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American Jewish History
"America and the Jews are a love story"
3 waves of immigration: Sephardic, German, Eastern Europe.
**immigration worksheet**
The story of immigration:
Why did Jews come to America? Anti semitism leads to persecution
and lack of job opportunities so people get up and leave Russia and
Poland etc.
Why did immigrants succeed and Americanize so quickly?
1. Reform Judaism helped them Americanize Because they didn't
care to keep their Jewish identity as much.
2. "Col Israel Aravim ze la zeh" - we help each other.
3. Ashamed of the new Jews coming in from Poland and Germany.
organizations that helped
• HIAS- (human immigrant aid society) Jews help other Jews, found
them places to live etc.
educational alliance
Labor movement
Yiddish theater
Yiddish press
"We are paupers with a middle class mindset"
Bintel brief- advice column for the Jews in the lower east side.
Why is it that Jews lose themselves in America?
1. Reform- most German Jews are reform (reject Halacha). Trefa
banquet: a banquet for a Jewish rabbinic seminary and the
caterer only fed them non kosher food. Some rabbis were so
disgusted that they broke away from the reform movement and
created conservative movement.
2. Conservative- Jewish theological seminary. (JTS) don't believe
Torah is from the shamayim but don't believe that we shouldn't
follow any halachot. Rabbi Francal- "Judaism is the religion of the
Jews" meaning WE made Judaism, god is missing. He believes
Torah and Halacha is holy because WE all follow it we keep the
mitzvot going from out grandparents (not that god commanded us
to do the mitzvot) today they are vanishing. Problem: so what
happens when we believe something can be changed can we
change it? If majority people want to change it then yes. Ex: we all
wanna go to shule on Shabbat but we live too far so can we drive
to shule? The answer was yes. So many rabbis got mad and left
the movement. Another ex: let female rabbis. So more rabbis left.
extremely problamatic. Went from the greatest movement to it
being almost gone. Solomon shechter: head of JTS.
3. Orthodox: Isaac Leeser: unknown hero. Lived in Philly. published
a sidur and tried to keep religion alive.
Isaac Mayer Wise- radical reform rabbi of the 19th century.
4. Reconstructionism:" we are about a civilization" (more to the left
then reform)