WOODVILLE: Wilkinson County Print


http://www.isjl.org/history/archive/ms/woodville.htm has Jewish Community history and photos. [January 2009]

1919 Jewish population was 12. Source: "Directory of Jewish Local Organizations in the United States" pp. 330-583 in American Jewish Year Book 5680 September 25,1919 to Sept. 12, 1920; volume 21. Edited by Harry Schneiderman for the American Jewish Comm. and submitted by Alan Hirschfeld.

Congregation Beth El history and photos.Worshipping together since the 1850's, residents ormally chartered Beth El in 1878, when completing their first synagogue on the corner of Banks and Natchez Streets.... "In the 1920s, Congregation Beth Israel closed and sold its building. All of its furnishings, including the lectern, pulpit chairs, and pews went to the local Baptist church. In 1992, the church gave these items to the Wilkinson County museum, which put together an exhibit on the Jewish history of Woodville. Today, the last vestige of this “Little Jerusalem” is the Beth Israel cemetery, as no Jews currently live in Woodville." [January 2009]


General Wilkinson County information.  [August 2005]


Community References:

Leo E. Turitz and Evelyn Turitz, Jews in Early Mississippi. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1983.

Marsha Oates, editor, “Jewish Life in Wilkinson County, 1820-1920: Views of a Vanished Community,”  Woodville: The Wilkinson County Museum, 1995.

Elliott Ashkenazi, The Business of Jews in Louisiana, 1840-1875 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1988), chapter 5.


inactive cemetery as of November 1940, Turitz [See main MS page.]

Beth Israel Cemetery: On the outskirts of city, the site dates from 1849 according to p. 267 of Postal & Koppman "Jewish Tourist's Guide to U.S." (Jewish Publ. Soc., Phila., PA 1954) Documents exist in (AJA) American Jewish Archives, 3101 Clifton Ave. Cincinnati, Ohio 45220-2488; phone (513) 221-1875:

Historic marker image. [January 2009]

Cemetery image. [January 2009]

The cemetery began when two Jewish traveling peddlers, Jacob Schwartz and Jacob Cohen, purchased a small plot of land to bury a fellow travel who had died unexpectedly. [January 2009]

Records of Beth Israel Cemetery, published in The Louisiana Genealogical Register. Baton Rouge, LA. Sept. 1977. Vital Statistics file. and gravestone inscriptions from the Jewish cemetery. Woodville, MS, 1814-1969. 1979 Vital Statistics file.

UPDATE: http://www.rootsweb.com/~mswilkin/wville.htm: "The Jewish Cemetery - Used extensively by our Jewish population from the War Between the States until WWI. Many inscriptions are in Hebrew." In the County Museum at Jewish Life in Wilkinson County, 1820-1920, "Views of a Vanished Community" Edited by Marsha Oates, 1996 and Jews in Early Mississippi by Leo and Evelyn Turitz. Accounts of Jewish settlement across Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi, 1995. [January 2003]

http://www.ssrc.msstate.edu/grr/wilkhm.html has photo of the historic marker reading: "BETH ISRAEL CEMETERY - Jewish community flourished in Woodville 1820-1920. Est. cemetery 1848. Synagogue built on Natchez St. 1878, rebuilt 1896, burned 1930’s. Jewish community enriched Town’s economic/artistic life." Location: in front of cemetery on Sligo Street, 601-888-3338, [January 2003]

UPDATE: Sligo Street, south of downtown. Jewish cemetery is on the right. In 1849, peddlers Jacob Cohen and Jacob Schwartz hastily bought a piece of land to bury fellow peddler Henry Burgance, who died unexpectedly. The museum and town care for the cemetery. Two years ago, a large tree in the cemetery was uprooting some older graves, so the town planned to cut it down and use it as the city¹s Christmas tree that year. Source: Larry Brook, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [May 2005]


Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:51