Our History

The Michiana Jewish Historical Society was founded in the mid-1990s to document and share the story of Jewish life in the Michiana area with current and future generations.  The founders, led by Mendel and Louis Piser, formed an organization whose purpose is to record that history, make it available to the Jewish and general communities, and promote understanding and appreciation of the Jewish experience in Michiana.  Under the leadership of Roger Birdsell, its first Executive Director, MJHS published several booklets about the Jewish Federation, cemeteries and other institutions in the area.  

 

Today MJHS is a repository for photos, stories, and artifacts that provides a comprehensive record of the Michiana Jewish community from the first immigrants until the present day.  It includes: 

 

  • An ever-expanding archive with more than 20 collections, including organizations and congregations no longer active in the community; 

  • L’dor v’Dor – From Generation to Generation: The Michiana Jewish Community – a recently published book with more than 400 photos of life in the Michiana Jewish community since the early 20th century;

  • A digital, community-wide Family Tree that charts the connections between more than 250 families and contains more than 8.000 people; 

  • A Business Database that continues to grow and currently contains information about more than 300 businesses and professional practices owned by members of the Michiana Jewish community through the decades;

  • A digital library of oral histories, photographs and documents

  • Other materials such as videos of Russians & women, maps of the old neighborhoods, etc.

  • An educational series for teenagers to learn about the histories of their families and the Michiana Jewish Community. 

 

​©2019 by Michiana Jewish Historical Society. All rights reserved.​