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The Hanukkah Street Car: A Ride Through Jewish History in Little Rock

M. E. Kubit

Hop aboard as we take a ride on the Rock Region Metro Streetcar and learn about the storied Jewish history in Central Arkansas, with archivist Shannon Lausch and historian Jim Pfeifer as our guides.

The Arts & Letters Radio team has taken over the Rock Region Metro Streetcar for a journey through moments of Jewish history of Downtown Little Rock, and since it is the season of lights, we have affectionately renamed the streetcar, The Hanukkah Trolley.

In the episode we will hear stories about Concordia Hall and its stag lines and dances, the Kempner Brothers Shoe Store where you could have your feet x-rayed, the Gus Blass Department Store with the state's first escalator, Maxie's Reliable Mercantile and Loan Shop run by former boxer "Slapsy" Maxie, Moses Music, and the large ornate Temple B'nai Israel once located on the corner of Broadway and Capitol Streets.

M.E. Kubit
Alan Thalheimer (left) sharing stories with J. Bradley Minnick

Thank you to the Trolley guests who shared stories: Jerry Jacobson, Trudy Jacobson, Mac Lyons, and Alan Thalheimer. And thank you to Trolley riders Sarah Bost, and Beth, Rowan and Paige Wells. A huge thank you to our guides Jim Pfeifer and Shannon Lausch.

The music and soundscape for the episode were created and performed by Joseph Fuller, with Clayton Aronowitz on vocals.

A special thank you to Becca Green, director of public engagement, and the Rock Region Metro for sharing the Blue Line Streetcar for this episode.

Thank you to Stickyz Rock ‘N’ Roll Chicken Shack for keeping music alive and well in Arkansas.

Generous funding for Arts & Letters Radio was provided by the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Connect with us! Twitter: @ArtsLettersKUAR | Facebook: @artsandlettersradio | Instagram: @artsandlettersradio | YouTube: artsandlettersradio | Spotify Playlist: Arts & Letters Radio

Contact Arts & Letters Radio at artsletters@kuar.org or via phone at 501-916-6400. Our mailing address is: Arts & Letters Radio | KUAR 89.1 | 5820 Asher Avenue, Suite 400 | Little Rock, AR 72204.

Executive Producer and Host: J. Bradley Minnick
Producer & Story Editor: Mary Ellen Kubit
Recorded by: Daniel Breen
Sound Mastering: Simon Sound Services

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