Jewish Life at W&L
Jewish students at Washington and Lee University have been among its most successful graduates and most generous of benefactors. Despite their importance in building the school into a top liberal art college it is today; they have been left out of the popular narrative in the school's history. The site intends to capture the broad story of Jews at Washington and Lee and its home of Lexington, Virginia from the student, faculty, and staff perspective ranging over one hundred years of facts and findings. The story starts in 1919 with the founding of the first Jewish social organization on campus and continues up through the most recent graduates in the class of 2022 with their contributions to campus Jewish Life.
This timeline chronicles the major events of Jewish Life at Washington and Lee University. The dates are exact if known, and are otherwise made the first of the year or month the event occurred in. The timeline was created and written by Jake Winston '24.
Jewish Life at W&L is a division of the W&L Special Collections and Archives Digital Exhibits website, created with Omeka S.
Unless otherwise noted, all items come from the Washington and Lee University Special Collections, located in Leyburn Library. This material is made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used should be fully credited to the source. Permission for publication of this material, in part or in full, must be secured by the Head of Special Collections.
This site was founded by Jake Winston ’24 with the assistance of Professor Mackenzie Brooks. The project was completed under the guidance and mentorship from the Director of Institutional History Dr. Lynn Rainville. Special thanks to the Washington and Lee Special Collections Staff—Tom Camden, Seth Goodhart-McCormick, Byron Faidley, and Lisa McCown—for scanning and archival assistance, and to Paula Kiser for digitization and preservation. A special thank you is also in order for the former Director of Jewish Life Maggie Shapiro-Haskett for her guidance in the project and curating the interviewees.
This website became the deliverable after over a year of research into the Jewish history of the University. Jake Winston was awarded funding through the Summer Research Scholars Program in 2022 to continue his work and create a warehouse of stories. In 2021, Jake started collecting archival material and began interviewing and continued up and through the launch of this exhibit. During the summer of 2022, this website was founded to showcase and make accessible the archival objects and interviews found and produced in 2021 and 2022. This site is intended to be an ongoing project involving many students and other members of the Washington and Lee community.