An open house will be held at, the Jewish Community Center Sunday, 2-5 p.m. as part of Jewish Heritage Month.
The open house is part of the Charleston County Bicentennial Committee's month-long recognition of the Jewish community's contributions to Charleston history and culture, as part of the American Revolution Bicentennial observance.
A tour of the facility at 1645 Millbrook Drive will be featured, along with exhibits by the city's Jewish organizations and synagogues.
A television documentary on Charleston's Jewish heritage will be shown.
Groups sponsoring exhibits will include the Hebrew Benevolent Society, the nation's oldest Jewish charitable-society still active.
It was founded in 1784 in the wake of the American Revolution, when Charleston was the cultural center for the United States' 2,500 Jewish citizens.
The society is designing a commemorative Bicentennial coin, depicting the death of Francis Salvador of South Carolina, the first Jew to die in the American Revolution, and the society's seal.
The seal shows a figure of a skeleton representing the angel of death and name of the society in Hebrew.
The Hebrew Orphan Society, founded in 1801, will also be represented. Still active, the society continues a longstanding tradition of keeping the names of charity beneficiaries in confidence.
In addition to the two historic Charleston groups, the local chapters of Hadassah, a Jewish Women's organization; National Council of Jewish Women; and the Jewish War Veterans will be included. Exhibits by Charleston's three synagogues, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, Brith Sholom Beth Israel and Ernanu-EI, will be shown.
K.K. Beth Elohim was founded in 1749 and in 1825 became the birthplace of Reform Judaism in America, The present synagogue, built in 1840, was the first in the nation to contain an organ. It is the second oldest Jewish house of worship in the country and the oldest still in use.
Brith Sholom congregation was founded in 1854 and its first synagogue was built in 1856. Beth Israel was founded in 1911. The two Orthodox' Jewish congregations merged in 1954.
Synagogue Emanu-El, built in 1954 is on Gordon Street. The congregation, founded in 1947 isthe first Conservative Jewish congregation in South Carolina.
The following Sunday, a Jewish Heritage Festival is scheduled to be held on The Battery.
Originally published: Charleston News and Courier June 22, 1974