—Vicksburg Heritage Walking Trail —
In 1841 Vicksburg became home to the first established
Jewish congregation in Mississippi, Anshe Chesed,
meaning "men of kindness" in Hebrew. Many of the early
Jewish immigrants came from what is now part of modern
Germany. Jewish families were welcomed into the community.
The Jewish community in Vicksburg initially lived quite
modestly as peddlers and small merchants, but after the Civil
War many grew to be very prosperous. By the early 20th
Century, most of the businesses in Vicksburg were Jewish
The Rise of Jewish Merchants
Many homes bearing their names still exist around Vicksburg and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The large home on the corner belonged to a prominent Jewish businessman, Joseph Bazsinsky. He operated a farm and raised horses on land about 3 miles to the south, along with a livery stable and dry goods store. In 1857 he purchased the lot and the construction of the home was completed shortly after the Civil War (exact date is unknown). Here he raised his 14 children and his descendants lived in this house until early in the 21st Century.
Anshe Chesed Cemetery
The Jewish cemetery, adjacent to the Vicksburg National Military Park, dates back to 1864. Tombstones through out the cemetery
bear the names of many local and nationally-known prominent Jewish families.
Vicksburg's Jewish community erected a Temple that was completed in May of 1870. The elaborate dedication service for the Anshe Chesed Temple was attended by leading religious and political figures from throughout the state, including the governor of Mississippi.
The "Magnificent Temple" from the roof of the Court House in 1876.