Pre-civil War Attitudes of Southern Jews Described by Historian

Jewish behavior and opinions in the South before the Civil War were in “no appreciable way different from their non-Jewish neighbors,” Dr. Bertram W. Korn, the historian, told the 59th annual meeting of the American Jewish Historical Society here last night. Dr. Korn, who is president of the society, presented a study of southern Jewry during 1789 to 1865, at the opening session of the two-day conference, which was devoted to the Civil War centennial observance.

Jews of the Old South functioned as part of the general social pattern and close examination of their role disclosed that “being Jewish did not play any discernable role in the determination of the relationship of Jews to slavery,” Dr. Korn said.

Dr. Jacob R. Marcus, Adolph S. Ochs professor of American Jewish History at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, was awarded the society’s annual Lee Max Friedman Medal for “distinguished service to history.” Dr. Korn made the presentation.

Dr. Abram Kanof, associate professor at the New York State University School of Medicine and Director of Pediatrics at the Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital, was elected president of the society at the closing session. He is a member of the Long Island Historical Society and formerly vice-president of the society.

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