"From Bourbon to Blue Jeans: Bavarian Jews and Their Influence on American Culture," Sunday, May 23, 1 P.M. (PDT) #germany #usa #events

Emily Garber

This coming Sunday, May 23, 2021, the Phoenix Jewish Genealogy Group will present Suzanne Kelting Myers and her talk: "From Bourbon to Blue Jeans: Bavarian Jews and Their Influence on American Culture."
This virtual presentation is free of charge and open to all. To register, go to: https://www.azjhs.org/from-bourbon-to-blue-jeans
"From Bourbon to Blues Jeans: Bavarian Jews and Their Influence on American Culture” will begin with an overview of Jewish immigration to the United States: Sephardic Jews prior to 1800; the German-speaking Jews in the 19th century (post-1813 and post-1848); and the Eastern European wave between 1880 and 1920. Pressures from cultural and legal events in Bavaria, especially those relating to the Napoleonic Era, and to a lesser extent those relating to the German revolutions of 1848-1849, and how they affected the status of Jews in the region will be discussed.  The patterns of immigration, the conditions required to travel, and the ports of arrival in the United States by individuals and families will be reviewed. Jewish men who settled in the United States were identified by the state not by their religious affiliation but by their race (white) and therefore had all the rights that other white males in society held: citizenship, voting rights, and land-owning.  How this distinction supported their ability to flourish economically and to fully participate in civic life was significant.

Suzanne Kelting Myers, D.O. is fascinated by the immigration of Jewish immigrants during the 19th century and how they became involved in various vocations, especially those in the American West.  She uses her anthropology perspective as an approach to genealogy, her teaching background to communicate and educate, and her medical training to integrate science (including DNA) into her research.  She is the editor of Tidbits, the newsletter for the West Valley Genealogical Society in Youngtown, and has been involved with the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society’s project to transcribe all Jewish burial records in the Bay Area.


Taking up genealogy seriously about 15 years ago, she has traveled to four European countries and more than a dozen states to pursue her family’s history. She has completed Boston University’s certificate program and is an alumnus of the ProGen study group. Her educational opportunities to genealogical institutes have been facilitated by a ProGenealogist scholarship in 2020 and the Donn Devine scholarship in 2021.


She is the owner of Expedition Genealogy and is Adjunct Faculty at Midwestern University in the College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Emily Garber, Chair
Phoenix Jewish Genealogy Group
a committee of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society