Page 2 - Boca ViewPointe - April '20
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Page 2, Viewpointe                                                    April 2020

      Just In Case You Missed It                         (German for “Territorial Associations”) for Jews from the   there were 1.5 million American Jews; in 2005 there were
                                                         same town or village.                             5.3 million.
      By Bob Kronish                                        Leaders of the time urged assimilation and integration into      On a theological level, American Jews are divided into
                                                         the wider American culture, and Jews quickly became part of   a number of Jewish denominations, of which the most
      Jews In Early America––                            American life. During World War II, 500,000 American Jews,   numerous are Reform Judaism, Conservative Judaism and
      Part 1                                             about half of all Jewish males between 18 and 50, enlisted   Orthodox Judaism. However, roughly 25% of American
         The Jewish population of                        for service, and after the war, Jewish families joined the new   Jews are unaffiliated with any denomination. Conservative
      the U.S. is the product of waves                   trend of suburbanization, as they became wealthier and more   Judaism arose in America and Reform Judaism was founded
      of  immigration  primarily                         mobile. The Jewish community expanded to other major   in Germany and popularized by American Jews.
      from  Europe;  emigration                          cities, particularly around Los Angeles and Miami. Their      Luis de Carabajal y Cueva, a Spanish conquistador and
      was initially inspired by the                      young people attended secular high schools and colleges and   converso first set foot in what is now Texas in 1570. The
      pull of American social and                        met non-Jews, so that intermarriage rates soared to nearly   first Jewish-born person to set foot on American soil was
      entrepreneurial opportunities,                     50%. Synagogue membership, however, grew considerably,   Joachim Gans in 1584. Elias Legarde (a.k.a. Legardo) was
      and later was a refuge from the peril of ongoing European   from 20% of the Jewish population in 1930 to 60% in 1960.  a Sephardic Jew who arrived at James City, Virginia, on the
      antisemitism.  Few  ever  returned  to  Europe,  although      The earlier waves of immigration and immigration   Abigail in 1621. According to Leon Huhner, Legarde was
      committed advocates of Zionism have made aliyah to Israel.  restriction were followed by the Holocaust that destroyed   from Languedoc, France, and was hired to go to the Colony
         From a population of 1,000–2,000 Jewish residents in   most of the European Jewish community by 1945; these   to teach people how to grow grapes for wine. Elias Legarde
      1790, mostly Dutch Sephardic Jews, Jews from England,   also made the United States the home for the largest Jewish
      and British subjects, the American Jewish community grew   population in the world outside of the State of Israel. In 1900   JICYMI on page 3
      to about 15,000 by 1840, and to about 250,000 by 1880.
      Most of the mid-19th century Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants
      to the U.S. came from German-speaking states, among the
      general German migration to the U.S. They initially spoke
      German, and settled across the nation, assimilating with their
      new countrymen; the Jews among them commonly engaged
      in trade, manufacturing, and operated dry goods (clothing)
      stores in many cities.
         Between 1880 and the start of World War I in 1914, about
      2,000,000 Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazi Jews immigrated
      from Eastern Europe, where repeated pogroms made life
      untenable. They came from Russia, the Pale of Settlement
      (modern Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova),
      and the Russian-controlled portions of Poland. The latter
      group clustered in New York City, created the garment
      industry there, which supplied the dry goods stores across
      the country, and were heavily engaged in the trade unions.
         They immigrated among other, non-Jewish, eastern
      and southern European immigrants, which was unlike the
      historically  predominant American  demographic  from
      northern and western Europe; Records indicate between
      1880 and 1920 that these new immigrants rose from less than
      five percent of all European immigrants to nearly 50%. This
      feared change caused renewed nativist sentiment, the birth
      of the Immigration Restriction League, and congressional
      studies by the Dillingham Commission from 1907 to 1911.
         The Emergency Quota Act of 1921 established
      immigration restrictions specifically on these groups, and
      the Immigration Act of 1924 further tightened and codified
      these limits. With the ensuing Great Depression, and despite
      worsening conditions for Jews in Europe with the rise of
      Nazi Germany, these quotas remained in place with minor
      alterations until the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.
         Jews quickly created support networks consisting of many
      small synagogues and Ashkenazi Jewish Landsmannschaften

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