The Jewish Immigration PowerPoint - Jewish Immigration

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					 Jewish Immigration

   Why did so many Jewish
Immigrants settle in NY and NJ?
    Background Information
• Early 19th century – very little
• 1840 – Jewish population in the
  US was 15,000
• 1880 – Jewish population in the
  US was 250,000
    Wave of Immigration

• 2 million Jews immigrate to
  the United States between
  1880 and 1920
• 1/3 the European population
  of Jews emigrated to the US
  during this time
    Why did they leave?

• Pogroms
• Discrimination
• Economic Opportunity
• Religious Freedom
• Prior Jewish Immigration
• Russian term for “devastation”
• 1881 – assassination of
  Alexander II led to a wave of
  Pogroms in Southern Russia
  against the Jewish community
• ¾ of the 2 million Jews who left
  Europe between 1881 and 1914
  came from the Russian Empire
    Discrimination - Russia
• Jewish children had limited
  educational opportunities
• Jewish children were subject to
  “special examinations” for
  admission (think literacy tests for
  African Americans)
• Jewish students were rejected
  based on physical characteristics
Economic Opportunity/Religious
• “How happy I was when I reached the
  promised land of freedom, where laws,
  at least, are the same for Jews as for
  non-Jews. At that time the stigma of
  inequality burned in me like a fiery coal,
  because I felt its sting and suffered its
• -Leopold Mayer
  Why did they stay in NY?
• Economic reasons

• Religious Reasons

• Social Reasons
      Economic Reasons
• Two main fields of employment
  – finance/retail trade and the
  garment industry
• Many Jews found employment
  in the garment industry of NY’s
  Lower East Side (40 %
  according to immigration
     Economic Reasons

• Others worked as peddlers,
  eventually graduating to
  store ownership
• Some estimate that 1/3 of
  the immigrants during this
  wave of immigration worked
  in retail sales at some point.
     Economic Reasons
• “Within the Tenth Ward (Lower
  East Side) alone in 1899 there
  140 groceries, 131 butcher
  shops, 36 bakeries, 14 butter
  and egg stores, 62 candy
  stores, 21 fruit stands, 10
      Religious Reasons
• Jewish religious infrastructure
  already in place in NY’s Lower
  East Side by 1880
• Enabled immigrants to pray at
  temple, observe the Sabbath,
  provide Jewish education, and
  keep Kosher
      Religious Reasons
• NY’s Lower East Side offered
  proximity to synagogue,
  school, and Kosher food.
• This was especially important
  in observing Sabbath and Holy
  days, and worked well for
  immigrants who labored long
       Social Reasons
• Jewish Communities were self-
  contained and uniform in
  language and culture
• Example – the main language
  of the Lower East Side was
• Newspapers were published in
  Yiddish and there were Yiddish
  movie theatres
        Social Reasons
• The existing Jewish community
  went to great lengths to welcome
  newcomers, help them adapt and

• Jewish Aid Societies –
  Landsmanschaften – groups of
  immigrants who came from the
  same communities in the “Old
 Why did they move to NJ?

• Improve living conditions
• Advances in transportation
• Suburbs as “making it”
• Proximity to NYC
• Infrastructure in place in
  surrounding communities