Opportunity attracted 19th-century immigrant Jews to venture beyond the major centers of Jewish life in eastern seaboard cities. These pioneers traveled north, south and west in the expanding United States. From beginnings as peddlers, small merchants and scrap dealers, they built successful businesses, grew families and established Jewish communal life in the prairies, hills and backcountry of an expanding nation. Since then, American life has evolved, the nature of business changed and the path of opportunity for the descendants of those who built the businesses and communities has led away from the scenes of those successes.
Jewish Community Legacy Project (JCLP) is the only organization whose mission is focused exclusively on small-town Jewish communities.
By acting as a liaison between such congregations and a variety of local and national partners, JCLP facilitates actions to focus on sustainability of congregational life and long-term planning. JCLP helps congregations consider a number of important issues: perpetual care of a cemetery (if applicable), preservation of historic documents, the disposition of ritual objects, and identification of legacy endowments, in addition to strategies for membership engagement and leadership succession.
While the time horizon of each synagogue or temple may vary, JCLP is here to help leadership address its unique challenges and make decisions that best meet the needs and reflect the values and illustrious history of the congregation.