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Remembering Jewish history in Iowa

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Iowa's Jewish community is far from new. Joanne Satin joined a synagogue in Davenport in 1936 for kindergarten. Now she's the oldest member of Iowa's oldest Jewish congregation. Satin said the synagogue Temple Emanuel was a chance to meet with other Jewish people in public at a time when anti-Semitic exclusionary policies kept them out of certain places. On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to Satin about the struggle to keep the synagogue open in 2021. Jeanette Gabriel, the director of the Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, talks about her study of the pathways Jewish families took into and out of the “hinterlands” of Iowa. She discusses the compromises some individuals and families made to maintain their Jewish identity in a place that did not always welcome or support it.

Then, we hear from Rick Garmin, a screenwriter who has found a niche in writing movies for Hallmark. We hear about how he got to this point in his writing career and the value these movies have during the pandemic.

These conversations were originally produced in December 2021.


  • Joanne Satin, member of Temple Emanuel in Davenport, Iowa
  • Jeanette Gabriel, director of the Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Rick Garmin, Marion native and screenwriter
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Caitlin Troutman is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio
Natalie Dunlap is a rising junior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and minoring in gender, women's & sexuality studies. She is from Iowa City and in her free time enjoys getting coffee and reading downtown with friends.