In 2006, the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) launched the Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities, a free online resource that documents Jewish histories across the region. The Arkansas section, featuring nineteen local entries, debuted in spring 2007. Sixteen years later, ISJL Director of History Josh Parshall is working on revisions and updates to the Arkansas essays.
The landscape of digital history has transformed since the Arkansas section originally appeared, and Jewish Arkansas has changed as well. Parshall will describe the process of correcting old inaccuracies and conducting new research, preview upcoming changes to the encyclopedia, and highlight key issues and events in the development of Jewish Arkansas.
Josh Parshall has served as the Director of History at the Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) since July 2017. He had previously worked as an oral historian there from 2009 to 2013. His academic interests include American Jewish culture and politics, Yiddish language and culture, and southern studies. He holds a PhD from the Department of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Parshall is also the president of the Southern Jewish Historical Society.