Relations between Jews and Non-Jews in the United States


they had made a name for themselves throughout the United States , mainly in the small towns of the South . The next generation and its offspring fostered the myth that these salesmen brought high German culture with them , but there was not much truth to this . Most of the immigrants were the sons and daughters of the members of the lowest class among the Jews of their countries of origin , and even the German they spoke more closely resembled Yiddish than High German . The non-Jewish majority in the United States viewed the new wave of immigrants as something alien . These new immigrants were also denied entry into organizations that had previously been open to Jews . Two processes began among these Jews , almost from the day they arrived in the United States . One pertains to the founding of their own organizations and associations , such as Bnai Brith , that was established to provide the sense of belonging to some society . The other touched upon the immigrants ’ desire to rid themselves of their foreignness . When they came to America the immigrants brought with them the religious way of life that they had absorbed in their homes : their families were almost all Orthodox , as were the majority of the synagogues that they founded in the United States in the 1840 s and the 1850 s . This situation , however , quickly changed . The new immigrants wanted to host their non-Jewish colleagues in their synagogues . Thus it happened that most of the immigrant communities became Reform within less than twenty years . Generally speaking , the immigrants , and especially their offspring , wanted to adapt to the new culture and leave the Jewish “ ghetto . ” Most abandoned the observance of the Sabbath and the kashrut dietary laws , to enable them to live the life of the majority in the United States . Nonetheless , this majority did not accept them with open arms , as they had hoped . This opposition was marked among non-Jews who had become wealthy after the end of the Civil War in 1865 and who harassed the Jews who followed the same path to success . The former’s efforts to be accepted into the American social elite was accompanied by the refusal to welcome the Jews among their ranks . Thus , the Jews who had come from Central Europe ( some of whom had become wealthy in the meantime ) had no choice but to establish their own separate Jewish institutions : not only religious institutions , but also hospitals , organizations to aid the needy , and organizations centered centered on leisure activities . This had the purpose of enabling them to live their lives quietly , far from negative criticism , and this took place in every city with a sufficiently large Jewish population . When a new wave of Jewish immigrants began to arrive in the United States in the 1880 s , those who had arrived earlier were ready to help , provided that the new immigrants would not aggravate the existing anti-Semitism . The new wave of immigrants came mainly from Eastern Europe . This wave was extremely large , and its alienness was quite pronounced . Most of the immigrants spoke Yiddish and settled in the largest American cities , especially in New York . The first generation established its own culture : Yiddish theaters , three or four Yiddish daily newspapers , and Orthodox synagogues that fostered the practices and way of life that were prevalent in Eastern Europe at the time . For the established Jewish community in the United States , the most problematic issue was the political opinions and leanings of the new immigrants . The latter founded workers’ organizations , and targeted the capitalists who owned the men’s and women’s garment factories . Many of the new immigrants earned their livelihood in these factories , working long hours and under terrible conditions . The workers used the only weapon at their disposal : the strike . The owners responded with force . Both the capitalists and the workers were almost all Jews , and the violent struggle between these two strata resounded throughout the United States . The Jewish workers ’ organizations quickly gained a reputation – and not necessarily a positive one . Many among the American population accused them of bringing leftist , and even revolutionary ,

Posen Foundation

לצפייה מיטבית ורציפה בכותר