Author Archives: Summerville & North Area Jewish Community

Summerville Jewish Heritage Historic Marker unveiling was Sunday May 21, 2017

The Summerville Dorchester Museum and the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina unveiled a historic marker on Short Central on Sunday celebrating Jewish heritage in Summerville.

The historical society spent the day in Summerville learning about Jewish life and merchants in Summerville and touring downtown heritage sites and homes.

Ernie Marcus, president of the society, said Summerville is an excellent example of Jewish businesses in small Southern towns.

The historic marker notes that descendants of these Jewish merchants moved to larger cities in the latter part of the 20th century, but that their legacy endures.

“The Saul Alexander Foundation has funded parks in the town as well as cultural and educational organizations in the Lowcountry,” it notes.

The Summerville/North Area Jewish Community, founded in 2009 by Patrick Labbe, is revitalizing Jewish life in this area. said he wanted to unite the Jewish community. The group also celebrates the diversity of the Lowcountry and in June will host a panel discussion featuring two pastors, two rabbis and an imam.

April 24th Holocaust Program

Remembering the Victims and Survivors
Through Visual Art, Spoken Word, Music and More

The event was a great sucess with participants from all around the local Jewish Community, Excerpts of the play “The Life of Anne Frank” played to a packed house. Many speakers were included in the program including musical performances, dance and poetry. Many of the participants were local middle and high school students.

Thanks to the Community Resource Center of Summerville, the Jewish Community Center Without Walls, Northwoods Academy, Manny Cohen of Barron’s Department Store in Moncks Corner and many others!

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. “Holocaust” is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community. German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived “racial inferiority”: Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and members of the LGBT communities.

Passover 2017

The first Seder held by the Summerville/North Area Jewish Community since 2012. (A Seder was held in 2011 in Ladson by the community and another in 2012 in West Ashley by the community as well. ) The 2017 Seder was held in the historic Saul Alexander Masonic Hall on Main St. in Summerville.
Joe Robertucci found the afikomen. Patrick Labbe and Tim Carle lead the Seder. Amy Tabak and Marlene Willimon helped with the set up and take down. Almost 40 people-Summerville area Jews and non-Jews attended.

And thank you to the almost 40 people that came to the Seder-we look forward to more events for the Summerville area Jewish community!
Click here to learn more about Summerville’s Saul Alexander

This was received from Hope’s House. We collected money for their children and women’s shelter at the Community Seder!

Thank You!
Dear Summerville/North Area Jewish Community,

Thank you so much for your recent donation to help the homeless in our community. Because of your generosity to Hope’s House of Summerville, we are getting closer to our goal of opening a shelter for homeless or displaced women and children in Summerville. Please continue to support us with your prayers and donations.

Serving our community together,

Pam Christ
DCCO Board member
Dorchester County Community Outreach
Lowcountry Home of Hope/Hope’s House of Summerville
821 Central Avenue
PO BOX2994
Summerville, SC 29483

Holocaust Proclamation April 13th

The six candle memorial Candlelighting, which commemorated the six million Jews who perished, was held at the Summerville Dorchester Museum Garden. The candles were lit by representatives of the Summerville Community Resource Center (Louis Smith), the Summerville North Area Jewish Community (Patrick Labbe), several local descendants of Holocaust victims (Benjamin Tufendrajch pictured), the Summerville Ministerial Association (Dr. Edward Johnson), Congregation Dor Tikvah Rabbi (Michael Davies), and the Charleston Jewish Federation (Rebecca Leibowitz Engel) . Almost 70 people attended the event which included a silent candlelight walk from the Town Hall to the Summerville Museum.

Holocaust Remembrance activities continue in Summerville with the Summerville CommUNITY Artists Heritage Series program on Monday April 24 at 6:30 pm at Coastal Coffee Roasters at 108 E. 3rd N St. The program will feature Northwood Academy students performing excerpts from the Diary of Anne Frank, a rendition of music from Schindler’s List, interpretive dance with vocals, Visual Art from the winners of the REMEMBRANCE competition, poetry from the Holocaust, poetry by Patrick Labbe, and more. Additional thoughts and stories about the Holocaust will be welcome from the audience.

On April 13th, the Holocaust Remembrance Proclamation was read and adopted in the town council meeting of the Summerville Town Council,

The council chambers were filled for the reading. The invocation was given by Rabbi Michael Davies of Dor Tikvah Congregation, the first time an invocation was given by a Rabbi to open a Summerville Town Council meeting.

Rebbecca Engel of the Charleston Jewish Federation read the Proclamation after which Patrick Labbe, representing the Summerville/North Area Jewish Community and Lewis Smith, representing the Summerville Community Resource Center read statements about the Holocaust and Unity.

Following the reading of the proclamation, there was a silent candlelight walk to the Summerville Dorchester Museum and a candlelighting ceremony in memory of the 11 million victims of the Holocaust. Six candles were lit in the garden of the Museum outside the Saul Alexander Garden house.

There were over 70 people participating in the march and candle lighting. We sincerely thank the Jewish Federation, the Community Resource Center, the Town Council and Mayor, the Summerville Dorchester Museum, the Summerville/North Area Jewish Community and congregation Dor Tikvah for their participation.


Going forward, this day, April 13th, will be known as Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Day in Summerville. We remember with sadness the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust and the five million more who perished as victims of the final solution. We reflect on our moral responsibilities as individuals and as communities to ensure we ‘Never Forget’ and to work to promote human dignity by confronting hate and oppression wherever it occurs.

It is appropriate that we are marking it this week, the week of Passover. Passover is a story of struggle and ultimately freedom. During Passover, Jewish families gather with friends and family for Seder dinner and we thank G-d for bringing us out of slavery, granting us our freedom, and for turning our sorrow into joy. L’Shana Ha’ba-a B’yerushalayim – Next Year in Jerusalem – is the phrase that ends our Seder dinners. It is a phrase of hope and of possibility and for many, the potential for change – that things don’t have to be the way they are. This phrase, and Passover as a whole, gives us a sense of hope for the future – what we can be as individuals and as communities, governments, and societies. We can proclaim “Never Again” and work to make that a reality. Louis and I stand here today as representatives of two communities in Summerville that are committed to standing together in unity.


Our two communities have stood together time and time again throughout history, fighting intolerance and marching together for civil rights. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marched arm-in-arm with Dr. King in his 1965 March on Selma and as they stood together, so do we today. The black community and the Jewish community have experienced oppression, hatred, and intolerance throughout our histories, and while we cannot intimately know each other’s story, we can support one another in solidarity, hold each other up, lift our voices together and proclaim “Never Again”.

On April 14th the Charleston Jewish Federation issued the following statement:

Last night Rebecca Leibowitz Engel of Charleston Jewish Federation read a proclamation promoting the lessons we must learn from the Holocaust at the Town of Summerville, SC Town Hall Meeting. Rabbi Davies of Congregation Dor Tikvah provided the opening invocation – the first time a rabbi has done this in Summerville. We were proud to bring our REMEMBER Program to Summerville and the Summerville/North Area Jewish Community.

Charleston Jewish Federation’s REMEMBER Program issues a record number of SEVEN proclamations in city council meetings across the greater Charleston area in the past two months.

Heritage Series March 27th

March 27th
Celebrating Women’s Contributions to Arts and Culture


omen’s creative expression and cultural achievements helped to fashion the American cultural landscape. Women musicians, artists, dancers, and writers created works of beauty and intellect that continue to profoundly influence our country. Their achievements in fields of creative endeavor and popular culture enriched the lives of all Americans. Summerville Girls and Women show off their talents. Come join us for another monthly program supporting unity, peace, equality, and love in Summerville!

Sponsored by: Summerville & North Area Jewish Community, Jewish Community Center Without Walls and The Summerville Community Resource Center