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Dakota Discovery Museum announces a special exhibit

Friday, October 6, 2017

Mitchell’s Dakota Discovery Museum, Dakota Wesleyan University and the Jewish Community Relations Council for Minnesota and the Dakotas are collaborating on a project documenting South Dakota’s Jewish population throughout history.

Dakota Diaspora: Judaism in South Dakota tells the story of homesteaders, storekeepers and families of Jewish heritage in South Dakota.

Eleven of DWU Professor Joel Allen’s world religion students are working on the project. “It’s just kind of identifying different people, different families that we ought to be in touch with,” said Allen. “We started putting out feelers and one thing led to another, and here we are.”

The second part is called “Transfer of Memory”, a photo exhibit of illustrating Holocaust survivors who settled in the region.

Steve Hunegs is executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. He says the exhibit is hugely important. “As the survivor community passes on, this is our best way to tell the stories of the holocaust,” Hunegs said. “Not because we should learn about…the holocaust, but because we need to use it to guide us and inform us today.”  The exhibits also serve as a platform to commemorate Israel’s 70th anniversary in May of 2018. Dakota Diaspora and Transfer of Memory is scheduled to open in late spring.

J.P. Skelly

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