History Of Kentucky Jewish Community Being Collected

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The history of a once large Jewish community in Ashland is being gathered for the Institute of Southern Jewish Life.

Spencer Simons and his sister are in town this week gathering oral histories from the few Jewish people who remain in the area. The recordings will be added to the institute's website.

Simons said there are a lot of interesting stories, including that of Bill Raffel, who played on the championship football team Ashland before playing in the NFL for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1932.

Simons said there used to be about 200 Jews who owned several retail shops in downtown. He said the community began declining in the 1970s.