Down Home

Jewish Life in North Carolina

By Leonard Rogoff

432 pp., 8 x 10, 30 color and 106 b&w illus., notes, index

  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-9599-3
    Published: April 2010
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6879-6
    Published: November 2021
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8404-6
    Published: April 2010

Buy this Book

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A sweeping chronicle of Jewish life in the Tar Heel State from colonial times to the present, this beautifully illustrated volume incorporates oral histories, original historical documents, and profiles of fascinating individuals. The first comprehensive social history of its kind, Down Home demonstrates that the story of North Carolina Jews is attuned to the national story of immigrant acculturation but has a southern twist.

Keeping in mind the larger southern, American, and Jewish contexts, Leonard Rogoff considers how the North Carolina Jewish experience differs from that of Jews in other southern states. He explores how Jews very often settled in North Carolina's small towns, rather than in its large cities, and he documents the reach and vitality of Jewish North Carolinians' participation in building the New South and the Sunbelt. Many North Carolina Jews were among those at the forefront of a changing South, Rogoff argues, and their experiences challenge stereotypes of a society that was agrarian and Protestant.

More than 125 historic and contemporary photographs complement Rogoff's engaging epic, providing a visual panorama of Jewish social, cultural, economic, and religious life in North Carolina. This volume is a treasure to share and to keep.

Published in association with the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina, Down Home is part of a larger documentary project of the same name that will include a film and a traveling museum exhibition, to be launched in June 2010.

Published in association with the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina

About the Author

Leonard Rogoff is historian for the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina and president of the Southern Jewish Historical Society.
For more information about Leonard Rogoff, visit the Author Page.


"Through oral histories, original documents and fascinating profiles, the author and UNC alumnus provides the first comprehensive social history of its kind."--Carolina Arts & Sciences

"Elevates the quality of Jewish histories that focus on a particular locality. Rogoff fully confronts the difficulties that Jews in North Carolina experienced and he skillfully traces their history to the present day. . . . Will be of interest to Jews generally as well as to everyone who is curious about Southern history."--Jewish Journal

"A fascinating trove. . . . To paraphrase the old frankfurter ad, you don't have to be Jewish to enjoy Down Home.--Wilmington Star News

"The Jewish experience in 'down home' North Carolina has been something like the best business deal: Good for both parties--very good for Jews and great for North Carolina. So is Rogoff's book."--D.G. Martin, syndicated columnist

"The long history and deep roots of Jews in the Tar Heel state are coming to life in an ambitious new multimedia project that. . . . [encompasses a] handsomely illustrated coffee-table book [celebrating] Jewish contributions to North Carolina social, civic and commercial life. . . . [and] a nearly vanished way of life for Jews in the state's mill and market towns."--Forward

"Much like the fact that you don't have to be Jewish to enjoy matzah ball soup and gefilte fish, you don't need to be Jewish to be engaged by Rogoff's clear and fascinating history of this relatively small but integral group of North Carolinians."--Our State