Columbia's Jewish Heritage Sites
Since Columbia’s earliest days, Jews have played a key role in shaping South Carolina’s second capital city. Rising to prominence during the antebellum era, Jews held important leadership roles in Columbia’s governance, economy and cultural development. Having rebuilt during post-war Reconstruction and thereafter, Columbia’s established Jewish population grew during the 1880s through 1920s as Eastern Europeans relocated to the United States for greater freedom and opportunities. In the wake of World War II, the city’s Jewish community welcomed displaced Holocaust survivors who immigrated to Columbia for new lives. While many generations-old families assimilated into the broader community, others forged culturally distinct lives. Many left a lasting imprint on the city’s character.