The Down Home Museum Exhibit is a traveling museum exhibition. Down Home takes an experiential, values-oriented approach in telling the narrative of Jewish life in North Carolina.
The Down Home Museum Exhibit is available for all to see at the Down Home cybermuseum hosted by Duke University. This interactive traveling museum exhibition documented 400 years of Jewish presence. From its debut at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh in 2011, it traveled to the Cape Fear Museum in Wilmington, the Greensboro Historical Museum, and the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte. There, visitors relived the experience of worship at a synagogue, sat down at a table for a Sabbath dinner, and visited a dry-goods store, all with authentic furnishings from Jewish locales across the state.
Explore the Down Home Exhibit
Jews in North Carolina have built lives around contradictions—rooted in Carolina soil yet tied to a global community, embracing the here and now yet reaching back to ancient traditions. They are Southern Jews and Jewish Southerners. Their story is just one chapter in our country’s ongoing immigrant saga, a story that new arrivals of all faiths and ethnicities are reliving in the changing South.
For more than 400 years, Jews have shaped North Carolina life. Along the way, they themselves were transformed as Jewish culture and traditions encountered Southern customs and manners. North Carolina Jews grounded their lives in timeless values—family, community, faith, learning—but here these values took on new meanings and inflections that blended past and present.
Click on one of the four areas of the exhibit below to explore how for tens of thousands of North Carolina Jews — your ancestors, your friends, your neighbors — “down there” became “down home.”
Explore the "We Are" Portion of the Down Home Exhibit
Click the panels below to find out more about Jewish Life in North Carolina.
Explore the Forest of Questions
As you explore the Down Home Exhibit think about the questions below. Or, click a question and you will be directed to the section of the exhibit that has the answer.