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.

10 | LA AMERICA yamou Moise Gadol. Vengou di Bulgaria’ ( My name is Moise Gadol. I come from Bulgaria). “ He was swarthy, rather long- faced, five feet seven or eight in height, a bit rotund. His black hair and his moustache were sprin-kled with a few threads of white. His small hands indicated that he was not a manual worker. His small feet were shod in black, high-necked leather shoes buttoned on the side, with rubber overshoes.” Gadol was surprised to see so many men in the coffeehouse in the middle of the day. Why weren’t they at work? Amateau explained that many of the men were night workers in movie theaters, hotels, and night clubs. Were they organized into a community? Gadol in-quired. Amateau responded that they were not, but there were var-ious self- help societies comprised of members from cities in Turkey. Gadol was disappointed to learn of the difficult conditions and the general communal disorganization plaguing the Sephardim. Why had these people come to New York? Why had they left communities in Turkey, Greece, the Balkan countries, and Syria, where their ancestors had lived for over four centuries? During the latter half of the nineteenth century, a small but powerful social and intellectual revolution was taking place within many of the Sephardic communities in the Levant. After centuries of cultural isolation, Western ideas began to reach the masses. Many of the changing attitudes derived from the network of schools established by the Alliance Israelite Universelle, a Jewish organization based in Paris. A goal of the Alliance was to bring modern French education to the young Sephardim of the Levant. The schools raised the academic level of the students, provided poor children with a better educa-tion, and brought Western thinking to the seemingly backward world of the Orient. The Western education provided by these schools gradually alienated some students from their indigenous environment. Young Sephardim came to believe that it was possible to create new lives for themselves and their families by seeking out opportunities for economic and social advancement. The old way of life, perpetuated over the centuries, provided nothing but a future of hard manual labor and poverty while the idea of America, with its reputed wealth and industry, began to capture their imagination. As young people became intoxicated with the modern spirit of   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 Jos 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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