Jewish Immigration to America (01:41)
A small group of Jews arrived in the 1650s and settled in modern day New York and Newport, Rhode Island. In the 1880s, thousands migrated from German-speaking Europe and settled in the Northeast and Midwest.
Eastern Europe and Russia (03:32)
Many Jewish families lived in the same area for generations. There were large Jewish populations and students attended Jewish schools. Poverty was widespread and many children dropped out of school to work.
Expansion of the Russian Empire (05:50)
The Russian Empire began expanding westward in the late 1700s, instigating a mass emmigration of Jews to America. Jews were not seen as Russians because they were not Russian Orthodox. Officials attempted to confine the Jewish population to a single area called the Pale of Settlement.
The United States of America (05:42)
It was illegal to leave the Russian Empire without the proper papers, which most Jews did not have. Many going to America would sneak over the border and head for port cities to book passage on ships.
New Life in America (06:34)
In America, Jewish immigrants made connections with other Jews in the community and started working and sending money home. Jewish communities, businesses, and educational programs were created as Jews spread across the country.
American Immigration Laws (04:33)
Xenophobia spread in the 1920s and 1930s. America passed an immigration law that nearly halted Jewish immigration. During the rise of the Nazis and World War II, America allowed less than 150,000 Jews into the country.
The Islamic World (10:18)
After World War II, many Jews who came to America were from the Middle East and North Africa. In some countries, Jews were fully integrated into Arab society. The creation of Israel in 1948 ended peaceful life for many Jews in the Middle East.
Being and Becoming American (14:34)
Middle Eastern and North African Jews settled in Jewish communities and started working; many struggled to adjust. Eventually, many Jews became successful and the population grew.
Credits: The Jewish Journey: America (01:08)
Credits: The Jewish Journey: America
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