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The St. Thomas Split

The Dybbukast, Season 2, Episode 4: The St. Thomas Split

Season 2, Episode 4

In our fourth episode of the season, presented in collaboration with The Mervis Chair, Borns Jewish Studies Program, Indiana University Bloomington, we explore a series of letters which document a moment in the late 1860s when opposing viewpoints caused a split in the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas.

Dr. Laura Leibman, Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College shares about the history of Jews in the Caribbean, and Dr. Judah Cohen, the Lou and Sybil Mervis Professor in the Study of Jewish Culture and Professor of Musicology and Jewish Studies at Indiana University, discusses Jewish life on St. Thomas, the circumstances surrounding the split, and the ways in which this story relates to the complexities of communal identity.

Read the transcript for "The St. Thomas Split."


Hosted by Aaron Henne

Scholarship provided by Judah Cohen, PhD and Laura Leibman, PhD

Edited by Mark McClain Wilson

Story editing by Julie A. Lockhart with Aaron Henne

Featuring the voices of Joshua Wolf Coleman, Perry Daniel, Joe Jordan, Julie A. Lockhart, Clay Steakley, Jonathan CK Williams, and Mark McClain Wilson

Theme music composed by Michael Skloff and produced by Sam K.S.

Transcription by Dylan Southard

"The St. Thomas Split" Learning Resources

Learn more about:

Also referenced in the episode:

Exercises For Educators:

Watch with captions on YouTube:



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