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Jews arrived when the territory was first organized in 1854. Mostly Central European traders and merchants, they settled in Omaha, Lincoln, Plattsmouth, Grand Island, and other towns. By the end of the century more Jews, mostly East European, arrived. Attempts to establish a Jewish agricultural settlement failed. In the 20th century Jews became active in the public life of the state, and several Jews served as mayors of their towns. Among the prominent Jews of Omaha were Aaron Cahn, who served in the state legislature in 1863, and Henry Monsky, a B’nai B’rith leader. Today, there are 7,500 Jews in the state, with 6,500 in Omaha and 800 in Lincoln. The Jewish Press is published in Omaha.

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