Founded in 1770 and chartered in 1785, the College of Charleston has become a major regional center of Jewish activity. Jews have attended the College since the early nineteeth century; in 1855, the trustees accommodated Jewish students by excusing them from mandatory chapel attendance. The Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program, inaugurated in 1984, supports four faculty positions, one endowed chair, an academic major and minor, an ambitious schedule of community events, Hillel, the Zucker/Goldberg Center for Holocaust Studies, the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina, the Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture, the Arnold Center for Israel Studies, and Marty’s Place, a kosher/vegetarian dining hall adjacent to the program’s building at 96 Wentworth Street.

The Jewish Heritage Collection (JHC) in Special Collections at Addlestone Library, established in 1995, has earned a national and even international reputation as a leading repository of archival materials documenting southern Jewish life, with a focus on South Carolina. Collections include recorded interviews, photographs, correspondence, documents, business, organizational and congregation records, genealogies, memoirs, and other primary sources. An archive open to the public for research, JHC has also developed a rich online presence through websites, online exhibitions, and digitized oral histories and manuscript materials available for viewing at the Lowcountry Digital Library. The collection also includes a substantial Holocuast archives, including oral histories from local survivors and rescuers, as well as the Rabbi William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection, an internationally important collection of Jewish iconography from many parts of the world, dating from the 1600s to the 20th century.

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