Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Frozen Chosen: Alaska Jews Talk About Life on America's Last Frontier

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In 1939, Harold Ickes, President Franklin Roosevelt’s secretary of the interior, proposed that four Alaskan locales play refuge to thousands of Europe’s fleeing Jews. Ickes’s idea -— which would become the premise for Michael Chabon’s “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” — was later bucked by Roosevelt and by several prominent American Jewish organizations.

But over the years, Jews still made their way to the largest state in the union, forming a loose-knit community that today numbers at around 6,000 and call themselves the “frozen chosen.”

Many are ex-urbanites who enjoy the adventure to be found in the 49th state, and some even say that being in Alaska has heightened their attachment to their Jewish roots. -- Molly Arost Staub, FOrward

To read more, click here.

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