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American Jewry

Campfire Magic: Pluralism of Jewish Summer Camping

Today, many think of summer camp as a uniquely Jewish phenomenon. In reality, Jewish educational camps developed as a branch of American organized camping. At the turn of the 20th century, camping was a major tenet of American Progressivism and the Fresh Air Movement, which sought to provide relief for poor immigrants in overcrowded cities during the summer, while also assimilating them into American…

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The Nutmeggers: The Jewish Community of Connecticut, Part 2 – The Towns and Cities

Hartford Hartford is home to the first and largest Jewish community in the state of Connecticut. The earliest mention of a Jew in the state was David the Jew, of Hartford, who was fined 20 shillings for illegal trading in 1659. Afterwards, there were scattered references to the small Jewish community in Connecticut. For example, in 1670 Hartford was visited by Assur Levy, one…

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The Nutmeggers: The Jewish Community of Connecticut, Part 1 – History of Connecticut Jewry

The first reference to a Jew in Connecticut was to “David the Jew.” In 1659, he was fined 20 shillings by the city of Hartford. His crime: going into houses when the household heads were absent and trading with the children. In the decades that followed, there were several scattered references to Jews in Connecticut. These first Jews were mostly Portuguese and Spanish, and…

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American Jewish Alternatives to Zionism

by Ilana Rossoff, Reference Services Research Intern, Center for Jewish History This post is part of the Jews and Social Justice Series. To view all posts in the series, click here. Since Israel’s emergence as an independent Jewish state, there have been few organizations to come out of Jewish communities in the United States that openly challenge Zionism or modern-day Jewish nationalism. Some ultra-Orthodox Jews, such…

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