Explore how Jewish Americans remember/misremember Jewish history in the 19th-century American West through the process of historical preservation.
The myth of the Jewish Pioneer, rooted in 19th-century narratives that celebrate the racial and gendered violence of US westward expansion, distorts our memory of Jewish western history by failing to acknowledge Indigenous dispossession as a precondition to Jewish settlement.
By naming Jewish immigrants as setters rather than pioneers, this research asks us to reconsider the collective myths we’ve inherited and invites meaningful reflection about how our memories—spoken, written, and situated–might serve a process of historical repair (or teshuva).
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For More on This Topic
- Native Land Digital Map – A world map of Indigenous people’s lands
- Love the Water/Know Your Watershed – Resources from Women of the Water
- Writings on Teshuvah and Reparations – Collected writings by Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
- Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache – A book by Keith Basso
- Recovering the Sacred: The Power of Naming and Claiming – A book by Winona LaDuke
- Defend the Sacred: Native American Religious Freedom Beyond the First Amendment – A book by Michael D. McNally