The roots of Jewish Jacksonville has a fascinating history, dating back over two hundred years when Jewish pioneers started arriving in about 1783. Hazel Mack, Archivist/Historian has documented our rich history and recently shared her journey through time at Etz Chaim Synagogue. Hazel has followed the footsteps of generations who came before us, tracing the heritage of our synagogues, early neighborhoods and involvement in civic and community services.
Hazel has researched the early growth of the community as Jewish Jacksonville labored in the lumber and cattle industry; steamship lines and in later years, established thriving businesses. An interesting historical footnote – prior to the 1930’s, Jacksonville’s Jewish population was the largest in Florida, eventually outpaced by Miami.
Throughout Jacksonville’s history, Jewish families have been immersed in city commerce, government, philanthropy and the community’s cultural life. And now in our own time, we are writing a new chapter of our Jewish Jacksonville narrative, ‘Then, Now and Tomorrow!’