Dakota Diaspora: Memoirs of a Jewish Homesteader

By Sophie Trupin | Go to book overview

Introduction

When I think about the Jewish settlers in North Dakota at the turn of the century, I often despair of ever being able to put down on paper the chronicle of that small band of adventurers. The word adventurers seems so incongruous to describe these earnest, simple people, and yet how else can I speak of them?

To most immigrants, that is, Jewish immigrants, New York was America; some would dare venture as far as Chicago. They continued the trades they brought with them; they labored in sweatshops, peddled, or worked themselves up to the luxurious affluence of sweating it out seven days weekly in their own little candy or grocery stores. It was better than the Old Country, but not too different. They heard the same language, smelled the same musty odors in their synagogues. The rest of America was there, somewhere, but they knew and cared little about it.

But the Jewish immigrants who settled in the wilderness of North Dakota were different; they were a special breed. Each was a Moses in his own right, leading his people out of the land of bondage--out of czarist Russia, out of anti-Semitic Poland, out of Roumania and Galicia. Each was leading his family to a promised land; only this was no land flowing with milk and honey--no land of olive trees and vineyards.

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Dakota Diaspora: Memoirs of a Jewish Homesteader
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Acknowledgements iv
  • Table of Contents v
  • Introduction 1
  • The Old Country 3
  • My Father in the New World 13
  • The Journey 21
  • Trapped in a Strange Land 33
  • A New Life 49
  • Jews and Gentiles 67
  • Winter 79
  • Holy Days 87
  • A Town is Born 99
  • Thewar Years 123
  • Remembering 139
  • Years Later 147
  • Glossary 159
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