A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE JEWISH RELIGION IN THE VINCENNES AREA
Since around 1840, there have been Jewish citizens in the historic city of Vincennes. They have contributed to the rich religious background of the community and have worked and shared in the business and civic life of the city and surrounding area. Life was not easy for the early Jewish settlers, but they were strengthened by their faith and by the warm acceptance of the community. From this small beginning their number swelled to include a great number of families, and then again gradually shrank to a small group. Yet, the sense of being a Jew, the sense of community among the few remaining families, and a strong faith are still very evident. With modern transportation and easy access to larger communities, the Jewish community has simply extended its boundaries beyond the city limits of Vincennes. As stated in the Bible in Habakkuk the second chapter and fourth verse, "But the righteous shall live by his faith." Now, let's look at the early Jewish settlers.
Adam Gimbel, who was born in Bavaria in 1817 to Mary and Selman Gimbel, was the first known Jew to reside in Vincennes, Indiana. Young Adam Gimbel immigrated to the United States at the age of 18 and began working on the docks of New Orleans helping to unload ships. For two years Adam toiled hard as a laborer, and his work was rewarded with promotions from super-