02 July 2008

Iowa: 175th anniversary of first Jewish settler

An email from Karin Pritikin informed me about The Alexander Levi Project.

She's vice president of Temple Beth El in Dubuque, Iowa, and the project director of a museum exhibit conceived by a group of congregants to honor the 175th anniversary of the arrival of Alexander Levi - Iowa's first Jewish settler - designed to coincide with Dubuque's own 175th anniversary.

"From Distant Places to Dubuque's Shores: 175 Years of Jewish Presence in the Tri-State Region " focuses on the city's Jewish community, but also details how entrepreneurial "new Americans" have shaped the civic and cultural landscape.

In February, the Dubuque City Council unanimously approved funding the project as part of a competitive award designed to encourage community-based groups to participate in the city's anniversary celebration. The group has also received a mini-grant from Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Project will run from August 15-December 30 at The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, a Smithsonian affiliate. In conjunction, Temple Beth El will hold a two-day Jewish Family Reunion weekend, August 23-24, focusing on past clergy, congregants and anyone with a Jewish connection to Dubuque. There will be programming, a dinner and an exhibit viewing.

For more on the exhibit, click here.

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