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The Jews and the Lakota

Hosted By: Moment Magazine

Growing up, journalist Rebec­ca Clarren only knew the major plot points of her immi­grant family’s ori­gins. Her great-great-grand­par­ents fled anti­semitism in Rus­sia, set­tling on a 160-acre home­stead in South Dako­ta. Over the next few decades, despite tough years on a mer­ci­less prairie and mul­ti­ple set­backs, they became an Amer­i­can immi­grant suc­cess sto­ry.

What none of Clarren’s ances­tors ever men­tioned was that their land, the foun­da­tion for much of their wealth, had been cru­el­ly tak­en from the Lako­ta by the Unit­ed States gov­ern­ment. Join Clarren, author of the new book The Cost of Free Land: Jews, Lakota, and an American Inheritance, for a conversation about the entangled history of her Jewish ancestors’ land and the dev­as­tat­ing cycle of loss of Indige­nous land, cul­ture, and resources that con­tin­ues today. In conversation with Moment editor Sarah Breger.

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