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The Schmooze

Of Latkes and 7 Things About (Jewish) Idaho

1) 1,525 Jews live in Idaho.

2) Idaho’s first congregation, Beth Israel, was founded in 1895.

3) Idaho’s first Jewish residents worked in mining camps.

4) The Falk family started Falk’s Wholesale Company in the early part of the 20th Century. It was later sold to Sears.

5) Moses Alexander was elected mayor of Boise in 1897. In 1914, he was elected governor of Idaho. He was only the second Jewish governor of an American state (the first was Montgomery Bartlett of California).

6) Idaho’s annual Jewish cultural festival is held in June in Boise.

7) This year, author and scholar Dr. Federica Francesconi was named The College of Idaho’s newly established Howard Berger-Ray Neilsen Chair in Judaic Studies.

8) Idaho produces one-third of the nation’s potatoes. The state harvests nearly 12 billion pounds of the spuds annually. Which makes for a lot of latkes.

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