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University of Arizona

Primary Resources on Jewish History in Arizona and the Southwest

The United States Southwest, encompassing West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California, reflects the heritage of diverse groups of peoples. From native-born inhabitants to those who chose to settle in this region, each group has contributed to Southwestern culture and society.

The documentation of the Jewish pioneer experience continues...
U. S. Southwestern history has traditionally focused on the contributions of Native Americans, and people whose ancestral roots are in Mexico and Europe. Jewish pioneers not only built Jewish communities, but that they also made significant contributions to the development of the U. S. Southwest.

The Bloom Southwest Jewish Archives offers several educational exhibits:
The Pioneers exhibit presents the pioneer Jewish experience in West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona through images of photos held in regional archives and museums, electronic texts, articles, newspaper accounts, and biographical information.

The Synagogues exhibit reinforces that pioneer Jews placed a priority on maintaining their beliefs, values, and traditions amid the hazards of the nation's frontier. 

This section on Crypto-Jews focuses on the Crypto-Jewish experience in the U. S. Southwest (including areas of Mexico)

The Oral Histories section features interviews with Tucson's New American community. Members were invited to participate in recording information about their lives and experiences in the former Soviet Union (and now in Tucson). By including their stories, we find similarities between the pioneers of the 19th century and those of the late 20th. These histories include the story of a 20th (and now 21st) century family whose family odyssey is traced from Europe to the eastern U.S. and then to Tucson. 

Also included:

About the physical collection
The Finding Aids provide information about the physical collection held in the UA Library's Special Collections.

Additional oral histories on Tucson/SW Jewish Experience