Intriguing 19th Century Stories of Jewish Immigration to Colorado with Cynthia Gensheimer (Programs)
JCC, 350 S. Dahlia St, Denver in the Perlmutter Room in the lower level
This session is open to the public at no charge.
Please note the start time of 9:30 am, with the first 30 minutes intended as "networking" time with fellow attendees.
Mentors will be available to answer your questions.
Cynthia Francis Gensheimer will share stories of Jews who came to Colorado before 1900 and met with either scandal or success, some within the same family. While it’s often easy to recreate the past of a relative who did well, piecing together the stories of ne’er-do-wells can be challenging. Reading historic newspapers, Cynthia has followed people who were murdered, as well as those who committed suicide, deserted their families, evaded the draft, or eluded creditors. Cynthia will explain how she has used a combination of resources to recreate the personalities of an entire Jewish community. She will explain how to use digitized historic newspapers, Jewish and secular, some of which are hard to find.
Cynthia Francis Gensheimer is a PhD economist who studies nineteenth-century Midwestern American Jewish history. She analyzed tax policy at the Congressional Budget Office and taught economics at Vassar College. As an outgrowth of her work in Kansas City’s Jewish community, she became fascinated with the history of American Jewish philanthropy. Cynthia recently traced families of 1100 Jews who lived in Quincy, Illinois. She received the American Jewish Archives’ Bernard and Audre Rapoport Fellowship. She was a fellow at the American Jewish Archives in 2015-2016, and has published extensively, including in American Jewish History and Heritage. Her main field of interest is the study of 19th century American Jewish women’s benevolence. She also currently serves on the board of the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society. Cynthia grew up in Schenectady, NY, and lived in California, Virginia, Connecticut, Kansas and Massachusetts before she and her husband moved to Denver in 2016.