The Minneapolis Northside neighborhood near Ascension Parish has had many faces — it has been a Jewish enclave; a community of Irish, Italians and Poles; an African-American area; and now it reflects the state’s rich ethnic and racial diversity.

Why has this neighborhood experienced so much change? Why did many Jews and Irish leave, why did African Americans settle there, and what were the interactions among different groups? Why did this neighborhood create so many civic leaders? What will the North side look like in 10 years?

A panel will talk about the past and present history of this area and share their visions for this community at "Matzoh Balls, Boxing and Change: Faces of the Ascension Parish Neighborhood" from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, in 3M Auditorium, Owens Science Hall, on the St. Paul campus.

Panelists are:

  • The Rev. Michael O’Connell, rector of the Basilica of St. Mary and pastor of the Church of the Ascension
  • Harry Davis, emeritus trustee of Hamline University, Golden Gloves Hall-of-Famer 1975, assistant publisher of the Minneapolis Star and Tribune, and a Minneapolis mayoral candidate.
  • Ed Gearty, attorney, former DFL state representative and a trustee and lifelong member of the Church of the Ascension
  • Dr. Linda Schloff, executive director of the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest, exhibit curator and author of And Prairie Dogs Weren’t Kosher: Jewish Women in the Upper Midwest Since 1855.

Moderator is Katherine Tane, president of the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest.

The panel discussion is part of a UST multidisciplinary service-learning project called "Ascension in the Neighborhood: Transformation and Continuity." To learn more about the project, you can read a Bulletin Today story published last spring.

The project involves four community partners — UST, Ascension Church, the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest and the Jay Phillips Center for Jewish-Christian Learning.


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