Jewish Americans

by Hasia Diner

The story of the Jews in America is a story of struggle, faith, and hope. From those first 23 Spanish and Portuguese refugees from Brazil who stepped onto the soil of North America in 1654 to the present, Jewish immigrants, like all other immigrant groups, came to America to escape persecution and hardship, and to make a better life for their families. Today the United States boasts the largest Jewish population in the world.

The first Jews to arrive in America, in colonial times, were the Spanish Sephardic Jews. But today the great majority of Jews in America are descended from the millions who emigrated from Russia, Poland, and other eastern Euopean countries from 1880 to 1920 when one third of all the Jews in eastern Europe sought asylum in America.

The nineteenth century Jewish immigrants established a vibrant culture that blended Jewish traditions and American ideals. The entrepreneurial skills of the simple peddlars and merchants of the eastern European Jews flowered in America, and from coast to coast Jewish immigrants prospered.

Jewish Americans: The Immigrant Experience explores life in the Jewish communities of America's major cities and rural towns. How the immigrants adjusted to the life that awaited them, and subsequently contributed to our nation's politics, arts, commerce, finance, industry, and labor is celebrated in thoughtful prose and more than 200 dramatic photographs, many reproduced in four-color. America has changed for the better because they came.


9 5/8 x 13 in., 240 pages
ISBN: 0-88363-129-6
$60.00 U.S.

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