Suggested Reading
Jewish Pioneers | Women of the West | Quilt-making | For Young Readers

Jewish Pioneers

Diner, Hasia. Jewish Americans: The Immigrant Experience. Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc., 2002

Contains a two-page spread featuring the quilts of Andrea Kalinowski.

Libo, Kenneth and Irving Howe. We Lived There Too: In Their Own Words and Pictures, Pioneer Jews and the Westward Movement of America, 1630-1930. St. Martin's/Marek, 1984.

Migration has long been part of the Jewish experience, and there were many Jewish pioneers among those who participated in the movement westward in the United States. This book examines the survival and adaptation of Jewish beliefs and customs by re-creating the lives and experiences of both men and women who were part of this frontier life.

Marks, M. L. Jews Among the Indians: Tales of Adventure and Conflict in the Old West. Benison Books, 1992.

Jews Among the Indians considers the cross-cultural exchanges and the conflicts that arose from the encounters of immigrant Jews and Native Americans. It demonstrates how these relationships impacted both Jewish and Native American communities.

Rochlin, Harriet and Fred. Pioneer Jews: A New Life in the Far West. Houghton Mifflin, 1984.

Pioneer Jews discusses the immigration of Jews from Europe to the Southwest and to be part of the California gold rush. It discusses some of the family "dynasties" that emerged in the West, as well as Jewish entrepreneurs, the impact of Jews on shaping communities along the frontier and their efforts to maintain their religious practices throughout the dramatic social changes that were taking place.

Schloff, Linda Mack. 'And Prairie Dogs Weren't Kosher': Jewish Women in the Upper Midwest Since 1855. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1996.

"Linking the personal and the historical, Schloff integrates oral accounts, diaries, letters, and autobiographies with original research and interpretation to shed vital new light on the Jewish experience in America's heartland. The book uses the voices of four generations of Jewish women who settled in Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa, and Wisconsin to show how they transported and transformed their cultural and religious life in a region inhabited by few Jews." -the publisher

Sharfman, Harold I. Jews on the Frontier: An Account of Jewish Pioneers and Settlers in Early America. Henry Regnery, 1977.

This is a classic study about early Jewish communities of the American frontier. Now out of print but may be available in libraries.

Tobias, Henry J. A History of the Jews in New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, 1992.

This is the first general study of Jews in New Mexico that relates the social and political history from the colonial period to the present. Included are sections on Crypto-Jews, merchants and settlers and religious practices.

Uchill, Ida Libert. Pioneers, Peddlers and Tsadikim: The Story of the Jews in Colorado. University Press of Colorado, 2000.

There are regional studies on Jewish pioneers for many states of the American West. Pioneers, Peddlers and Tsadikim, originally published in 1957, was revised and updated in 2000 and covers the history and contributions of Jews in many frontier towns throughout Colorado. Includes a chronology.

Weinberg, Sidney Stahl. The World of Our Mothers: The Lives of Jewish Immigrant Women. University of North Carolina Press, 1988.

The World of Our Mothers is based on the oral histories of 46 women who came to the United States in the early 20th century. This book can provide an important context for these Jewish women's later migrations across the United States.

Jewish Pioneers | Women of the West | Quilt-making | For Young Readers

Women of the West

Foote, Cheryl J. Women of the New Mexico Frontier, 1846-1912. University Press of Colorado, 1990.

Biographical sketches of eight women of New Mexico frontier life drawing on letters, diaries, newspaper articles, military records and oral narratives. Among the women highlighted are army wives, a writer, an anthropologist and a Protestant missionary.

Holmes, Kenneth L., ed. Covered Wagon Women: Diaries and Letters from the Western Trails. Arthur H. Clark, Co., 1983.

This is an 11-volume compilation of primary sources related to women's roles in overland journeys to the American West. These diaries, letters and other documents, many of which were previously unpublished, provide vivid accounts of the women's experiences and demonstrate each writer's distinct motivations, experiences and personality.

Luchetti, Cathy. Women of the West. Antelope Island Press, 1982.

Based on excerpts from the diaries and other materials of 11 women, as well as a generous selection of documentary photographs, Women of the West weaves a fascinating visual and textual narrative of the lives of women on the frontier. The lively excerpts give a strong sense of what these women's daily lives and hardships were like, including for women minorities, but the photographs provide the most valuable insight.

Niederman, Sharon. A Quilt of Words: Women's Diaries, Letters and Original Accounts of Life in the Southwest, 1860-1960. Johnson Books, 1990.

A Quilt of Words provides personal accounts by 15 women who lived on the rugged Southwestern frontier. Their oral histories and diaries vividly portray their daily struggles and their newly discovered sense of personal freedom.

Riley, Glenda. Women and Indians on the Frontier, 1825-1915. University of New Mexico Press, 1984.

This study examines pioneer women's preconceived notions derived from popular literature and journalism of Native Americans and how these changed as a result of their journeys to the West and their encounters with Native Americans. Through memoirs, reminiscences, daybooks and diaries, the conflicts that developed and the relationships that grew are examined.

Schlissel, Lillian. Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey. Schocken Books, 1982.

In the first half of this book, the author provides the historical context for the migration of more than 250,000 people across the country between 1840 and 1870, framing it as a "family matter," rather than the history of men alone. The reader is then introduced to some of the women who made this journey through substantial excerpts from their personal journals and writings.

Jewish Pioneers | Women of the West | Quilt-making | For Young Readers

Quilt-making, History and Artistry

Dewhurst, C. Kurt, and Marsha McDowell. To Honor and Comfort: Native Quilting Traditions. Museum of New Mexico Press, 1997.

Contains essays about and images of quilts by Native American and Hawaiian quilters. This book presents Native quilting traditions that have been largely ignored and emphasized rather as an art form more widely practiced in other cultures. This book illustrates how many cultures have adapted this artistic practice.

Hedges, Elaine, Julie Silber and Pat Ferrero. Hearts and Hands: Women, Quilts and American Society. Rutledge Hill Press, 1996.

This book is based on the film by the same name by Pat Ferrero. Ferrero's documentary explores the roles played by women and their textiles in the 19th century. Topics covered are their roles in industrialization, the abolition of slavery, women's rights, the Civil War, and westward expansion.

Kiracofe, Roderick, Mary Elizabeth Johnson, and Mary Elizabeth Huff. The American Quilt: A History of Cloth and Comfort, 1750-1950. Crown Books for Young Readers, 1993.

With more than 250 illustrations, this book places quilts within their historical and cultural context. The author goes into details about fabrics, dyes and patterns, but also how the quilt has been used in American society by various groups over the years, from slaves to pioneers.

Ringgold, Faith. Faith Ringgold: The Last Story Quilt. Videocassette, 28 minutes. L&S Video, 1991.

Ringgold is a renowned African-American artist who is known for her painted quilts. This video is about the artist and her process.

Tobin, Jacqueline L., and Raymond G. Dobard. Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad. Doubleday, 1999.

This study describes quilt-making traditions among African Americans, specifically explaining how slaves encoded messages within quilt patterns in order to help fugitives find their way to freedom along the Underground Railroad. It covers African oral tradition and decorative arts as well as the history and styles of African American quilt-making.

Jewish Pioneers | Women of the West | Quilt-making | For Young Readers

For young readers

Cobb, Mary. The Quilt Block History of Pioneer Days. Millbrook Press, 1995.

This book connects information on pioneer life to particular quilts and the patterns or designs they use, demonstrating how life experiences can be incorporated into visual arts. There are also paper projects for students including a quilt-block collage, a bookmark, an ornament, and a folded-paper box. (Ages 8 and up)

Danneberg, Julie. Amidst the Gold Dust: Women Who Forged the West. Fulcrum, 2001.

These stories of the lives of five women of the 19th century combine biography with fictional narrative. Their stories are presented as diary excerpts, giving the reader the impression of knowing the individual's thoughts and observations as well as the time period in which they lived. Illustrations of some of the objects and possessions that might have been part of their daily lives accompany sidebars of historical facts and issues. (Ages 8 and up)

Hesse, Karen. Letters from Rifka. Penguin Putnam Books, 1993.

Letters from Rifka is a chronicle of a 12-year-old Russian girl's journey to America with her family. Based on letters written to her cousin in the margins of a book, Rifka recounts illnesses, separation from her family during the journey, and numerous other obstacles in a search for a better life free from the discrimination experienced by Jews in Russia. (Ages 9-12)

Hopkinson, Deborah. Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. Knopf, 1993.

This illustrated book tells the story of Clara, a slave who creates a quilt diagramming an escape route for slaves along the Underground Railroad. Based on historical fact of slaves making use of this artistic tradition in order to escape slavery. (Ages 5-8)

Hyatt, Patricia Rusch. Coast to Coast with Alice. Carolrhoda Books, 1995.

In 1909, Hermine Jahns and Alice Ramsay drove across the country together. This work of fiction based on Alice's memoirs follows that journey westward. Like the pioneers of the American West, Hermine and Alice overcame their own difficulties and encountered their own adventures. (Ages 7-10)

Johnston, Tony. The Quilt Story. Putnam, 1985.

This illustrated children's book follows a quilt from its creation in the pioneer days through its use in current times. The journey of one girl in a moving van parallels the journey of another in a covered wagon. Despite the different generations, the stories of the relationship between mother and daughter have not changed. (Ages 4-8)

Joosse, Barbara M. Lewis and Papa: Adventure on the Santa Fe Trail. Chronicle, 1998.

This illustrated children's book is the story of a father and his young son who travel the Santa Fe Trail in order to sell some trade goods. Along the way, Lewis learns about some of the hardships of such a journey, and learns some valuable lessons from his father. Historical notes and a glossary are also included. (Ages 4-8)

Ketchum, Liza. Into a New Country: Eight Remarkable Women of the West. Little
Brown, 2000.

This is a collection of eight biographies of women who lived in the West in the 19th century, each with a fascinating story. The author makes an effort to represent women of various ethnic backgrounds, including Native American sisters, a former African-American slave, and a Chinese immigrant. (Ages 12 and up)

Kimball, Violet T. Stories of Young Pioneers: In Their Own Words. Mountain Press

Children were also among those many pioneers who made the journey westward in the 1900s, and this book brings their experiences and unique perspectives to light through memoirs, letters and journal entries. The book is organized by topics including "Daily Life on the Trail," "Fun and Recreation Fun," and "Encounters with Native Americans," and features profiles of the individuals who ranged in age from 6 to 19 at the times of their journeys along the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails. (Ages 12 and up)

Maidens, Marion and Mel Marks. Jewish Heroes of the Wild West. Bloch Publishing Company, 1997.

This book is an adaptation of M. L. Marks' book Jews Among the Indians and is intended for young readers. (Ages 5 and up)

Moss, Marissa. Rachel's Journal: The Story of a Pioneer Girl. Harcourt, 2001.

Made to look like an actual diary with hand-written excerpts on lined paper and watercolor illustrations, Rachel's Journal constructs a family's journey in covered wagon from Illinois along the Oregon Trail to California through the eyes of a 10-year-old girl. Although this is a fictional account, it is based on excerpts from journals of actual overland migrations across the country. (Ages 8-12)

Polacco, Patricia. The Keeping Quilt. Simon and Schuster, 2001.

The Keeping Quilt shows how a particular quilt tells a family's history and keeps family traditions alive. Made from pieces of fabric from various articles of clothing when the family first immigrated from Russia to New York, the quilt has been passed from mother to daughter for four generations and used in various Jewish ceremonies. (Ages 4-8)

Stanley, Jerry. Frontier Merchants: Lionel and Barron Jacobs and the Jewish Pioneers Who Settled the West. Crown Publishing Group, 1998.

Frontier Merchants tells the story of two Jewish brothers who moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1867 with a freight wagon of merchandise and built a thriving mercantile business and, eventually, the territory's first bank. Their story illustrates the important economic impact Jewish entrepreneurs had on the development of the American West. (Ages 12-15)

Wilder, Laura Ingalls. On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894. Harper Collins, 1976.

This book is part of the larger Little House series based on the life experiences of Laura Ingalls Wilder. On the Way Home is based on Wilder's diary of the events and places of their journey from South Dakota to Missouri, where she and her family were moving to start a new life. It was in Mansfield, Missouri that Wilder wrote the Little House books. (Ages 8-12)

Dear America Series

The Dear America Series is a popular series of books written as first-hand accounts based on particular historic moments. Though fictional, these diaries are based on historical research and present a youth's perspective on such topics and eras as the European arrival in the New World, slavery, the American Revolution, the Civil War, immigration and the overland journey across the United States. Young readers learn about history as if from a peer, in a nicely presented publication that appears like a small diary. Historical notes, illustrations and photographs assist in bringing historical context to the diary entries. Several of these titles are particularly relevant to curriculum on the American frontier and/or Jewish pioneers. (Ages 9-13)

Lasky, Kathryn. Dreams in the Golden Country: The Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl. Scholastic, 1998.

An historical-fictional account of Zippy, a 12-year-old Jewish immigrant from Russia who documents her family's first 18 months on the Lower East Side in New York City at the turn of the century.

Gregory, Kristiana. Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell. Scholastic, 1997.

Thirteen-year-old Hattie chronicles her family's 1847 overland journey along the Oregon Trail as part of a wagon train.

Murphy, Jim. West to a Land of Plenty: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi. Scholastic, 1998.

Follow Teresa, an Italian immigrant girl, and her family as they move from New York City to a utopian community in Idaho called Opportunity in the late 1800s.

Jewish Pioneers | Women of the West | Quilt-making | For Young Readers