Northern Exposure

Published June 20, 2007, issue of June 22, 2007.
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Things are getting hot for Jews in Alaska these days, and it’s not just because of global warming. First it was Michael Chabon’s best-seller, “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union,” and now the Jewish community of Seward’s Folly has announced plans to open the Alaska Jewish Historical Museum and Community Center, a 12,000 square-foot facility that will house several major exhibits — including one detailing Alaska Airlines’s “Operation Magic Carpet,” which brought 40,000 Yemenite Jews to Israel in 1949-50.

The museum’s organizers hope that the center, located in Anchorage, will open within the next year. When asked whether or not the timing of the announcement was inspired by the release of Chabon’s book, museum board president Rabbi Yosef Greenberg told The Shmooze, “It was coincidence by divine providence.” Greenberg, who is a big fan of Chabon’s novel, added, “The book created national awareness of the rich history of Alaskan Jews, which is an unbelievable story.”


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