MINNESOTA


MINNESOTA
MINNESOTA, U.S. state in the north central tier with about 4.9 million inhabitants of which the Jewish population is roughly 42,000. (The 2004 Twin Cities' Jewish Population Study found 10,900 Jews in St. Paul and 29,100 in Minneapolis. It is estimated that about 1,000 Jews live in outstate towns, chiefly Duluth and Rochester). While they make up less than 1% of the state's population, Jews comprise about 1.7% of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. While isolated Jewish fur traders were not rare, the first Jewish community was established in St. Paul, the northern-most steamboat landing on the Mississippi. They found little prejudice in a frontier town and by 1856 formed Mount Zion Hebrew Congregation. Minneapolis just upriver did not grow until the advent of the railroad system. Its pioneer synagogue, Shaarei Tov (later Temple Israel), was not founded until 1878. These Jewish pioneers arrived from the eastern and southern United States and from Germanic lands with some capital. They became clothing and dry goods merchants, fur traders and cigar makers. Some took part in civic affairs. Impoverished Eastern Europeans arrived beginning in 1882. The population grew chiefly through chain migration as those newly settled sent back funds for their relatives. It was augmented through select migration through Galveston. The newly arrived worked as craftsmen and on railroads, they peddled, collected scrap metal, and sewed in factories. Jews tended not to be employed in the giant state industries, such as lumber, flour milling, and iron mining. Jews filtered into market towns, such as Austin, Albert Lea, and Mankato, serving as clothing and dry goods purveyors, hide and fur merchants, and scrap metal dealers. After iron ore was discovered nearby, Duluth's Jewish population soared, reaching a peak of about 4,000. This discovery provided the impetus for Duluth's Jews to move inland to newly created towns, such as Virginia, Hibbing, Chisholm, and Eveleth, where they became merchants. Each town once supported a synagogue between about 1905 and the 1950s. The most famous Iron Ranger is undoubtedly Bob Dylan (Robert Zimmerman), who was born and raised in Hibbing. Rochester, renowned for its Mayo Clinic, also has maintained a synagogue. Its population is more transient due to the high proportion of physicians in training at the Mayo Clinic. The state had a peak Jewish population of about 44,000 in 1937. While there has been migration to Sun Cities, it received a modest influx of displaced persons after World War II and a large number of Jews from the Former Soviet Union (FSU). In 2004, this group comprised 17% of the Twin Cities' Jewish population. By the 1930s, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth all had established Federations, which supported social service, educational, Jewish communities in Minnesota and dates of establishment. Population figures for 2001. Jewish communities in Minnesota and dates of establishment. Population figures for 2001.   and defense institutions. Religious institutions and social clubs flourished as well, and Herzl Camp with its Zionist orientation attracted Jewish youth from all over the Upper Midwest. The weekly American Jewish World, established in 1912, is still published. The gubernatorial election of 1938 between Harold Stassen and Elmer Benson used vicious antisemitic cartoons to vilify several of Benson's Jewish supporters. The Minnesota Jewish Council (now called the Jewish Community Relations Council) was created soon after to counter organized antisemitism. The situation changed dramatically after Hubert Humphrey was elected mayor of Minneapolis in 1945 and instituted reforms that were repeated at the state level. Since then, Jews have actively engaged in running for political office. In 1961, Arthur Naftalin was elected mayor of Minneapolis. St. Paul elected Larry Cohen mayor in 1972, a position that hitherto was an Irish Catholic stronghold. rudy boschwitz , elected in 1978, was the state's first Jewish senator. Ironically, he was defeated by another Jew, paul wellstone , in 1990 in a race in which the Jewish identity of Wellstone, who was married to a non-Jewish woman became an issue. The tactic (a nasty letter campaign) backfired against Boschwitz, and Wellstone went to the Senate. Wellstone triumphed over Boschwitz a second time in 1996. Norm Coleman won in 2002 over the successor to Wellstone, who had died during the campaign. So in a state where Jews make up less than 1% of the population, Jewish candidates for U.S. Senate faced each other three times in a dozen years. Today, the Minnesota Jewish community can be characterized as generally prosperous with great population stability, and a high level of support for communal institutions. The University of Minnesota has a Center for Jewish Studies. The Jay Phillips Center for Jewish-Christian Learning at the University of St. Thomas and St. John's College promote interfaith understanding. The Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest interprets the region's Jewish history for Jews and non-Jews alike.   Nevertheless, there are major challenges such as integrating the Jews from the FSU into the general Jewish community and devising ways of embracing the intermarried and their children. Only by inculcating both with a sense of allegiance to Jewish communal institutions will the Minnesota Jewish community remain healthy in the 21st century. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: H. Berman & L.M. Schloff, Jews in Minnesota (2002); L.M. Schloff, "And Prairie Dogs Weren't Kosher": Jewish Women in the Upper Midwest Since 1854 (1997); W.G. Plaut, The Jews in Minnesota-the First Seventy-Five Years (1959); Twin Cities Jewish Population Study (2004). (Linda M. Schloff (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Minnesota — (Details) (Details) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Minnesota — • One of the North Central States of the American Union, lies about midway between the eastern and western shores of the continent, and about midway between the gulf of Mexico and Hudson s Bay Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Minnesota… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Minnesota 13 — was the name given to the corn liquor moonshine distilled on many central Minnesota Stearns County farms. It became well known across America and Canada as Minnesota 13 , a premium quality twice distilled and properly aged whiskey, (said by manny …   Wikipedia

  • Minnesota — es uno de los estados que conforma los Estados Unidos de América. * * * Río del centro N de E.U.A, afluente derecho del Mississippi; 534 km. Estado del centro N de E.U.A., junto al lago Superior (E) y Canadá (N); 218 601 km2 y 4 375 099 h. Cap.,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • minnesota — s.f. Rasă de porci creată în America şi crescută pentru producţia de carne. [pr.: mi ni sắu ta] – cuv. engl. Trimis de ana zecheru, 15.05.2003. Sursa: DEX 98  MINNESOTA [pr.: minisăuta] f. 1) Rasă de porci americană crescută pentru carne. 2)… …   Dicționar Român

  • Minnesota 78 — is an old selection of grapevine, developed at the University of Minnesota, United States. It was extensively used in breeding by Elmer Swenson, with its Vitis riparia background providing a degree of adaptation to the harsh climate of the upper… …   Wikipedia

  • Minnesota — (Minesota, Minnisotah), 1) (M. River, d.i. trüber Fluß), so v.w. St. Peters River; 2) einer der Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika u. zwar der jüngste der sechs sogenannten nordwestlichen Agriculturstaaten; grenzt im Norden an die… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Minnesota — (spr. ßōta, abgekürzt Minn.), nordamerikanischer Unionsstaat, zur Gruppe der Staaten am obern Mississippi gehörig (s. Karte »Vereinigte Staaten«), zwischen 43°30 –49° nördl. Br. und 89°39 –97°5 westl. L., wird im N. von Kanada, im O. vom Obern… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Minnesota — état du centre nord des È. U., limitrophe du Canada, sur le lac Supérieur; 217 735 km²; 4 375 000 hab.; cap. Saint Paul. Marqué par les glaciations, drainé par le haut Mississippi et son affl. le Minnesota (510 km), cet état est une grande rég.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Minnesota — [min΄ə sōt′ə] [< Dakota mnísóta, Minnesota River, lit., whitish (cloudy or milky) water] Midwestern state of the U.S., adjoining the Canadian border: admitted, 1858; 79,610 sq mi (206,189 sq km); pop. 4,919,000; cap. St. Paul: abbrev. MN or… …   English World dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.