself is a beautiful building that can still be visited today. But unfortunately, nearly all of the children of the congregation members left Selma for the big cities, and the congregation slowly died out. Now, there are only seven remaining members, all over the age of sixty. Since there are so few members left, the temple is used less and less, and has fallen into disrepair. That is why my project is raising money to help the building. Once it is fully restored, the members may choose to donate it to the Institute of Southern Jewish Life to be used as a museum.

Please donate to help preserve the temple.

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