GAMBIER — What does it mean to be Jewish in Knox County? How does one preserve cultural identity and traditions in a community without enough members to maintain an organization?
What kind of history do Jews have in Knox County.
Those questions and more were tackled Thursday by a panel of Knox County residents who are also Jewish in the latest of the “Visits” series of discussions at Kenyon College. The series is hosted by Howard Sacks, professor of sociology at Kenyon and the director of the Kenyon Rural Life Center.
The first Jewish resident of the county was probably an itinerant peddler, said Lois Hanson, a retired teacher who has researched Jewish life in the county in the 19th century. Jewish immigrants, many from Germany, came into New York and then spread west, often selling merchandise to settlers.