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Jewish Immigrations of the Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York (19th & 20th century)

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  1. Economic progress
  2. Housing
  3. Religion

The Lower East Side in Manhattan, New York, is symbolic of American Jewry. Since the mid 1800's, sometimes earlier, European Jews emigrated from various countries and settled in New York. Their most common destination was the Lower East Side in Manhattan, and since then this area is well known for having a rich Jewish heritage and history. The Jews that settled in this part of New York often arrived in waves. After the European revolts of 1848, many Jews, as well as other immigrant groups, traveled to the United States. The biggest wave of Jews arrived from the late 1800's to the early 1900's: "From 1881 to 1924, 1.5 million Jews left the shtetlach (villages) and cities of Eastern Europe. Almost all came to the United States, most winding up in New York City. By 1900, the Lower East Side was not only an urban region of astonishing ethnic diversity but also the most densely populated place in the world. These waves of Jewish immigrants created the rich cultural heritage and helped develop the Lower East Side with various new businesses, literary ideas, and religious faiths."

[...] Although, each of these had significant numbers of Jewish immigrants, none compared in population and density to the Lower East Side.[7] Moreover, Diner explains how the high population densities of this regions forced Jews to live their lives in public., This she claims, the fact that transformed the very streets of the Lower East Side into a vibrant arena of cultural expression, fusion, and creativity. memory of the Lower East Side derived much of its power,? she writes, ?from the physical concentration of Jews on those streets.?[8] Heavy population density supported vast networks of Jewish institutions?synagogues, newspapers, theaters, unions, and restaurants?unmatched anywhere in the United States. The greatest influxes of newcomers were Russian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Hungarian, and Galician Jews. The immigrant Jews, including minorities from Turkey, Greece, and Syria, made up about half the neighborhood's residents. [...]


[...] The cultural influence of the Lower East Side on the national scale has a lot to do with how many perceived immigration to American society. From the start of immigrants into the lower east side in the 1820s, the area has provided Americans with the basis for their most powerful stereotypes and enduring myths about immigration, race, and multiculturalism in American life.[34] Since then the two dominant views of immigration were: one condemning immigration as supreme threat to American society, politics, and culture? and another depicting immigration as the wellspring of national strength, vibrancy, and advancement. [...]


[...] Jewish immigrants often arrived to the United States with particular skills in manufacturing and other industries. Because many came from urbanized areas in Europe, they possessed more useful skills than farmers who came from other countries?since New York City did not have opportunities for farmers. The Jewish immigrants, however, were not a homogeneous group and possessed skills in a wide range of areas with different degrees and literacy and education. Their main focus, however, was the clothing industry: the Jewish immigrants were concentrated in the clothing industry?a special feature of the Jewish occupational structure in Eastern Europe?[19] Because many immigrants already had experience in the field, a lot of money was saved on job training. [...]


[...] It was through their ambition and education that many of these immigrants and their children achieved the positions that they hold even to this day. Bibliography Diner, Hasia. ?Lower East Side Memories.? New Jersey: Princeton University Press Dolkart, Andrew. Biography of a Lower East Side Tenement; 97 Orchard Street. Tenement Design, and Tenement Reform in New York City.? see ?Immigration Problem Solved: Jewish Removal Society Passes Many Deserving Families of That Faith To Homes in Other Cities, Relieving Overcrowding in New York.? New York Times, September p Journal of Urban History, Vol No November 2005 138-146. [...]


[...] Sage Publications May Kahan, Arcadius. ?Economic Opportunities and Some Pilgrims' Progress: Jewish Immigrants from Eastern Europe in the U.S., 1890-1914.? The Journal of Economic History, Vol No The Tasks of Economic History (Mar., 1978), 235-251. Paul Buhle. ?From the Lower East Side to Hollywood: Jews in American Popular Culture.? New York: Verso Rischin, Moses. Promised City: New York's Jews, 1870?1914.? Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press Sternlicht, Sanford. [...]

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