The first organization of our Jewish congregation has it’s roots deep in the Civil War:
New Orleans Daily Crescent (New Orleans, LA) August 31, 1861, Page 2
The Louisiana Intelligencer, Monroe, Ouachita parish, says:
The Israelites formed a congregation called “Manassas,” in commemoration of the great battle in Virginia, in the town of Monroe, on the 18th of August, 1861. This congregation has been organized for the purpose of religious worship, mutual benevolence, and rendering the last offices to the dead. There are many Israelites here, and it is truly gratifying that a people so strict in the observance of their distinctive tenets have been enabled to have appointed worship. We wish them ample success in a move fraught with so much benefit to them, one and all.
This group would later become Temple B’Nai Israel.