And with them all, or almost all, came the wandering Jew, an emigrant and immigrant before, during, and even more so since biblical times.
To Utah--to Zion--as elsewhere in the West, there came a trickle, a thin stream, of Jewish settlers.
Presently, for example, Salt Lake's Kol Ami, which combines Reform and Conservative congregants, lists 310 family memberships, with perhaps seven hundred people affiliated and fairly active.
But how many Jews have resided in Utah, in Utah Territory, in Deseret, down through the years?
While American Jews, and therefore Utah's Jews, are not members of a single ethnic stock, they are not a cohesive religious unit either.
While some would debate the point, virtually all Jewish scholars hold that to be born Jewish is to be Jewish forever.
Later, when the pressures of pogroms or of czarist military programs caused the largest out-migration of Jews Europe had ever known, most Jews were content to settle wearily in the cities of the East Coast, in New York, Philadelphia, Providence, New Haven, where earlier immigrants, often relatives, could help them find shelter, food, and work.
If there were attractions in the "outback," they were more likely to be found in Saint Louis, Cincinnati, New Orleans, and golden California than in the isolated, semi-arid Zion of a foreign faith.Most would never again venture upon the sea to visit lost homelands on another continent.Instead, on dry land at long last and after fervent prayer, they began treading a continent extending far beyond their earliest imagined childhood horizons.However, one can only estimate the number of Jews who scattered across Zion in Utah's early years as merchants, farmers, ranchers, and miners outside of what was first called Great Salt Lake City.Certainly there were only a score or so in the territory's initial two decades.Although no one is certain, the number is doubtless small, perhaps no more than twenty-five thousand in the century-plus history of Jews in the area.