La America: The Sephardic Experience in...

The story of the Jewish immigration to the United States of the Levantine Sephardim who entered the United States between 1899 and 1925.

4 | LA AMERICA icule Gadol. He would sit alone at a table, eating okra and meat or some other Sephardic dish, and would be taunted for his “ crazy” ideas. During his last years he was bent on proving that Christopher Columbus was Jewish and that America owed its very existence to Jews and therefore should be especially kind to the Jewish people. “ I pitied him, pitied him so much,” said the restaurant owner. “ Why did he care if Columbus was Jewish? Why did he argue with them? They only laughed and mocked him. I was so sad for him.” On Tuesday, June 3, 1941 Gadol became ill and was taken to Kings County Hospital. On Wednesday, June 11, at 11 A. M., he breathed his last. Gadol was sixty- seven years old when he died. As there was no immediate relative or friend to look after him, plans were made to bury him in potter’s field. Albert Torres, publisher of La Vara, the national Judeo- Span-ish weekly newspaper, learned of the problem and personally un-der- took funeral arrangements for Moise Gadol. Several Sephardim paid all the expenses involved. Gadol, who had dedicated his life selflessly to the Sephardic community, at least received that ultimate reward from the Sephardim: a Jewish funeral. In researching an article about the Sephardim of the United States, which appeared in the American Jewish YearBook of 1973, I scanned through a number of issues of La America, beginning in 1910. As I quickly reeled through the microfilms of the newspaper at the New York Public Library, I recognized at once that there was a brilliant, vibrant mind behind them. The issues were still exciting and thought- provoking so many years after they had been written. I took copious notes and made up my mind to come back to study La America when I could read the papers more leisurely and study the contents more carefully. In 1979, I obtained a set of the microfilms of La America and spent many hours each day reading and copying. The work con-sumed me. Moise Gadol was editor of La America, the first Judeo- Spanish newspaper published in the United States, and as I read his writings that had appeared from November 1910 until July 1925. I felt I was coming to know the man personally. The newspapers re-corded his activities and thoughts weekly: his struggles and achieve-ments, failures and frustrations were becoming part of my life. I   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C  | I n d e x This Scholar PDF version is for use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. Printed editions of this book may be available at www. publishersrow. com

La America: The Sephardic Experience in the United States


About Book La America: The Sephardic Experience in the United States

Front MatterLa America: front pageTitle PageCopyright PageContentsAcknowledgmentsThe Story of This BookIn the BeginningOrganizations and DisorganizationA Hispano-Levantine CommunityToward a Unified CommunityOld and New Sephardim MeetThe Struggles of La AmericaZionism among the SephardimEconomic LifeThe Sephardic Diaspora in the U.S.The Next GenerationsEpilogueNotesBibliographyIndexIllustrationsMoise Gadol, the editor of La America.Albert Amateau, one of the chief protagonists in Gadol's dispute with La VaraProfessor Mair José Benardete, Sephadic philogist.Henry S. Hendricks,Albert Torres, publisher of La Vara.Rev. Dr. Henry Pereira Mendes and Rev. Joseph de Abraham BenyunesThe Angel family and neighborsThe Progressive Jewish Boys ClubThe Alba Sephardie Club in the early 1920sCongregation Shearith IsraelThe interior of Shearith IsraelThe synagogue of the Janina Jewsthe site of the Shearith Israel Sisterhood's settlement houseThe building of the Sephardic Brotherhood
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