The United States Southwest, encompassing West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California, reflects the heritage of diverse groups of peoples. From native-born inhabitants to those who chose to settle in this region, each group has contributed to Southwestern culture and society.
U. S. Southwestern history has traditionally focused on the contributions of Native Americans, and people whose ancestral roots are in Mexico and Europe. Until recently, little has been written documenting the pioneer Jewish experience. Visitors to this website learn that Jewish pioneers not only built Jewish communities, but that they also made significant contributions to the development of the U. S. Southwest.
The Bloom Southwest Jewish Archives offers several educational exhibits. The Pioneers exhibit presents the pioneer Jewish experience in West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona through images of photos held in regional archives and museums, electronic texts, articles, newspaper accounts, and biographical information. The Synagogues exhibit reinforces that pioneer Jews placed a priority on maintaining their beliefs, values, and traditions amid the hazards of the nation's frontier. Crypto-Jews focuses on the Crypto-Jewish experience in the U. S. Southwest and is one of the most highly visited areas of the website. The Oral Histories secton features interviews with Tucson's New American community. Its members were invited to participate in recording information about their lives and experiences in the former Soviet Union and now in Tucson. By including their stories, we find similarities between the pioneers of the 19th century and those of the late 20th. Oral Histories includes the story of a 20th (and now 21st) century family whose family odyssey is traced from Europe to the eastern U. S. and then to Tucson. Finding Aids provides web access to the physical collection held in the UA Library's Special Collections.
References to the sources used in descriptive sections, a suggested readings list, copyright and permissions information, and a page with links to selected websites to visit are also available. Consult the Finding Aids for guides to where materials are housed within Special Collections.
About the Southwest Jewish Archives website.