Sunderland Language Center, Room 110
College Street, Middlebury College
When, in the late 19th century, many Eastern European Jews sought freedom in North America, a core of immigrants from neighboring rural villages, or shtetls, in Lithuania made their way to Burlington, then a bustling lumber port. “Little Jerusalem” became a thriving, traditional Jewish community in Burlington’s Old North End from the late 1800s until World War II, and vestiges of its heritage still remain today. Vermont Public Television’s Little Jerusalem captures the rich history of this community in archival images and interviews with historians and descendants of the original settlers. Many of the first inhabitants worked as peddlers, eventually populating the neighborhood with a variety of shops that included bakeries, butcher shops, groceries and general stores. They built three synagogues, two of which continue to serve residents today. Here is their story – a story that has left a lasting cultural impact on the city and comprises an important chapter in Burlington’s early development.
“Little Jerusalem” has just received the 2013 Richard O. Hathaway Award of the Vermont Historical Society. The award recognizes original historical research that illuminates an important subject hitherto unexplored.
Discussion to follow with Dorothy Dickie, Senior Producer, Vermont Public Television, and Middlebury faculty.
Sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies and Vermont Public Television