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Jewish American Immigration

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					Jewish American Immigration



      Background
First Jewish Community in
America
1654 New Amsterdam (Dutch colony) – modern-day
New York

23 Jewish refugees from Brazil arrived on the St.
Catherine

They left Brazil, which up till then had offered them
relative freedom, because the country had just been
taken over by the Portuguese
Great Era of Jewish Immigration
1820-1924
Jews immigrated in waves of successively larger groups

1820-1880s – primarily Jews from Central Europe

American press labeled 1881 – when the first 18 pogrom
refugees reached New York -- the beginning of mass
migration of Eastern European Jews

Most lived in cities

Most worked in commerce and industries
Margin to Mainstream
1924-1940s
Period of socio-economic mobility mixed with
social prejudices against Jewish immigrants


1945: Ives-Quinn antidiscrimination bill, New
York – forbade discrimination in employment
based on race, religion, or color. Followed by
similar laws in other states with large Jewish
communities
“Golden Age” of American Jewry
1948-1960s
Post-Depression, Holocaust, and anti-Semitism of
1920s-40s

Establishment of State of Israel

Suburbanization
Economic growth
Social activism
Contemporary American Jewry
1960s – present
Questions of Jewish identity

Feminism
Two examples of Jewish American
culture

Emma Lazarus
Superman
Jewish Immigrants and American Identity

What makes American Judaism unique from the
perspective of American religion “is not its survival
related fears, which are commonplace and well
founded, but the fact that for the major part of
American history it has been the nation's largest and
most visible non-Christian faith...[a] challenge to
those who sought to define the nation (or its soul) in
restrictively Christian terms.”
      -- Jonathan Sarna, American Judaism: A History

				
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posted:9/16/2011
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