Monday, October 11, 2010 By Aaron Brown
It's a common misconception that Dylan grew up in the only Jewish household in a post-bloom mining town. In truth, the Iron Range of the early- to mid-20th century had a fairly active Jewish community that accompanied the region's broad ethnic diversity. Educated Jewish children, mostly of shopkeeping families, left with all the other educated children of miners to form strong communities all over the country in the later 20th century. Unfortunately, the Jewish communities on the Range were too small to sustain the losses, especially as businesses closed through the '60s, and the congregations dissolved. The B'nai Abraham synagogue remains in Virginia, Minn., but it's too small to sustain the quorum needed for services. The Iron Range was and remains an interesting cultural study, just like Bob Dylan.
(Hibbing synagogue story source: Duluth News Tribune)