September 30, 2009

A Postville Jew Details his Pain in New Book: ÒPostville USA, Surviving Diversity in Small Town America

Postville, IA…Aaron Goldsmith, an influential Jewish businessman who lives in Postville, found an outlet for his pain in a new book he co-authored with Mark Grey and Michele Devlin, both non-Jews. Goldsmith, who is a member of the Lubavitcher Chasidim, served as a Councilman in the celebrated town which has already been the subject of many books and documentaries. He prides himself with having cordial relations with his non-Jewish neighbors. His book is more an account of the travails of the small Midwestern town than a damming condemnation of the federal raid that brought down the Rubashkin family. Although he minces no words for the raid and its aftermath, his account is more a sad chronology of the rise and fall of a small American town that had somehow not only managed to cope with diversity but had in fact become a model in modern-day Americana. He details the events that began with charges of a “Jewish takeover” of the town to the point where even relations were so cordial that non-Jews voted for Jewish representation to preside over economic prosperity. In Aaron’s own words: “As a Lubavitcher, I was deeply disturbed to see how the allegations against the Rubashkins were used as a Trojan Horse to smear Lubavitch, Orthodox Jews, Kashrus and Jews in general. I participated in this important work so that the truth could be sorted out from the many distortions that exist in the media and the blogosphere…The story is sobering, but this story has not been fairly told until now.” Aaron bemoans the fall of the Rubashkin family as a tragedy. He showers lavish praise on the family for its generosity and benevolence, albeit at times points out where more could have been done for the community. “Postville USA” is available at Amazon, through the publisher’s website, and in fine bookstores.