Columbus State News


Panel at CSU Library to Discuss Local Jewish History

These Civil War-era swords were produced by Haiman’s Sword Factory, one of the Columbus area’s largest Jewish-owned businesses during the 1800s. Louis and Elias Haiman started a small tinsmith shop after immigrating here from Prussia in the 1830s. They started producing swords with the start of the war and, by 1863, had over 400 workers and were the Confederacy’s largest sword supplier.

These Civil War-era swords were produced by Haiman’s Sword Factory, one of the Columbus area’s largest Jewish-owned businesses during the 1800s. Louis and Elias Haiman started a small tinsmith shop after immigrating here from Prussia in the 1830s. They started producing swords with the start of the war and, by 1863, had over 400 workers and were the Confederacy’s largest sword supplier.

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University is teaming with the Columbus Museum to present a panel discussion of the Chattahoochee Valley’s Jewish history at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 30 on main campus.

CSU Archives, which occupies the third floor of CSU’s Schwob Memorial Library, will host the program in the library’s first-floor forum area at 12:30 p.m.. The discussion is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided on a first-come basis. Seating is limited.

The program is being presented in conjunction with the Columbus Museum’s ongoing exhibition titled Shalom Y’all: The Valley’s Jewish Heritage, which will be on display through July 13. Museum admission is also free.

Columbus State history students have been interviewing and recording oral histories from longtime members of Columbus-area Jewish congregations as part of this collaboration, to be available later through the CSU Archives. The archives recently received a significant donation of archival materials from Temple Israel, a local Reform synagogue.

Columbus State history majors Christopher Goodrow and Mark Sciuchetti will moderate Wednesday’s panel discussion. Members of the panel will be Jacob Beil, Michael Goldman, Vera Grifenhagen and Jean Kent.

The Columbus Museum’s exhibition documents the presence of Jewish immigrants in the Chattahoochee Valley since the 1830s with images and artifacts from a wide range of public and private collections. Its exhibition focuses on Jewish life in Columbus and nearby communities, including LaGrange, West Point and Eufaula, Ala.

One Jewish immigrant who moved from the Alsace region of France to Columbus in 1912 was Simon Schwob. The tailor opened a clothing store downtown and, later, became a prominent local clothing manufacturer. CSU’s main library and the university’s Schwob School of Music are products of his family’s philanthropy.

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