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  Courthouse Courthouse Greene County Historical Society    
  Courthouse Courthouse  
Located in the Missouri Ozarks  

For more information, contact:

Greene County
Historical Society
P.O. Box 3466 GS
Springfield, MO 65808

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This site was last
updated on
August 9, 2013


Join us for the Fall 2013 program....


Early German Jewry in Springfield

Presented by

Mara Cohen Ioannides and Rachel Gholson,

Missouri State University

Sunday September 22nd at 2:30 p.m.

Myers Hall at South Street Christian Church

500 South Avenue, Springfield, Missouri

The meeting is free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored by the GCHS and the German-Austrian-Swiss Society of the Ozarks.

Cohen Ioannides and Gholson teach in the Department of English at Missouri State University. They are the co-authors of Jews of Springfield in the Ozarks (Arcadia Publishing, 2013). Their presentation will focus on the German Jewish immigrants who established the first synagogue in Springfield.

The meeting will be held at South Street Christian, the site of the first known Jewish services in Springfield.

Here’s what the publisher’s description of the book says about the early Jewish community:

“Jews arrived to the bustling town of Springfield shortly after its founding in 1838, only five years after the birth of the state of Missouri. The first Jews to live in Springfield were Victor and Bertha Sommers with her brother Ferdinand Bakrow. They opened Victor Sommers & Co., a dry goods store in 1860. The Jewish community grew as merchants brought their families, tying Springfield to other towns along the Mississippi River through marriages. The first congregation was founded in 1893 by the German Reform Jews.”

Here’s what their book says about the meeting location:
“In 1894, Temple Israel held Yom Kippur services, both evening and morning, in South Street Christian Church. These are the first known Jewish services to be held in Springfield.”

For more information on this meeting, contact Anne Baker, GCHS Secretary. She can be reached at 417-569-6188 or by email.


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