Who We Are
A Distinct Identity
As more Jews moved to Greenville, Mississippi they reorganized and formed Hebrew Union Congregation in 1879. In 1880, they began building the structure for a temple on land given to them by Mrs. Harriet Blanton Theobold, a wealthy local plantation owner. Theobold wasn't Jewish, yet her benevolence won her the nickname, “Mother of Greenville.” The building was initially designed to serve primarily as a private school and only secondarily as a worship space. In 1870, when Greenville was officially incorporated as a town, there were approximately 25-30 Jewish families who lived within its borders. By 1880 the congregation was growing and hired Rabbi Joseph Bogen. He served until 1901 and was replaced by Rabbi Abraham Brill. The present temple was constructed in 1906 with the sanctuary seating approximately 350 and with a membership by 1908 of 85 families.
Though in 1962 Hebrew Union Congregation boasted the largest congregation in Mississippi with 200 families, today the congregation consists of about 55 families. Hebrew Union Congregation continues to be the Jewish center of the Mississippi Delta. The congregation holds services twice a month under the direction of Rabbi Debra Kassoff.
Hebrew Union Congregation
What We Do
Meaningful Work. Unforgettable Experiences.
There are many events the congregation is involved in outside the usual religious ones. Our largest fundraiser is the corned Beef Deli Luncheon. We serve 1,600 corned beef lunches to the community the first Thursday in March. This is the 30th year of our Delta Jewish Open Golf Tournament to raise funds for the Jacobs Camp and the Institute of Southern Jewish Life. The temple also hosts many community wide non-Jewish functions. We are an active congregation that supports our local Delta-wide communities.
Friday, September 23 ~ 27-28 Elul 5782
6:30 p.m. Shabbat worship
followed by congregational kiddush and supper
and Slichot ritual
Rabbi Kassoff's Shabbat Visits, 5783 (2022-2023)
Sept 23 (Slichot)
Sept 25-26 (Rosh Hashanah)
October 4-5 (Yom Kippur)
October 14 (Sukkot)
Dec 18, 20 (Hanukkah Luncheon)
February 3 (Tu Bishvat observed)
March 2 (Deli luncheon)
March 5 (Purim luncheon)
March 24-25 (Anthony Bat Mitzvah)
April 7 (Passover Seder)
May 19, 21 (Congregational picnic)
Hebrew Union Temple is proud to be a part of the tours of the American Queen riverboat when it stops in Greenville.
Deli Luncheon and
The Delta Jewish Open Golf Tournament
Beginning in the backyard of the home of Mrs. Nathan Goldstein in the late 19th century, Dutch Dinner became an annual Greenville tradition and was eventually called the annual Corned Beef Deli Luncheon. Temple members prepare enough for about 1,600 meals annually. Each year, congregation members organize the Delta Jewish Open, a golf tournament that raises money for such Jewish causes as the Henry S. Jacobs Camp and the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life. The tournament begins with a ceremonial shofar blast.
The 30th Annual Delta Jewish Open Weekend will be November 3-5, 2017 this year. Call the temple office for an application. Your support is appreciated!
History of the
Families of the Delta
And the Military Veterans
Rabbi Debra Kassoff
Working Towards a Better Tomorrow
Dealing with the challenges of today requires problem-solvers who bring different perspectives and are willing to take risks. Hebrew Union Congregation emerged out of a pursuit to inspire and support the community, and a desire for actions to speak louder than words. Established in 1880, we’re an organization driven by progressive ideas, bold actions, and a strong foundation of support.
President - Richard Dattel
Vice-President - Benjy Nelken
Secretary - Bob Stein
Office Secretary - Anne Reynolds Walker