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.

6 | LA AMERICA part of the nameless masses lived noble and courageous lives. To survive in such a difficult setting is its own tribute. Along with the immigrants who succeeded in rising above their environment were those who were crushed and ruined by it. The newspapers of the period record suicides of people who no longer could face life as it was. Poverty, miserable working conditions, and rampant disease all took their toll. The world of concrete and brick wrecked many lives. As an experiment in human civilization, the Lower East Side succeeded and failed. Irving Howe draws a thoughtful portrait of these immigrants in his book, World of Our Fathers. Howe views the immigrants in light of their original cultural background and describes their ad-justment to the new realities of America. The language of these im-migrants was Yiddish, and the local Jewish organizations involved in helping immigrants used Yiddish as the vehicle of communica-tion. World of Our Fathers is a monument to the life of the Yiddish-speaking immigrants, who were to have a profound influence on Jewish life as well as on American society. Because the overwhelming number of Jewish immigrants spoke Yiddish, the relatively small number of non- Yiddish- speak-ing Jews was overlooked almost completely by the people of that time as well as by later historians. During the period from 1890 to 1924, about thirty thousand Jews from Levantine countries had come to the United States, and most had settled in New York City. The majority of these Jews came from Turkey and the Balkan coun-tries and their mother tongue was Judeo- Spanish. However, there were also Greek- speaking Jews from Greece, as well as Arabic-speaking Jews, primarily from Syria. The members of these groups found themselves in an even more difficult position than that of other immigrants. Not only did they have all the usual problems of people who have come to a new land, but they had additional conflicts stemming from the fact that the existing Jewish organi-zations hardly recognized them as Jews. In the Yiddish- speaking world of the Lower East Side, there was little time to deal with small pockets of Spanish-, Greek-, or Arabic- speaking Jews. Al-though few in number, the Sephardim, as these Jews are known, needed to establish their own synagogues, schools, and communal   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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