Orthodox Jewish Community in Alaska Overcomes Challenges of Isolation

May 24, 2002

Source: The Jerusalem Post

On May 24, 2002 The Jerusalem Post featured an article on Orthodox Jews in Alaska. "Orthodox families get together in an informal cooperative to pool orders and exchange information about kosher food products that turn up in the city. Anything not available in Anchorage must be ordered and flown in by air freight... Living without easy access to kosher food is just one of the challenges to following Jewish law in this northernmost US state... Another popped up eight days before Passover. Jacob Tsatskis was born March 21, and Jewish law called for him to be circumcised on Passover. The Jewish community usually summons a mohel from Washington or California, but no one wanted to be apart from their families for the holiday. They finally found one willing to fly in from Israel... Rabbi Yossi Greenberg, head of the Lubavitch Jewish Center of Alaska, estimates there are more than 5,000 Jews of various stripes among the state's population of about 627,000."