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Jewish Communities on the Ohio RiverA History$
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Amy Hill Shevitz

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780813124308

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813124308.001.0001

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From Europe to the Ohio River Valley

From Europe to the Ohio River Valley

(p.28) CHAPTER 2 From Europe to the Ohio River Valley
Jewish Communities on the Ohio River

Amy Hill Shevitz

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter discusses the European Jewish communities along the Ohio River Valley. Those European Jews who chose to migrate to America were heirs to a Jewish culture that had existed for centuries in a situation of complete subservience within medieval Christendom. Despite a number of upheavals during their history, European Jewish communities held together. This was because as separate corporate entities within Christian feudalism, they were permitted to develop their own internal governance, a comprehensive system known as the kehillah. The restrictions placed on Jews helped foster an atmosphere in which self-help and provisions for mutual security sustained a strong and positive Jewish identity.

Keywords:   European Jewish communities, Ohio River Valley, European Jews, Christian feudalism, kehillah, restrictions, Jewish identity

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