Rabbi Sees Common Struggles Over Identity

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The name Michael Krauss may not be immediately recognizable to all Alaskans, but the map of Native people and languages he developed in the mid 70s probably is familiar.

Professor Krauss is the founder of the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He recently gave a talk about his work in an interesting setting- the Alaska Jewish Historical Museum and Cultural Center.

Before he spoke, Rabbi Joseph Greenberg, the president of the museum said while researching the history of Alaska Jews he discovered that Krauss and more than half of the other professors involved in the Alaska Native language center are Jewish.

He said it symbolizes the struggles both Jews and Natives have had in trying to hold on to their cultural identity and world view.

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