John R.M. Lawrence Reviews Leonard Rogoff: N.C. Collection: State’s Jewish history

Source: The Daily Reflector, 11-28-10

Just as every community is a sum of its constituent parts, the history of North Carolina has been built upon the traditions of many different peoples…

As the young state evolved, its Jewish citizens were involved in every major movement from the Civil War to civil rights. These many contributions are highlighted in a new book produced by the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina and the University of North Carolina Press, “Down Home: Jewish Life in North Carolina.”

Professor Leonard Rogoff traces the experience of Jewish peoples in North Carolina, from the isolation of pioneering peddlers of the earliest periods of settlement to the development of thriving communities in the 20th century. His combination of thorough documentation and exquisite illustrations will serve as an excellent model for other regional ethnic histories. His lively narrative brings to life the difficulties of immigration and assimilation as well as the challenges of preserving cultural tradition. In many ways, the story is that of developing new identities and communities, both Jewish and Southern. Along the way, the story touches on the contributions of many from eastern North Carolina, from the 1809 defense of religious liberty by Jacob Henry of New Bern to the Brody family sponsorship of medicine in Greenville.

In addition to the book, The Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina has sponsored the creation of an 82-minute film. The East Carolina University community and the general public are invited to a showing of the film “Down Home: Jewish Life in North Carolina” at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Room 2409 of J.Y. Joyner Library. Light refreshments will be served. Rogoff will introduce the film and discuss the Down Home history project. Copies of the book and the film on DVD are available for purchase…READ MORE

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