Jewish history in eastern Kentucky being collected

The history of a once large Jewish community in Ashland is being gathered for the Institute of Southern Jewish Life.

MGN Online

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) - The history of a once large Jewish community in Ashland is being gathered for the Institute of Southern Jewish Life.

The Independent (bit.ly/14vw2ZT) reports Spencer Simons and his sister are in town this week gathering oral histories from the few Jewish people who remain in the area. The recordings will be added to the institute's website.

Simons said there are a lot of interesting stories, including that of Bill Raffel, who played on the championship football team Ashland before playing in the NFL for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1932.

Simons said there used to be about 200 Jews, many of whom owned retail shops in downtown. He said the community began declining in the 1970s.


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