Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience delays opening amid virus crisis
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Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience delays opening amid virus crisis

New Orleans attraction will instead open its doors in early 2021 as tourism to the city grinds to a halt

A sign to the Knickerbocker Hotel, which advertised itself as the only establishment with an 'up to date kosher kitchen' in Hot Springs, Arkansas. (Courtesy of the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience via JTA)
A sign to the Knickerbocker Hotel, which advertised itself as the only establishment with an 'up to date kosher kitchen' in Hot Springs, Arkansas. (Courtesy of the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience via JTA)

JTA — The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience has pushed back its scheduled opening date from October until next year, mostly due to the coronavirus crisis.

“Due to delays in construction, interruptions in supply chains, restrictions on travel, and the many uncertainties that lay before us all, our board of directors has made the strategic decision to postpone our opening to the first quarter of 2021,” the museum said in its June newsletter.

New Orleans is facing a “drastically slowed tourism economy from the effects of COVID-19,” New Orleans City Business reported, citing a statement from the museum announcing the pushed-back opening.

A year ago, the museum moved its more than 4,000-artifact collection from Mississippi, where it has been in storage since 2012, to Louisiana to await the completion of the exhibit space in the new museum building.

Interactive exhibits will address topics such as anti-Semitism in the South, how Jews reacted to the civil rights movement, Southern Jews in popular culture and the religious customs of the region’s Jews.

The museum is the only one dedicated entirely to telling the history of Jews in the American South. Museums in other southern states have exhibits dedicated to Southern Jewish history as part of larger collections.

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