Our Memphis Jewish History

The history of the Jewish community in Memphis can be traced back to 1843. The first known Jew to settle in Memphis was David Hart, who opened an inn and saloon in the booming market town. In the 1850s, Hart left Memphis.

Joseph Andrews was another early Jewish settler moving from Charleston, South Carolina in 1840. Andrews was a successful merchant and cotton broker and served as a city alderman in 1847- 48. Andrews was instrumental in creating the first Jewish institutions in the city when he donated land for a Jewish cemetery after his brother, Samuel, died in 1847. This donation led to the creation of a Hebrew Benevolent Society to administer the cemetery and take care of local Jews in need.  Out of this burial society emerged the city's first Jewish congregation.*  Read more.  

*source: Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Souther Jewish Life 

We love the feeling of acceptance and kindness we have found in Jewish Memphis - there is so much to do and explore in this diverse city!


Jeff and Abbey Cowens