Book Review – The Jew Store – by Stella Suberman

343067 Awarded star-1139372_960_720star-1139372_960_720star-1139372_960_720 on Goodreads

Stella Suberman’s relates the saga of her parents’ efforts to establish and run a discount store in the small Tennessee town of Concordia, much like many other Jewish families did in the years before the depression. For a time, it was fairly typical for small southern towns to have their own “Jew store.”

From Suberman’s story we learn what it’s like to live as the only Jewish family in the God-fearing Christian south, where the KKK still wields strong influence and the prejudice against Jews is obvious, overt and ubiquitous.

Many of the problems that surface are predictable. What happens when the author’s father, Mr. Bronson decides to offer a white person’s sales position to a capable black man? How does a Jewish family accomplish their son’s coming-of age Bar Mitzvah if there is no place to study the Torah? What do parents do when they want their children to marry within the faith but there are no other Jewish families for miles?

This is a fast and easy read, not particularly emotional or deep. But it does present a little known slice of Americana.

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