Welcome To Hanukkah In The Cowboy State
The eight days of Hanukkah, or Chanukah, are beginning and Wyoming is a state where it's widely celebrated. It doesn't demand gift exchanging and "it's not a significantly religious holiday," according to Nationaldaycalender.com. Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem after Alexander the Great, and before Christ.
One Wyoming Jewish teen, Shira Michael, once told Wyomingnews.com that people who are shocked about a Jewish community mostly don't live in Wyoming.
Just like all of America’s immigrants who came with the tracks to Wyoming, they included Jews. Most western settlers were quite inclusive of them. Most Jews sold basic goods people needed going back well before statehood.
According to Virtual Jewish World: Wyoming, “Legend has it Max Meyer’s dry goods store contracted with the John B. Stetson company to make hats to sell to … cowboys.”
The Jewish Agricultural Society sent Jews to till Wyoming soil. Towns eventually grew large enough Jewish populations that schools sought out Yiddish-speaking teachers. This was in the era when cattle and the railroad made Cheyenne the richest town in the world, and it still wasn’t time yet for the oil boom. The “Oil City’s” Fred Goodstein would become the wealthiest man in the state.
Happy Hanukkah, Wyoming