A documentary due out this year is set to raise awareness about a little- known side of American history: Jewish cowboys.
Historians behind the project have shown how there was a very successful move to get 75,000 Yiddish-speaking Jews based in and around New York to resettle “out west”, but that their adventures were overlooked by American history.
Jews of the Wild West, by director Amanda Kinsey, shows how thousands of families went from Europe’s shtetls to filthy New York tenement buildings to the new frontier.
“Their stories were sidelined for social, political and economic reasons, but they were visionaries who saw the opportunity, and who were rooted in family and tradition,” said Kinsey.
Among those to set their sights on new horizons was Bavarian-born Levi Strauss, who was leader of the nascent Jewish community of San Francisco in the mid-19th century when a tailor approached him with the idea of putting rivets in trousers, to cut down on wear and tear.
Watch a promotional video for Jews of the Wild West here: