Monday, February 28, 2011

Bagels and Barbeque opening draws crowd

David Levy (left) and Fred Silverstein talk about their ancestors and how they came to Brownsville during the opening reception of “Bagels and Barbeque: The Jewish Experience in Tennessee” February 4, 2011. Levy is a descendant of the Felsenthal and Sternberger families. Silverstein is a descendent of the Tamm family. Both families operated businesses in Brownsville for many years.

“Bagels and Barbeque: The Jewish Experience in Tennessee” officially opened Friday, February 4, at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center with a reception hosted by First Friday Forum.

More than 60 attendees enjoyed sampling a combination of foods, including bagels and barbecue, while browsing the exhibit and learning more about the contributions the Jewish community has made to Tennessee since the early 1800s. The exhibit includes information and artifacts on loan from both the Brownsville and Jackson communities.

Dr. Candace Adelson, a senior curator with the Tennessee State Museum and coordinating curator of this exhibit, was on hand to share the purpose of the exhibit and some interesting facts of how the exhibit was put together.

David Levy and Fred Silverstein shared stories of their ancestors and how they came to settle in Brownsville. Jewish families such as the Tamms and Felsenthals owned many of Brownsville’s early businesses.

Dr. Pam Dennis, curator of the Jackson exhibit, shared the impact that the yellow fever epidemic had on both the Jackson and Brownsville Jewish community.

The exhibit will be on display until March 27 and is free to the public. First Friday Forum is a group of citizens who met on the first Friday of each month at Temple Adas Israel. The meeting includes a short service followed by a program and discussion of local interest.

“Journey Stories” comes to Mercer

Kathryn and Ray Dixon were among several Brownsville residents who toured the Smithsonian exhibit “Journey Stories” Sunday, February 27, in Mercer, Tenn.
"Journey Stories,” a Smithsonian traveling exhibit, is the tales of how we came to America. From Native Americans to new American citizens, our history is filled with stories of people leaving behind everything – families and possessions – to reach a new life in another state, across the continent, or even across an ocean.

The Big Black Creek Historical Association (BBCHA) in Mercer, Tenn., is one of only six Tennessee museums, and the smallest venue according to the Smithsonian's staff, to be awarded the privilege of displaying this exhibit.

Journey Stories opened Sunday, February 27, at the Pennington Building, and will be on display Fridays and Saturdays, , and Sundays , through April 3. The exhibit can also be viewed by appointment weekdays and evenings by calling 731-427-7897 or 731-234-3497.

Several weekend events are planned as compliments to the exhibit beginning with the showing of the movie “Gone with the Wind” Saturday, March 5, at the Ebenezer Church building. For more information about this, the exhibit and other activities, visit: