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December 20, 2002 - Image 68

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-12-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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from page 65

took to put the book together, Aron
says they were all special. But he par-
"We weren't so good at the Jewish
ticularly recalls the journeys along
part when I was growing up," writes
the Mississippi Delta, where the
Uhry, "but the Southern part — ah,
Jewish communities are dying out.
the Southern part! Baked ham with
"That trip really tugged at me," he
redeye gravy, fried chicken, turnip
said.
greens, grits and gallons of sweetened
In many places, said Reikes Fox,
iced tea were our constants.
she and Aron realized that memories
"I never even heard of a bagel until I
of the Jewish past were growing
went north to college," he continues.
increasingly tenuous.
"My grandmother did make matzah
In Donaldson, La., for example,
balls, but she called them
Aron photographed a
`cracker balls' whenever compa- Above: Harold and synagogue that had been
ny came. And none of this
Lucille Hart, liquor turned into an Ace
seemed at all weird at the time." store, Eudora, Ark.: Hardware store. If he
Pictures of Jewish shopkeep-
The couple are the
hadn't taken the pic-
ers and business owners reveal
last Jews in Eudora; tures, said Reikes Fox,
how Jews came to settle in the
at one time there
those pieces of Southern
South as merchants. These
were so many Jewish Jewish history would
portraits range from Henry
merchants that the
have been lost forever.
Stern, a dignified 91-year-old
Jewish community
At the same time, the
New Orleans antiques dealer
jokingly called the
book is "not just about
sitting among the treasures in
town Yewdora."
the past or what was,
his store, to the seeming con-
but really about the
tradiction of Russian immi-
future as well," she said.
grant Michael Shackleton, a Louisiana
Uhry agrees. "I feel sure that they'll
shrimper.
be making chopped liver in Arkansas
The section titled "Magnolias and
and baking challah in Alabama for a
Menorahs" documents how Southern
long time to come," he writes.
Jews observe and celebrate their Judaism. "Perhaps the rural synagogues will
These reverent images span the genera-
shrink away . . . but the Judaism is
tions — from a group of Holocaust sur-
here to stay."
vivors in New Orleans to nursery school
What makes Shalom Tall especially
children in Little Rock, Ark.
poignant are stories Reikes Fox and
Other photos include a family with
Aron collected along the way that
two young children in Jackson, Miss.,
denote a blending of the Southern
joyfully celebrating Shabbat, and a
and Jewish experiences.
beautiful portrait of Reuben
"The best one-liner I heard," Aron
Greenberg, a black Jew who is chief of said, "came from Joe Erber in
police in Charleston, S.C.
Greenwood, Miss., who said, 'When I
was young and in kindergarten, I
learned that Shema Yisraelwas for
Preserving The Past
home and synagogue and Our Father
Looking back at the many trips it
Who Art in Heaven was for school.'" El

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