A Portion of the People: Exhibition and Book

The portrait of Caroline Agnes Moïse Lopez and two hundred other heirlooms have been assembled in a landmark exhibition entitled A Portion of the People: Three Hundred Years of Southern Jewish Life,organized by the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum. From February 9 through July 20, 2003, the exhibit is on view at Yeshiva University Museum, 15 West Sixteenth Street, in New York City. In September it travels to the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, North Carolina, where it will be on display until November 30.

Through portraits, photographs, original documents, diaries, family memorabilia, military uniforms, business records, and Sabbath candlesticks, A Portion of the People recounts the long and eventful history of Carolina’s Jews. The exhibit title comes from a letter written in 1816 by Isaac Harby, journalist, playwright, and leader of the Jewish Reform movement in America, to Secretary of State James Monroe. Protesting that Monroe had removed the American consul to Tunis because he was a Jew, Harby reminded the future president, “They [the Jews] are by no means to be considered as a Religious sect, tolerated by government; they constitute a portion of the People.

Sponsored by the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina,the College of Charleston, and McKissick Museum, A Portion of the People presents a remarkable group of objects and a new view of a neglected subject.