Jews have a long history in Maine, with thriving communities across the state. They came to Maine for the same reasons as so many others: to live well and raise their families within the state’s appealing natural and cultural environment. The experiences of Jewish Mainers, however, have also been distinctive on account of their occupational choices and traditions as well as their encounters with antisemitism. How have Jews sought to contribute to Maine’s economic, cultural, and social landscape, and how did they gain widespread acceptance? How have these Mainers sustained their own religion, culture, and ethnic ties while embracing the broader communities to which they belong? How did the challenges and opportunities that Jews faced in Maine change over time, and how do these challenges relate to those faced by Jews in other parts of the country? Join us for an engaging conversation with David Freidenreich to learn more!
About the speaker: Rabbi Dr. David M. Freidenreich is the Pulver Family Professor of Jewish Studies at Colby College, where he serves as chair of the Jewish studies department and associate director of the Center for Small Town Jewish Life. He directs Colby’s Maine Jewish History Project, whose website (web.colby.edu/jewsinmaine) features dozens of essays on the state’s Jewish history, including several he wrote. David’s primary research focuses on Jewish, Christian, and Islamic attitudes toward one another: he is the author of “Foreigners and Their Food: Constructing Otherness in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Law” and, most recently, “Jewish Muslims: How Christians Imagined Islam as the Enemy.”
Donations made to the Brick Store Museum during the Candlelight Stroll: A Festival of Traditions programming (including this) will support the Brick Store Museum’s educational mission with a portion of proceeds donated to support other cultural organizations in southern Maine (see our full Festival of Traditions page for full details!).
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