Jewish history authors to speak

Staff report


Local authors Tom Welsh, Joshua Foster and Gordon Morgan will give a presentation titled “Jewish Memories of a Lifetime” at 10 a.m. Saturday in the meeting room at Kravitz Deli, 3135 Belmont Ave.

The authors recently published the book “A History of Jewish Youngstown and the Steel Valley.” Their presentation is part of the William Holmes McGuffey Historical Society’s lecture series.

The program, which is open to the public, will include music by Delores DePietro, refreshments and a raffle. Admission is $5, and reservations are suggested. Call Richard S. Scarsella, society chairman, at 330-726-8277, for reservations or information.

“History of Jewish Youngstown” touches on many topics, including the Jewish immigrant experience, the role of religion in the Jewish community, and the range of Jewish contributions to the area, including the Warner Brothers and the Raffel brothers (founders of Arby’s).

Firms owned by Jewish families, including Strouss-Hirshberg Department Stores, Livingston’s Women’s Wear, Lustig’s Shoes and Haber’s Furniture, are recalled by the trio of authors in the richly photographed book.

Welsh is the author of “Closing Chapters: Urban Change, Religious Reform and the Decline of Youngstown’s Catholic Elementary Schools” and “Strouss’: Youngstown’s Dependable Store.”

He serves as outreach coordinator of the Etruscan Press, a nonprofit literary press that works in collaboration with the Youngstown State University Poetry Center.

Foster is a professional writer who grew up in the Kravitz family, owners of Kravitz’s Deli, that has been part of Youngstown’s Jewish community for more than a century.

As a fine arts and religious studies major at YSU, he established the YSU Jewish Students Organization and served as its first president.

Morgan served as program director and newsletter editor for the Mahoning Valley Civil War Round Table, a group of more than 150 people who attend monthly presentations by leading experts on the Civil War.

He is the co-author of “Classic Restaurants of Youngstown,” a historical overview of the community’s restaurant industry.

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