"Like the store, which is practically a character in its own right, the people in The Jew Store linger in the mind." From a review by Marisa Kantor Stark in the New York Times
Stella Suberman, has written this engaging memoir about her immigrant parents’ migration from New York in 1920 to a small town in Tennessee where her father opened up a dry goods store, called by his southern customers, The Jew Store. The store was successful; the family was integrated into the community despite encounters with ignorance and anti-Semitism.
There are extensive discussions of the establishment and running of her father’s store, and Suberman writes about her father’s connections to the St. Louis Jewish wholesalers, itinerant Jewish peddlars, and a few Jewish families who owned other dry goods stores in the rural south. This is an interesting memoir to read if you are interested in American Jews in the South, in this case an American Jewish dry goods merchant and his family, living far from major centers of Jewish life.
Note: Suberman chose to fictionalize the names of her family and her southern neighbors to protect their privacy.
For a reading list of book on Southern Jewish History compiled for an American Studies class at the University of North Carolina, click here.
Podolska – her father’s shtetl south of Kiev;
St. Louis, Mo