MOVING BITS AND PIECES An Evansville Jewish History


Created by Alanna E. Cooper, Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University Abba Hillel Silver Chair in Jewish Studies Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies

This Story Map presents a history of the Jewish community in Evansville, Indiana, beginning in the 1830s – when the first Jews arrived in the small town – until today.

Unlike a traditional history which follows the lives of individuals, the “characters” of this story are the community’s precious objects: their synagogue buildings and the furnishings they hold inside.

We usually think of these large structures as immobile. We presume, for example that stained glass windows are integral to the building envelope and immovable. Yet – as we will see – such panels can grow metaphorical legs, allowing them to leave the structures for which they were intended, and travel elsewhere! The story told here – which combines photos, newspaper clippings, video and a variety of maps – allows us to trace the biographies of such objects as they migrate across the landscape.

Through this Material Narrative – we gain insight into the mobility of Evansville’s Jewish community. More than that, we learn how people hold onto their past by carrying their sacred objects with them as they journey from home to another for generations.

Click the link below to see this fascinating mapping project

Click Here To go to the Project Map