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Arabs and Jews are thought to inhabit the Middle East or urban areas in the United States, not Kentucky or other out of the way locales. Arab and Jewish Women in Kentucky: Stories of Accommodation and Audacity explores the untold accounts of ten Arab and Jewish women who managed in the past and currently their unique identities tending to both their religious/ethnic traditions and acculturating to Kentucky ways. In the details of women's stories, ties between Arabs and Jews not in the Middle East, but middle America, emerge. Common ground surfaces displaying Arab and Jewish women with similar tales of women openly and publicly serving their communities, of mother-daughter relations, of the agility necessitated to work, mother, and be an active community member, and of what it meant to be an Arab and Jewish mother nearly a century ago. Associations materialize in the women's tales, underscoring that lives evolve relationally between generations, mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, aunts and nephews, grandmothers and granddaughters, and within and between communities. Narratives about immigrant groups becoming American traditionally spotlight one group at a time, and not in correspondence to other groups. Through the lens of women's lives, the relational links between Arabs and Jews, individuals and communities, and generations become apparent.

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY




978-0-8131-3622-6 (pdf version)


978-0-8131-4049-0 (epub version)




Jews, Arab Americans, Women, Kentucky, Arab and Jewish shop owners, Family businesses


Social History | United States History

Arab and Jewish Women in Kentucky: Stories of Accommodation and Audacity
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