Title: Harrisburg's Jewish Community Book
Author: Sherry Christian
Publisher: CBS 21 News
Simon J. Bronner, Penn State Harrisburg professor and author of the book Images of America, Greater Harrisburg's Jewish Community says "people began coming here including peddlers and immigrants because they were attracted not only to the idea of the state capital but it was a growing river hub especially with the development of the Pennsylvania canal in the mid-19th century."
And it's the beginning of that migration that forms the beginning of Bronner's book, which documents the settlement of mainly German immigrants in 1825 to the forming of the Eigth Ward and the expansion north.
Jumping off each page is a collection of photographs taken by Arnold Zuckerman that was given to the Historical Society of Dauphin County.
They help to chronical the growth of the Jewish community from 600 residents by the end of the 19th century to a tenfold increase by the early 20th century.
Emerging from the community were residents who succeeded in business, community service and politics.
People like Miriam Menaker.
People pass by the Heinz-Menaker Senior center on 4th street everyday without realizing the building is named after Miriam Menaker, the first woman and Jew to serve on city council back in 1969.
Bronner says, "many of these local figures who were so community minded may not have a Wikipedia page, they may not show up in encyclopedias, but they have great local significance and show the benefits I think of civic engagement."
Bronner's book also shines a light on a dark cloud that hung over the community.
Anti-semitic acts that were displayed on synagogues and other buildings in the city.
But Bronner wants to leave readers with a message of hope.
Bronner says, "there are efforts to combat that as well as cooperation among different ethnic groups, Jews, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans that are documented here to improve tolerance and community harmony through the years."
Greater Harrisburg's Jewish Community is published through Arcadia's Images of America series.
And once you get the book, you can have it autographed by Simon Bronner at a book signing on August 5th at the Harrisburg History Center at noon.