The Ques­tion is Why?”: Stan­ford M. Adel­stein, a Jew­ish Life in South Dakota

Eric Steven Zim­mer; Stan­ford M. Adel­stein, preface

  • From the Publisher
January 1, 2013

As a Jew­ish South Dakotan, Stan­ford M. Stan” Adel­stein has long encoun­tered cer­tain ques­tions: How did you end up there?” There are Jews in South Dako­ta?!” He’s even had to explain where to find South Dako­ta on the map. But when Adel­stein met David Ben-Guri­on in Israel in 1965, the for­mer prime min­is­ter asked some­thing else: The ques­tion isn’t where?’ ” Ben-Guri­on said. The ques­tion is why?’” Caught off guard, Adel­stein respond­ed with what was in his heart: he told Ben-Guri­on that carv­ing out a life of pur­pose on the South Dako­ta plains was his mis­sion as a Jew. He has spent the years since then liv­ing out this response, serv­ing a stun­ning array of local, nation­al, and inter­na­tion­al caus­es. This book tells Adelstein’s sto­ry of fam­i­ly, faith, busi­ness, pol­i­tics, and phil­an­thropy. It pro­vides new per­spec­tives on recent Amer­i­can and world his­to­ry, and on the lives of Jew­ish peo­ple in rur­al places. And arriv­ing when many Amer­i­cans are ques­tion­ing our democracy’s dura­bil­i­ty, it inspires all who hope to improve their com­mu­ni­ties, their coun­try, and the world.

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