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April 14, 2012 3:00 am
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Mississippi Seder Builds Bridge for Blacks and Jews

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Tougaloo College entry in Mississippi. Photo: soulofamerica.com.

WSJ – Jewish professor Ernst Borinski fled Nazi Germany in 1938, when discriminatory laws foreshadowed darker times to come. Borinski came to the American South of the Jim Crow era to work at historically black Tougaloo College in 1947, at a time when few universities would offer Jewish refugees employment. Soon, the school became his home and civil rights his cause.

On Thursday, Tougaloo College will hold a Passover Seder inspired by Borinski’s efforts to build bridges between Mississippi’s African-American and Jewish communities. Borinski is prominently featured in the exhibit, “From Swastika to Jim Crow,” currently on display at the college. The film is based on a PBS documentary of the same title that profiled Jewish refugees who taught at black colleges during the Holocaust.

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