Monday, July 13, 2009

Jewish Charleston: Rosh Hodesh-Girlfriend's Group

Shalom Y'All,

Our Rosh Hodesh "Girlfriends group meet once a month. This month June 18th. This is a Jewish women's group that meet once a month in honor of the new moon. This day we decided to meet for a day time event. We went to Charleston.

Charleston, you say. That is not Jewish. Well, guess what?? you are wrong. There is a lot of Jewish history in this town of Charleston SC. If you don't believe me you should do a google search. You will find alot of history on the Sephardic Jews
( Spainish).

Our town, Myrtle Beach has a Chabad community as well as conservative and reform. Our RH group is not insular we welcome anyone that is Jewish. Most of us are conservative and reform or secular. We only have two women that are orthodox. This is the overall character of our group.

Chani, is the Chabad rabbi's wife is a very welcoming person. She is not trying to make all of us orthodox because all of us are over 50. She is just a nice person.
The group every month does tefillin(prayer), then some learning(jewish learning) followed by a fun project it can be anything.

Chani drove us in a van with 10 of us to Charleston. Took about 2 hrs. Can you imagine a ride with all women for two hours riding in a van. EAR SPLITTING.
I have not seen some of these ladies for 6 months because of work and school.
It was nice to see them. The ladies some belong to my temple, or to our Hadassah group, Jewish Myrtle Beach, etc.

We started a day with getting a guided tour on our van. G-d must have been with us. We were very lucky. We did not have to walk. We had a air conditioned van. We had a Jewish guide. This was just great. The whole day we only took a few steps the rest of the time we were in the van. The temperture was great.

We started with the Jewish Cemetary in Charleston. The cemetary was a gated wall.
The cemetary was in poor condition which is very sad. The head stones were broken, and thrown every each way. The head stones were damaged recently.

I personally was very surprised how poorly kept the cemetary was kept. I have a friend, she is a member of Temple Beth Elohim, a poor small Jewish community.
Their cemetary is well groomed.

There is not a large Jewish community in Georgetown. But in Charleston Jewish society there is a large community.

Next the homes are beautiful. Some of the homes are owned by Jews other are not. I did not hear much about anti-semitism in Charleston as our guide we talking to us about Charleston.

One of the homes was the inspiration of Gone With The Wind. She showed us the significance of Rhett Butler and the author. Which I can't remember what she said. The high class homes face a certain direction for good ventilation.

We came to the harbor how beautiful was the sea breeze and across the street was the high society homes. Unfortunately I am posting this about 3 weeks later so some of the information is a vague maemory.

Next, we had lunch, at Broad Street Guest House in Charleston. The only kosher eatery and guest house in town. It is run by Hadassah Rothenberg. She never opens it up for only a meal. But she did this time. She told us, no one ever asked her, why not. We had lunch and a tour. We had soup, salad, vegetarian wraps, and a old-fashioned apple pie to die for.

Our next stop was the synagouge, Temple Beth Elohim, a sephardic(Spainish) a Orthodox temple became a reform in the middle 1800's. It was a orthodox shul that became reform in the middle 1800's.

View the picture in the above post of Temple Beth Elohim of the richness and vastness of the shul. We toured the temple, in the main sanctuary, of course the Bimah front and center where the torah is kept(holy books), large stain glass windows(Jewish themed), a balcony and a organ.

Music is not allowed in orthodox or conservative because music is not played during the sabbath. The balcony was built to separate the women and children from the men.

This is very different from how I was raised. The culture from Jews from the north is different from Jews in the south. I was raised in a some what secular home but I was raised from a traditional back ground. I came from the north where shul did not look like a church. The shuls had chairs, not long benches.

We then walked along Market street and then went home. I had a very enlightened historic adventure of Jewish Charleston. If anybody has never been to see the Jewish south this would be a good learning experience especially to you that did not realize there was a large population of Jews in the south.

I will be posting the picture of Temple Beth Elohim on the above post.


1 comment:

Marie Cloutier said...

my aunt and uncle just moved to South Carolina; I'm going to forward this to them if you don't mind. my uncle was raised as an orthodox jew and though he no longer practices I know he woudl be really interested to know about all this!

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