For more than 300 years, Jewish settlers have crossed the Atlantic and made their homes in South Carolina. Men and women fleeing oppressive governments in Central and Eastern Europe came to South Carolina determined to create better lives for themselves, their families, and the friends and neighbors who soon followed. By the late 1800s, the ubiquitous Jewish merchant had set up shop on downtown streets in towns big and small, and more than 100 years later their legacy remains alive through their descendants. The Jewish Merchant Project hopes to preserve memories of the men and women who have played vital roles in communities across South Carolina.
The Jewish Merchant Project is supported by the generosity of the Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold Foundation and the Stanley B. Farbstein Endowment at the Coastal Community Foundation. Longtime members of the JHSSC, Mr. Arnold obm, a merchant himself, and Mr. Farbstein obm were both children of South Carolina Jewish merchants.