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.
Rabbi Kassoff's 2023 - 2024 Schedule -
August 11, 2023
August 25, 2023
September 8, 2023 (Selichot)
September 15-16, 2023 ( Rosh Hashanah)
September 24-25, 2023 ( Yom Kippur)
October 6 (Sukkot)
Rolling Fork Disaster Relief Fund Info -
On March 24, 2023, a violent EF4 tornado struck Rolling Fork, Midnight, and Silver City, Mississippi and destroyed much of each of these towns. Since then, volunteers and aid have continued to pour into the Mississippi Delta from all over the country. The board of Hebrew Union and I agree that it is time for our congregation to step up publicly in this effort. Many of us have already individually given generously to support our neighbors since that night. Now we propose: if you can, do more; and this time, let's do it together. If anyone would like to make a contribution, please send to Hebrew Union Congregation, P.O. Box 1333, Greenville, MS 38702 and mark it Rolling Fork Disaster Fund.
Viking Cruise Line Mississippi
Hebrew Union Temple is proud to be a part of the tours of the Viking Cruise riverboat when it stops in Greenville.
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