The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience provides engaging educational programming for K-12th grade students that enrich Common Core State Standards. From in person and virtual tours to programs touching on immigration, civil rights, the Holocausts and more, your students will gain new perspectives by using the experience of a people with a distinct culture and history, to demonstrate the splendor of the American tapestry. 

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Field Trips

MSJE offers on-site field trips to students in the 3rd – 12th grades. Field Trips at MSJE are interdisciplinary, object based, and encourage critical thinking. They focus on the unique and little-known history of Southern Jews to encourage students explore concepts of identity, diversity, and acceptance. All field trips consist of an interactive guided tour in our galleries and a hands-on
program that enrich classroom standards.

After getting an idea for the right fit for your students, fill out the Field Trip Form. Questions? Please contact Lizzi Meister, Public Programs Manager at 504-384-2480 x 105 or email lizzi@msje.org

Free Field Trips for Local Students

First Horizon Bank is generously sponsoring all 2024 Field Trips for Louisiana and Mississippi students to MSJE! All Louisiana and Mississippi field trip goers will also receive a free ticket to come back with their family!

Gallery 1: From Immigrants to Southerners Image The story of the Southern Jewish experience begins thousands of miles from American shores. Tracing the major migrations of Jews to the American South beginning in the 1700s, this gallery explores how Jewish immigrants journeyed to American ports and navigated into the interior of the South. From establishing stores to synagogues, From Immigrants to Southerners touches on themes including merchant life, social institutions, and religious practice.

Interpreting the Past: Understanding objects (5th – 9th Grade)

Learn how to look at and consider artifacts as part of the historical record. This inquiry based program encourages students to ask questions about an object in order to understand their context.

Southern Stained Glass

Both/And (9th – 12th Grade)

Students will explore their complex both/and identities through our both/and identity of southern and Jewish.

Community quilt, 1885. This Victorian “crazy” quilt, made by the Jewish Ladies’ Sewing Circle in Canton, Mississippi, was likely raffled off in support of Canton’s Temple B’nai Israel. The congregation opened its doors in 1879 following set-backs from the yellow fever epidemics of the 1870s. Donated to the MSJE Permanent Collection by Isabel Wile Goldman in memory of Bertha Loeb.

Southern Jewish Leadership (6th – 12th Grade)

Learn from the experiences of southern Jewish leaders, who engaged deeply in their community to better understand yourself as a leader. 

www.eye-creative.com Frank Aymami Photography

Strangers in a Strange Land (3rd-5th Grade)

Explore how immigrants to the United States found their way in their new home – the  struggles and triumphs of becoming American, of becoming part of the southern community. Students will explore times they felt like a stranger in a strange land and ways they welcome people to their community.

Vital Part of Community

A Vital Part of the Community (6th-8th Grade)

Explore how Jewish people were and are a vital part of their community. Students will dive into the histories of some of New Orleans vital community members to better understand their own identity.

Field Trip FAQs

How much do field trips cost? 

  • Student tickets are $10 and include a tour and a program
  • 1 Chaperone for every 10 students is required and receives a complimentary ticket. Any additional chaperones will require a ticket.

How many students can I bring at once?

  • MSJE can accommodate up to 50 students Wednesday – Monday and 65 students on Tuesday. If your group is larger, contact lizzi@msje.org to discuss options to split your group.

What about lunch?

  • MSJE does not sell any food or drinks, though a lunch space is available to be used. There is not a place to store cold lunches. All food must be arranged by the school.

Is there a place to park our bus?

  • Bus parking is available for two school buses outside the Museum. Please communicate bus needs during booking.

Can my students buy souvenirs?

  • The Museum Store will be open and accepts cards and cash.

Lesson Plans 

Standard Enriching lesson plans that draw on MSJE’s collection to lead in YOUR classroom. 

Contact Public Programs Manager Lizzi Meister at lizzi@msje.org for full lesson plan.

From Life to Literature: Immortalizing Oral Histories – Grades 5 – 8: Students will unearth details of their elders’ childhoods, leading them down a path of historical exploration. Consisting of four lessons, students will define oral history, learn how to ask good questions, understand how to conduct an effective interview, and interpret learned information creatively. Students will learn about the impact of oral histories and sharpen their interview skills, culminating in a final project that immortalizes collected words and leaves them with an appreciation for oral and written storytelling.

2 Oral Histories, 3 Opinions – Grades 3 – 8: Students will engage with multiple primary sources and think analytically about bias and historical perspectives to build critical thinking skills. Students will organize information on a Venn Diagram, learn the basics about how historians collect oral histories, and practice giving oral histories themselves.

Virtual Opportunities 

MSJE will come to you (virtually)! Click on the programs below to learn more about each virtual opportunity. 

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My Southern Jewish Experience

During this program, we will explore 4 artifacts in the MSJE collection to learn more about the southern Jewish experience. Students will get a hands-on (or screen-on) interaction with each of the stories we talk about.

Contests 

Student writing, photo and essay contests. Click on the opportunities below to learn more. 

A portrait of small happy school girl sitting at the desk in classroom, looking at camera.

2024 Middle School Essay Contest

Open to 5th – 8th graders in the 13 region MSJE represents, students are invited to write <500 word essay.  Stay tuned for more information – first announcement for the 2024 Essay Contest will be in MSJE’s newsletter, The Southern Shmooze.