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IM’s Jewish community once thrived

It was with sadness that I read about the sale of the building that was Anshe Knesseth, the Jewish synagogue in Iron Mountain. It had been founded in the late 1800s by a community of Jews who had fled persecution and anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe and Russia.

They settled throughout the U.P. and became merchants. One of these men was my great-grandfather, Samuel Rusky, who along with his brother, Julius, established the London store. It was at the current site of the First National Bank. My grandmother was married in that synagogue.

A generation later, my parents moved back to Iron Mountain and opened Kushner’s children’s clothing. I, like others in my family, was bar mitzvahed in that synagogue. So even 40 years ago there was still a thriving Jewish community in Iron Mountain.

As I and others of my generation left Iron Mountain, the Jewish community dwindled to non-existence. My mother, Eleanor Kushner, and aunt, Muriel Miller, had a wish that the town would remember that Jews once lived there. I hope it is so.

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