From the Banks of the Rhine to the Banks of the Mississippi: The History of Jewish Immigrants and their Individual Stories by Anny Bloch-Raymond
With the large-scale immigration of Jews from diaspora communities, the Jewish population of the United States is the largest in the world. You’ve most definitely heard about the Jewish communities in and near major cities such as New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. But did you know that one-fifth of the Jews that reached the US shores in the 19th- and early 20th-centuries settled in Louisiana?
From France and Germany, they crossed the Atlantic Ocean to become peddlers, small shop-owners or sugar and tobacco traders in small towns along the Mississippi River. Jews they were, but Jews who invented a new and liberal Judaism that interacted with the Christian world which dominates the South. Whites they were, but Whites who had to fight for their civil rights (and their new country) and did not abide by segregation laws. Migrants they were, but migrants who let the good time roll and invented an authentic Creole kosher cuisine.
Their history is written all over the South, here on street corners and on gravestones, there on synagogues and museums. But their legacy lives on: Anny Bloch-Raymond explored countless archival boxes and talked to dozens of families before beginning to write From the Banks of the Rhine to the Banks of Mississippi — a story and a history of Jewish life in Louisiana.
Anny Bloch-Raymond teaches Jewish culture at the University of Toulouse (France), is a member of the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS, France) and a Doctor of Social Science from the University of Strasbourg. Catherine Temerson is an award-winning translator, with advanced degrees from Harvard and New York University.