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1965–1967, Biggs, Weir, Neal and Chastain. 5315 Old Canton Rd.

With its tent-like roof over a central worship space, this precast concrete, parallelogram-shaped building designed by Edward F. Neal, evokes the tents that the Israelites used while wandering in the wilderness. A cantilevered canopy shelters the glazed entrance, flanked by long walls of concrete piers infilled with blond brick. This, the fourth synagogue for a congregation established in 1860, became a target for the Ku Klux Klan soon after it opened because of Rabbi Perry Nussbaum’s civil rights activism. The KKK bombed the building on September 18, 1967, damaging Nuss-baum’s office, and on November 21, they bombed his house at 3410 Old Canton Road. No one was injured in either attack.

Nearby, at 5400 Old Canton, the five-pavilion tan brick St. Philip’s Episcopal Church (1964) was also the work of the Biggs firm.

Writing Credits

Jennifer V.O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio with Mary Warren Miller


What's Nearby


Jennifer V.O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio with Mary Warren Miller, "BETH ISRAEL CONGREGATION", [Jackson, Mississippi], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Mississippi, Jennifer V. O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio. With Mary Warren Miller. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2021, 269-269.

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