The Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina will host a two-day conference, open to the public, titled “Memory, Monuments, and Memorials.”

  • The event kicks off at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at the Simons Center Recital Hall, 54 St. Philip St., with a panel discussion called “Shared Memories, Equal Justice?” moderated by U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel and including Claire Curtis, professor of political science at the College of Charleston; the Rev. Joseph A. Darby, a leader of the AME Church and the Charleston NAACP; civil rights attorney Armand Derfner; the Rev. Charles Heyward, co-president of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry; and Bernard Powers, history professor at the College of Charleston.
  • At 2 p.m., a discussion titled “Monuments of Marion Square” will be moderated in the Recital Hall by Theodore Rosengarten, professor of Holocaust Studies at the College of Charleston. The discussion will include Michael Kogan, professor emeritus of religion at Montclair State University, and Christine King Mitchell, history interpreter at the Old Slave Mart Museum.
  • At 3:15 p.m., architect Michael Arad will deliver a talk in the Recital Hall called “Facing Memory: The Past, the Present, and the Public.” Arad designed the National 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site in New York City, and he has been tapped to design a memorial to the victims of the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
  • A 6 p.m. reception in Randolph Hall, 66 George St., will honor Martin Perlmutter, executive director of the Jewish Historical Society and director of Jewish Studies at the College of Charleston. He retires from his college post in July.

“How a community enshrines its history in its memorials and monuments is a statement in the present,” Perlmutter said. “Of course, it is a representation of the past, but it does so in the here and now, and representations change because the here and now, and its values, are always somewhat in flux.”

  • On Sunday, April 29, the conference continues in the Jewish Studies Center’s Arnold Hall, 96 Wentworth St., with a session at 10:15 a.m. in the Recital Hall titled “Difficult History: Plantations, Concentration Camps, and Cultural Tourism,” moderated by Robin Waites, executive director of Historic Columbia, and including Sara Daise, cultural history interpreter; Shawn Halifax, cultural history interpretation coordinator for Charleston County Parks; Lilly Filler, chairperson of the S.C. Holocaust Council and JHSSC vice president; George McDaniel, executive director emeritus of Drayton Hall; Joseph McGill, founder of the Slave Dwelling Project; David Popowski, attorney and Charleston Holocaust Council member; and Robert Rosen, attorney, author of “Jewish Confederates” and past president of the JHSSC.
  • At 1:30 p.m., the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, South Carolina Chapter, will hold a meeting at the Jewish Studies Center. For more information on this meeting or to learn about the JGSSC, contact Jeff Alexander at

Conference registration is $50 per person and required to attend. Go to You also can register in person 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Simons Center for the Arts.

Contact Adam Parker at or 843-937-5902.