We’ve got a story in this week’s paper about a pond in New Hampshire with a pretty scummy name — thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week!
Seriously, the article about Jew Pond, exploring the small body of water that has caused a rift between local residents who want the name changed and those who think doing so would violate part of the region’s heritage, got us thinking. And not just about bad pond puns.
We wondered here at the Forward if there are any other “Jew places” in America. And after days of intensive research by our dedicated staff, it turns out there are quite a few of them. Each of these pinpoints on the map contains a little mystery. In Europe, of course, nearly every town that still has its medieval core has a rue des Juifs or a Judenstrasse, but the reason for this is obvious. It’s where the Jews lived. How do you explain Jew Mountain, Montana or Jew Road, West Virginia?
Take a look at the map after the jump (hat tip to our wonderful Kurt Hoffman), and let us know if you’ve got any clues.
Gal Beckerman was a staff writer and then the Forward’s opinion editor until 2014. He was previously an assistant editor at the Columbia Journalism Review where he wrote essays and media criticism. His book reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review and Bookforum. His first book, “When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry,” won the 2010 National Jewish Book Award and the 2012 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, as well as being named a best book of the year by The New Yorker and The Washington Post. Follow Gal on Twitter at @galbeckerman