Outwardly, it would appear that Arab and Jewish immigrants comprise two distinct groups with differing cultural backgrounds and an adversarial relationship. Often ignored, however, are the similar immigrant paths these two groups face in the United States, particularly in non-urban areas lacking established immigrant or ethnic populations. In regions like Kentucky, where Jewish and Arab populations are nearly invisible and established cultural or immigrant circles are not prevalent, both groups must negotiate complex identities and often find that their new locations illuminate more similarities between them than differences.
In Arab and Jewish Women in Kentucky: Stories of Accommodation and Audacity, Nora Rose Moosnick reveals the parallel experiences of Jewish and Arab who have immigrated to Kentucky. Through in-depth interviews, she weaves together multiple life stories and follows a group of Arab and Jewish women through a narrative journey exploring their traditions, assimilation, and place in Kentucky’s cultural landscape. These women’s experiences as immigrants or the children of immigrants join around common themes of public service, intergenerational relationships, running small businesses, and the difficulties of juggling family and work.
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