By Karin J. Goldstein
Many visitors flock to Plymouth, Massachusetts, each year to view the historic landing spot of the Pilgrims. Three blocks from Plymouth Rock is Congregation Beth Jacob's synagogue. For more than a century, the Jewish community of this coastal New England town has flourished. Even before the establishment of the synagogue, built in 1912-13, Plymouth's history was shaped by the Jewish culture. Many colonial New England laws were derived from the Old Testament. The grave marker of famed Governor William Bradford bears an inscription in Hebrew that reads, "The Lord is the help of my life." Historian Karin J. Goldstein reveals the lasting impact of the Jewish community on Plymouth's history and the ways in which it still informs the town's unique identity today.