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The Struggle to Stay: Jewish Appalachians

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Jewish communities across West Virginia are struggling to keep their traditions alive.

“It is actually kind of scary. I worry because a lot of people my age are moving away for, like, school or jobs and because of that the communities are getting smaller,” said Kirston Kennedy, a young Jewish Appalachian who inspired our show.

The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins December 12, and continues through December 20th at sundown. In light of Hanukkah, this week’s show features Jewish Appalachians, a group that’s not really talked about a whole lot. 

Back in 2015, Kennedy sent a message to Inside Appalachia’s host, Jessica Lilly, wondering if we had ever done an episode about Jewish Appalachians.  “I thought you may be able to let people know that we are here as well. We are small, but we are here.”

Thanks to Kirston Kennedy’s inspiration, this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia features stories from an award-winning series, “Story of the Jews”, produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting in 2014