Jew­ish Women Pio­neer­ing the Fron­tier Trail: A His­to­ry in the Amer­i­can West

Jeanne E. Abrams
  • Review
By – March 30, 2012

This detailed his­to­ry traces the expe­ri­ences of Jew­ish women from immi­gra­tion to set­tle­ment in the Amer­i­can West. Abrams describes the jour­ney from Europe to Amer­i­ca and explores the rea­sons Jew­ish women left the major Jew­ish cen­ters on the East Coast for the west­ern states and ter­ri­to­ries. She focus­es on their accom­plish­ments, par­tic­u­lar­ly the devel­op­ment of Jew­ish insti­tu­tions, char­i­ta­ble orga­ni­za­tions, and busi­ness­es that con­tributed to the estab­lish­ment of pros­per­ous fam­i­lies and communities. 

Jew­ish Women Pio­neer­ing the Fron­tier Trail ben­e­fits great­ly from the author’s exten­sive work with pri­ma­ry mate­ri­als from the lives of Jew­ish women out West. Although the metic­u­lous research at times dis­tracts from mov­ing the nar­ra­tive for­ward, Abrams’ schol­ar­ship has cer­tain­ly pro­vid­ed a strong foun­da­tion for future researchers in this field. 

The exhaus­tive bib­li­og­ra­phy and help­ful notes will be of par­tic­u­lar inter­est to researchers, whether of Jew­ish women’s his­to­ry or the his­to­ry of the Amer­i­can West. How­ev­er, the casu­al read­er will also appre­ci­ate this out­stand­ing ref­er­ence resource. Bib­li­og­ra­phy, index, notes. 

Rachel Sara Rosen­thal is an envi­ron­men­tal attor­ney in Wash­ing­ton, DC. Orig­i­nal­ly from Greens­boro, North Car­oli­na, she grad­u­at­ed from Duke Uni­ver­si­ty in 2003 and Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty School of Law in 2006.

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