From photo essays to fine art, our Special Exhibit space hosts the compelling past-and-present stories of Jewish communities, individuals, and ideas throughout the American South.

November 17, 2023 – April 21, 2024

A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and the 4,978 Schools that Changed America

This beautiful, evocative and moving series of black-and-white photographs by Andrew Feiler memorializes the Rosenwald schools, one of the most quietly successful Black education programs in American history. The Southern program, developed through the partnership of Sears, Roebuck President and noted Jewish philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, and education activist and Tuskegee Institute Principal Booker T. Washington, between the years of 1917 and 1932, changed the South, and America, for the better. The Rosenwald schools narrowed the Black-white education gap that plagued Southern and border states, strengthened Black-Jewish relations, paved the way for the civil rights movement, and helped to build a new African American middle class. The exhibit will be on display at the Museum from November 17th, 2023 through April 21st, 2024. During this time, MSJE will run a full schedule of events, both in-person and virtual, centering around the Special Exhibition.