Jews in the "USA" 04: 1880-1919
Jewish immigration - wide spectrum of professions - Jewish working class - Jewish union movements and strikes - anti-Semitism because of competition - self-defense, Czarist discrimination, Frank case - Yiddish culture - cultural life and Jewish organizations - Balfour declaration of 1917 and the fantasies of racist Zionism
from: Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): USA; vol. 15
presented by Michael Palomino (2008)
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<THE GREAT IMMIGRATION.
[[and the natives were never asked...]]
[Numbers of the Jewish population in the criminal racist "USA"]
The leading feature of the period from 1880 to 1929 was the growth in the number of Jews in the United States from about 280,000 in a U.S. population of 50,155,000 in 1880, to approximately 4,500,000 of 115,000,000 in 1925. Some 2,378,000 Jews arrived in the United States between 1880 and the end of free immigration in 1925. [[Since then Jews were emigrating to other states or under other quotas with forged documents]]. The peak was reached during the five consecutive years 1904 to 1908, when 642,000 reached U.S. shores. This movement, which formed part of the vast *migration from Europe to the U.S. in general, was indeed epoch-making. Vast numbers of Jews who moved from eastern Europe into the world's fastest growing economy were automatically emancipated from all legal discrimination and rapidly entered Western culture.
[[The natives partly were exterminated in these times. Natives did not "count" because there was no native bond on the stock exchange, because native culture had no stock exchange value. And it can be admitted that Jewish bankers were working hard for exterminating the natives to get all "free land" for speculation and selling to other whites...]]
Jackson, California, in the late 1880s, showing the B'nai Israel Synagogue, the center of the line of three houses at left. Painting by Ivy Mace Yarrington, 1897. Jackson, Amador County Museum. Photo Al Fugett Studio, Jackson.
[[The "free land" was taken, the natives were shot, and white capitalism could begin it's destructive "development"...]]
[Reasons for emigration from eastern Europe to the criminal racist "USA"]
Events stimulating emigration, such as the pogroms of 1881-83 [[when the Jews generally were blamed of the murder of the czar]], the expulsion from Moscow in 1890, and Russia's years of war, revolution, and pogroms between 1903 and 1907 were notorious episodes. Other causes of the huge migration lay deeper, however, and were more influential. Probably the most important cause was the growth of East European (Russian Empire, Austrian Poland, Hungary, Rumania [[Romania]]) Jewry from perhaps 1,500,000 in 1800 to some 6,800,000 persons in 1900, generating nearly insoluble questions of sheer physical survival. The economic development of eastern Europe failed to provide sufficient livelihood for its Jews, and Russian governmental policies excluded Jews from the new industrial cities, kept them off the land, and burdened them with drastically restrictive decrees. The feeling among Russian Jews grew stronger that their lot would never improve by normal political and economic processes but required emigration abroad or revolution at home.
The Jews of Rumania [[Romania]], mostly 19th-century immigrants from Russia who attained a better economic position by their move, suffered greatly from arbitrary and occasionally violent treatment as aliens without rights. In Galicia, under Hapsburg rule, the Jews enjoyed emancipation from 1867, but the economic backwardness of that area fostered the highest emigration rate in eastern Europe. By then emigrants could travel by fully developed railroad and steamship lines, so that the journey from a town in eastern Europe to the port of New York might be consummated in two weeks. Entry into the United States was virtually free, with barely 1% of arrivals turned away, mainly because of contagious diseases.
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): "USA", vol. 15, col. 1612: Scene in the Russian-Jewish section
of Philadelphia, 1890. Courtesy American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio
The place of immigration increased with each decade. The annual average between 1881 and 1892 stood at approximately 19,000; between 1892 and 1903, at 37,000; and for the decade between 1903 and the outbreak of war in 1914, (col. 1608)
at 76,000 for each year. The proportion who returned to Europe from among the immigration of the 1880s has been estimated at 25%. From that point it steadily declined; in 1908 and after, when statistics began to be taken, the rate of return was about 8%; after 1919 it sank below 1%. Clearly, the Jewish immigrant came to stay, to a greater extent than all his immigrant contemporaries except the Irish. A negligible number followed the advice of R. *Israel Meir Kahan ("Hafez Hayyim" ("Ḥafeẓ Ḥayyim")) in his emigrant guide Niddehei (Niddeḥei) Yisrael to return as early as possible and live in prosperous piety. The Jewish immigrants who came to the United States thus became a permanent addition to the population. They raised the number of Jews in the United States to approximately 1,000,000 in 1900, 3,250,000 in 1915, and 4,500,000 in 1925, establishing the Jews as a major ethnic and religious group, and made U.S. Jewry the largest Jewish community in the world after 1918.
Almost 80% of the East European newcomers were 15 to 45 years old, the age range typical of immigrants to the U.S. generally. Men outnumbered women only slightly, indicating the permanence and family character of this emigration, even though families were often separated for considerable periods of time. Owing to the disproportionate representation of the child-bearing age, the immigrants were a very (col. 1611)
fecund group; very high birthrates are recorded for urban districts where they preponderated.
[Professions: developing a wide spectrum]
The earlier German-Jewish stock, joined by later middle-class German-Jewish immigrants and a few from England and France, shifted from predominantly mercantile occupations to a more varied spectrum. Law and politics, banking and finance, department store ownership, publishing, medicine, and literary, academic, and scientific pursuits all became widespread. A comparatively noticeable group functioned as collectors and patrons of the arts, and as philanthropists.
During the 1870s Jewish settlement had been spread wide, with hundreds of small towns in California, along the Mississippi River, and throughout the South and Middle West where there were small Jewish communities. It appears that during the 1880s most Jews quit these towns. The great expansion of industrial cities, and the depression of the agricultural economy upon which the small towns were founded, as well as the anti-Semitic undertones in such small town political and social movements as religious fundamentalism and populism, helped to make Jews of the 20th century a metropolitan group.
[[Between 1870 and 1890 the stock exchange of the criminal racist "USA" collapsed three times. Banking and speculating business got traditional and the rules for speculating were not changed. Instead the natives were exterminated...]]
NEIGHBORHOODS, OCCUPATIONS, AND THE LABOR MOVEMENT.
[From the slum to the "area of second settlement"]
The Jewish immigrants clustered in distinct urban neighborhoods, which were generally older or slum (col. 1612)
districts close to downtown. The streets where they lived became all but exclusively Jewish in population, and the stores, the Yiddish heard on the streets, and the festive atmosphere on the Jewish Sabbath and holidays reflected the character of the inhabitants. Every U.S. city had such an area between the 1890s and 1920. The largest of them, the Lower East Side of New York City, sheltered an estimated 350,000 Jews in 1915 in less than two square miles. These neighborhoods were very seriously congested with dangerous problems of health and sanitation. Yet their prevailing atmosphere was one of hope and confidence, with a rich and varied cultural life. As material circumstances improved families quit the immigrant district for more attractive neighborhoods (often called "areas of second settlement").
[Motives for emigration to the criminal racist "USA" - jobs and professions 1880-1929 - Jewish working class - clothing factories]
The immigrants' prime motive in coming to the U.S. was to better their material conditions. European fables about "the golden land" notwithstanding, their lot was a hard one. They made their living among a vast variety of trades, although hardly any Jews worked on railroads, docks, or in mines and large factories. As was true of American occupations generally, habits of ethnic concentration could be found among the Jews. Petty trade proliferated as Jewish immigrants opened small stores throughout booming metropolises, and in smaller cities as well. The venerable peddling trade, however, lost its luster [[glamor]]. As a nationwide network of retail trade and mail order companies (the greatest of which, Sears Roebuck, was built by Julius *Rosenwald, a Jew) spread, the peddlers' status declined from an important agent of commerce to a marginal tradesman.
The East European Jewish immigrant generally joined the working class. He worked mainly in the ready-made clothing industry, which was growing with remarkable rapidity. The number of Jews employed in it as (col. 1615)
workers, entrepreneurs, salesmen, and so forth may have reached 300,000 around 1915. The ready-made garment industry was composed mainly of shops where workers labored on one or two parts of the total product. In such important centers as Rochester, Cleveland and Chicago clothing was produced in substantial factories, owned mostly by Jews. On the other hand, in 1910, in the Borough of Manhattan within New York City, there were 11,172 clothing firms employing 214,428 persons; 78% of them, in 1913, averaged five employees each. These were the notorious sweatshops tiny, dirty, unventilated, often the petty employer's dwelling - where the employee often worked for 16 hours a day during the busy period of this highly seasonal industry. With all their evils, the workshops did enable thousands of immigrant wage workers to enter the garment [[clothes]] business on their own; failure only meant that the unsuccessful entrepreneur returned to wage work, while success in the ferociously competitive industry might lead to independence and wealth New York City was the great center of the clothing industry; its East Side and then lower West Side, and finally midtown Seventh Avenue were the foci of manufacturing. Chicago was a second major center, especially for men's clothing, and Philadelphia, Baltimore, Rochester, Boston, and Cleveland held important places.
After 1900 successful East European immigrant entrepreneurs moved into the leadership of the industry as the earlier German Jewish capitalists tended to quit it. In Cleveland, by contrast, the earlier families held firm.
[Italian, German, and Irish Jews - Jewish trade union movement and Jewish strikes since the 1880s and factors until 1900 - big production plants since 1900 - fire in New York City provoking trade unionism]
Highly decentralized, low-cost ready-made clothing production was as nearly Jewish an industry as ever seen in the U.S., although large numbers of Italian, German, and Irish workers, especially women, also held jobs. It inspired the Jewish trade union movement, beginning in the 1880s. The Jewish labor movement spoke in revolutionary tones during early years, but made little headway before 1900. The seasonal fluctuations of the industry, the virtually unorganizable mass of puny workshops, the relation of employer and employee who might be relatives and fellow townsmen and could readily exchange places under the conditions of the industry, the failure of the early unions to organize solidly, the legal obstacles and public hostility to trade unionism, especially when it was professedly socialist and revolutionary - were all factors which lamed the Jewish labor movement before 1900. However, larger clothing factories became more common after 1900, and their size and overhead [[costs]] tended to reduce seasonality and sever personal relations between worker and employer.
The downfall of the revolutionary movement in Russia in 1906, moreover, caused a considerable number of able labor organizers to flee to the United States. U.S. public opinion also began to sympathize with trade unionism. (col. 1616)
The period of the successful organization of Jewish labor, from 1909 to 1916, coincided with the great drive by U.S. trade unionism at large. In New York City the surge [[wave]] of trade unionism began with the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911, in which 146 Italian and Jewish workers, almost all girls, perished.
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): "USA", vol. 15, col. 1615: Scene of the Tringle Shirtwaist fire at
Greene Street and Washington Square, New York, 1911. Courtesy U.P.I., New York
It was followed by the bitter "revolt of the shirtwaist [blouse] makers", an unsuccessful six-week strike which drew widespread public sympathy but failed nevertheless. The most important event was the three-month strike of 60,000 cloakmakers [[clothing production]] under the direction of the previously ineffectual International Ladies Garment Workers Union, founded in 1900. In this largest sustained strike in the city's history up to that time, the main demand was for recognition of the union as the exclusive bargaining agent for the workers, and it was on this point, rather than those which concerned wages, hours, and subcontracting, that employers' resistance was bitterest.
Such native Jews as Judah L. *Magnes, Louis *Marshall, and Jacob H. Schiff intervened in the struggle, but the settlement was worked out by Louis D. *Brandeis, making his first appearance in Jewish public life. The "protocol of permanent peace" provided for a system of joint employer-employee-public boards to deal with grievances, sanitation, and other issues, while the contest over union recognition was settled by "the preferential shop" - i.e., preference in employment given to union members.
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): "USA", vol. 15, col. 1616: New York garment workers voting on strike action, 1913. Courtesy U.P.I., New York
The size, duration, and the unprecedented settlement of the cloakmakers' strike made it a milestone in the history of U.S. labor and the critical event which turned the Jewish labor movement into a powerful force. This strike was followed by several other successful ones, the most important being the Chicago men's clothing strike in 1914 and 1915. Here leaders of the United Garment (col. 1617)
Workers, whose preponderant ethnic elements were not Jewish and did not work at ready-made clothing, made an unauthorized deal with the employers which brought about the secession of the Jewish and other ready-made tailors and the founding of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, led by Sidney *Hillman. The new union conducted a series of victorious strikes in Chicago and then in other major centers of the trade. Neither they nor the International Ladies Garment Workers Union were uniformly successful, however; thus in Cleveland the factory employers defeated strikes until 1917. By 1920 at least 250,000 Jews belonged to the Jewish unions.> (col. 1617)
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): "USA", vol. 15, col. 1617-1618: New York garment workers
demonstrate against a proposed strike settlement, 1913. Courtesy U.P.I., New York
[Anti-Semitism because of competition - defense organizations- immigration limiting movement]
<During the highly nationalistic 1890s, an ideological anti-Semitism began to appear as a by-product of American nativism and in response to the perceptible cultural gap between the older population and the massive numbers of Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe. Men like Henry Adams, representing Eastern patrician intellectuals, and Ignatius Donnelly, representing Western agrarian radicals, while far apart in basis orientation, both viewed the Jew as conniving and grasping, and as the cause and symbol of their discontent. The anti-Jewish stereotype which emerged clearly during this period contained elements of the earlier Christian anti-Semitism, the Shylock image, the wielding of undue power through manipulation of gold, and an identification of Jews with the hated, feared city.
In the three decades from 1881 to 1910, over 1,500,000 East European Jews arrived in the United States, and by 1925 there were close to 4,000,000 Jews in the country. Their very presence, the competition engendered by their rapid rise in economic status, and their pressure to achieve social integration lent credence to the anti-Jewish stereotype, sharpened anti-Semitic feelings, and confirmed a widespread system of social discrimination. For their part, Jews did not accept anti-Semitism without protest, especially when it appeared to involve public matters. Led by the older German Jewish community, American Jewry formed defense organizations, including the American Jewish Committee in 1906, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith in 1913, and the American Jewish Congress in 1920.
One of the most serious issues faced by the Jewish community during the first quarter of the 20th century was the movement for restriction of immigration to the United States.> (col. 1650) [[This question was disputed and the restriction was put into law in 1924 with effect since 1925]].
<It was clear that the intellectual fathers of the [[immigration limiting]] movement, such as Henry Cabot Lodge, Prescott Hall, John R. Commons, Henry Pratt Fairchild, and Edward A. Ross, considered Jewish immigration deleterious to the welfare of the nation. Ross, for example, predicted "riots and anti-Jewish legislation" if unrestricted immigration continued. Madison Grant, a thoroughgoing racist, condemned the Jews in 1916 in his book, The Passing of the Great Race, for mongrelizing the nation [[turn the nation into a bastard]].> (col. 1651)
[Czarist Russia discriminating and torturing "American" Jews - murder of Leo Frank]
The first-class citizenship of American Jews was indirectly challenged during the late 19th and early 20th centuries by the general refusal of Czarist Russia to issue visas to American Jews and its mistreatment of those who did receive them. American Jewry, led by Jacob H. Schiff and Louis Marshall of the American Jewish Committee, argued that tacit [[calm]] acceptance of this situation by the U.S. government constituted a slur [[mistake]] on its full citizenship. Diplomatic pressure having failed, a determined and successful campaign was instituted in 1911 for the unilateral abrogation of the Russo-American Treaty of 1832. To Louis Marshall the victory symbolized "the removal of the last civil disabilities to which the Jews of this country have been subjected."
In 1913, however, American Jews were shocked when Leo *Frank, a factory manager in Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of the slaying [[murdering]] of one of his female employees. The evidence against Frank was flimsy and the circumstances surrounding his trial and conviction indicated that mob anti-Semitism was involved. In 1915 a lynching party abducted Frank from jail and hanged him.> (col. 1652)
[[It can be admitted that the white racist police of the criminal racist "USA" did not punish the murderers, maybe because of corruption...]]
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL LIFE.
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): "USA", vol. 15, col. 1611-1612: Milk distribution outside the Hebrew Institute of Chicago, 1910. From "The Sentinel History of Chicago Jewry 1911-1961". Chicago, 1961
[Yiddish culture enforced by immigration from eastern Europe - strong anti-Zionists]
The Jewish labor movement helped to foster a secularist Yiddish environment which flourished from the 1910s into the 1930s and offered a modern, socialistically oriented surrogate for Jewish tradition. About 80,000 families, mainly members of Jewish unions and small businessmen, belonged to the Arbeter Ring (*Workmen's Circle) at its peak in the mid-1920s. It provided sick and death benefits as well as a diverse Yiddish cultural program. There was a Yiddish daily press and a rich diet of Yiddish literature; scholarly Yiddish lectures and the Yiddish theater, of which there wee numerous troupes; and children might be educated in a Yiddish afternoon school. Somewhat later there were Yiddish films and part-time as well as full-time radio stations. Yiddishist Jews were secularist and divorced from religious practice, but generally retained strong folk loyalties. Except for the Socialist Zionist minority, they opposed [[racist]] *Zionism, although this attitude waned after the 1920s as Palestine Jewry grew and concretized many socialist ideals. They were divided bitterly and irreconcilably in their attitude to Soviet Russia. (col. 1618)
[[The "Soviet Union" wanted to have a "State of Israel" as a Communist satellite, and the Zionists wanted to have a "State of Israel" as an "American" satellite. The Jewish racist Russian Zionists moved to New York and by this New York became the worldwide Zionist center with intellectual schooling and pioneering, see *History]].
[Religious devotion or no devotion]
Very few Jewish immigrants, especially before 1900, had come of learned stock: they were mainly from the poorer working classes. Virtually all knew the rudiments of Jewish law and ritual, Bible, and frequently some Talmud and rabbinic literature; few women, however, had any learning. Only a minority maintained East European Orthodox religion unswervingly against the overpowering force of the urban, industrial, secular life into which they were cast. Another minority, mostly of younger intelligentsia, embraced socialism in one of its numerous contemporary forms, and in smaller numbers Zionism, Hebraism, or literary modernism. The mass of immigrants, it appears, retained much of the religious ritual while, for example, neglecting the Sabbath rules and other stringencies. Very few had time or inclination for pious study before or after work. Characteristically, they flocked to the synagogues on Rosh Ha-Shanah and the Day of Atonement, and were diligent in matters of filial piety like Yizkor and the mourner's Kaddis [[central Jewish prayer for the Lord]]. The bar mitzvah [[day of religious maturity of Jewish boys and girls]] of their sons, symbolizing generational and ethnic continuity, was all but universally desired.
[Yiddish aid organizations and politic institutions]
The most widespread immigration organization was the hevrah (ḥevrah) (society), usually founded on a hometown (landsmanshaft) basis [["hometown team"]]; in New York City alone at least 1,200 existed about 1915. In addition to providing a fraternal social atmosphere for their members who knew each other still from Europe, the landsmanshaften [["hometown teams"]] invariably provided funeral arrangements and burial rights. Sick benefits and occasionally unemployment help were also granted. The societies probably reached their peak during the World War I years, when assistance to the war-smitten Jews of the native town became another major activity. A large proportion of such landsmanshaften was affiliated with the Arbeter Ring, the Federation of Galician Jews, or other central organizations. Many maintained synagogues, all of (col. 1619)
which were Orthodox and Yiddish-speaking and preserved East European habits of worship. The little houses of worship - New York City alone numbered over 500 in 1916 - were unattractive places, and few of them survived the immigrant founders and changes in area of Jewish settlement.
[The second generation is not following the Yiddish culture - Yiddish culture dying out by 1940]
The entire immigrant milieu thus described was transitory. Sons generally did not fellow their fathers into the Jewish trade unions, so that the proportion of Jews in their ranks fell below half by the 1920s. The Yiddish press, theater, and literature steadily declined, for the next generation's language was English. They could care little for the ancestral town and its U.S. landsmanshaft and preferred other forms of synagogues and benefits for death and illness. Indeed, the entire immigrant environment problem-ridden, colorful, and dynamic - existed by grace of the stream of arrivals which continued until the restrictive law of 1925. Lacking replenishment from overseas, immigrant Judaism contracted and shriveled; by the 1940s it was a relic.
IMMIGRANTS AND NATIVES
[[The white racists with their banks and their speculation at the stock exchange and with their armies destroyed the world of the natives. Now in this racist article the established racists are called "natives" to the contrary of the "immigrants"...]]
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): "USA", vol. 15, col. 1609-1610: Immigrants at the Ellis Island depot,
New York, c. 1907. Courtesy United Press International (U.P.I.), New York
[The Jewish organizations protecting the new Jewish immigrants - further institutions]
Unlike the many other immigrant groups which reached the U.S. at the same time as the East European Jews, the latter had the important patronage and protection of their established native coreligionists. Settled Jews had fallen away from U.S. Germanism and were beginning to feel the systematic social exclusion. Feelings between "uptown" native Jews and "downtown" immigrants were, however, non too fond, and strong anti-immigrant sentiment was to be found especially among working-class native Jews, such as cigar makers and skilled tailors. Notwithstanding irritation over the "clannish", "backward" character of the immigrants and the alleged ingratitude for the philanthropy they received, and their political radicalism, the native Jews regarded them as their wards, to be helped, chided, and guided. The Hebrew Relief Society which existed in dozens of cities became a social agency for the relief of distress and for family aid, usually changing its name between 1910 and 1925 to Jewish Social Service Association. Such institutions as the Educational Alliance in New York, the Council Educational Alliance in Cleveland, the Jewish People's Institute in Chicago, and the Abraham Lincoln House in Milwaukee all demonstrated the interest of native Jews in bringing social and cultural amenities to immigrant Jews, particularly the youth, hastening their "Americanization".
The founders' and directors' frequent indifference or antagonism to the cultural heritage and aspirations of their clientele generated an undertone of tension which occasionally broke into conflict. However, the art, music, sports, health education, mothers' classes, lectures, and other activities of these institutions proved of enduring value. The Jewish immigrant districts also developed numerous social services, including hospitals and medical clinics, as well as non-Jewish institutions such as (in New York City) Cooper Union, the Rand School, and the Labor Temple.
[Religious life: developed modern Jewry - rabbis - integration work]
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): "USA", vol. 15, col. 1611: Seder in Dallas, Texas, early 1900s.
From "Congregation Shearith Israel. Diamond Anniversary 1884-1959", Dallas, Tex., 1959
A subtler issue between natives and immigrants was religious life. The Reform temples of native U.S. Jewry were uninviting, while the hevrot (ḥevrot) [[society]] and landsmanshaft synagogues could only attract their own devotees. Prominent figures worried over the young people who rejected the religion of their fathers in favor of secularisms and radical social doctrines, or turned toward hedonism or criminality. In the eyes of thoughtful leaders a modernized form of traditional Judaism was required for the rising generation.
Against this background the moribund *Jewish Theological Seminary was revived in 1902 for the training of modern rabbis (and from 1909, teachers for Jewish schools). It was substantially endowed, and under the direction of Solomon *Schechter an outstanding library and faculty were quickly (col. 1620)
assembled. The growth of the seminary was slow, but its professors deeply influenced many of the younger intelligentsia.
For their part the immigrants had unflattering perceptions of the native, "uptown" Jews, whom they regarded as snobbish and patronizing, excessively assimilated, and lacking Jewish kindness and sympathy. Yet the natives did provide the immigrants with a model for being American and Jewish. Immigrants and their problems were the main content of Jewish communal life and concerns from the 1880s until the 1930s. The intellectuality and Jewish fervor common among the newcomers, and such achievements as their labor movement and the New York City Kehillah [[congregation]], showed some natives - of whom Louis D. Brandeis might be cited as the outstanding example - a more authentic, passionate way to be a Jew. Quite a few native Jews were thus drawn into the cultural life and social movements of the immigrant milieu, including [[racist]] Zionism.
[[The rich Jews and bosses are not mentioned. It was because of them that the labor movement was provoked...]]
East European Jewish immigration brought about the firm establishment of Orthodoxy in the United States, although only a minority of immigrants and few of their children actually remained Orthodox Jews. Several hundred East European rabbis settled throughout the country, but their influence was far more limited than it had been in their native lands. Before the 1930s most Orthodox synagogues were immigrant hevrot (ḥevrot) [[societies]].
[Reform questions: Sabbath question - spiritual orientation questions - split of Jewry]
At the other extreme Reform Judaism reached its greatest distance from Jewish tradition at the turn of the 20th century. Proposals were considered at length for a Reform synod to settle matters of belief and practice, but they were not accepted. Extensive discussion took place over shifting the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, and several large congregations did so. The Reform rabbinate began to take an active interest in contemporary social problems and its strong anti-Zionism slowly softened so that it was able to countenance the *Balfour Declaration of 1917. There was also considerable preoccupation with the inroads made by *Christian Science, *Ethical Culture, and New Thought.
If Orthodox Judaism was hampered by its intimate identification with East European immigrant life and customs, and *Conservative Judaism lacked a strong congregational constituency and depended for recruits upon acculturated immigrants, Reform after the 1890s tended to lose contact with the mainstream of U.S. Jewish life and affairs. Its leading laymen, who included almost all the leaders of U.S. Jewry, participated in Jewish life mostly outside the framework of Reform Judaism. During the 1920s Reform interest in tradition and Jewish peoplehood revived largely as a result of the developments in Palestine and the widening influence of East European Judaism.
[Development of Jewish religious schools in the criminal racist "USA"]
Well before massive East European immigration began, U.S. Jews were committed to the public school for the education of thier children. With the firm establishment of free, state, compulsory, universal elementary and then secondary schools, Christian, i.e., Protestant influence, was largely removed. Catholics rejected religiously neutral public schools and erected a parochial school system, but Jews gladly saw their children educated in the public schools. Jewish education in the specific sense became the responsibility of congregations, most of which maintained Sunday schools attended by their own children and some others. In these schools the course of study lasted three years, and the teaching involved usually a moralistic interpretation of Bible stories and an inculcation by catechism of the principles of Judaism.
When East European immigrants first undertook to educate their sons in Judaism - virtually nothing was done for daughters - they merely copied heder (ḥeder) [[Jewish religious school to age of 13]] instruction with its shortcomings. After about 1905 a new direction became prominent in (col. 1621)
Jewish education as a synthesis of religion, modern Hebraism, and Zionism, came to prevail in the afternoon Hebrew schools (talmud torahs). A new curriculum emphasized the study of the Hebrew language by the "natural method", Bible, music, and Jewish customs and ceremonies. The new Hebrew pedagogues wee often learned and devoted men, but they had to struggle against financial adversity even in prosperous times, and to overcome widespread parental indifference to Jewish education beyond sketchy "bar mitzvah lessons" [[lessons for religious maturity of Jewish boys and girls]]. (See also *Education; U.S.)
COMMUNAL STRUCTURE AND LEADERSHIP
[Organizations: B'nai B'rith - Philanthropic Societies - American Jewish Committee]
Before 1890, U.S. Jewry as a body consisted essentially of dozens of local communities. The de facto leaders were lawyers, substantial merchants, and bankers in the largest cities. Such local elites were the pillars of the Reform temples, the B'nai B'rith lodges, the Hebrew Relief Societies, and the Jewish social clubs. The sole nationwide organizations were B'nai B'rith (and several other internally oriented fraternal bodies) and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. Mass immigration and increasing manifestations of anti-Semitism (see below), however, brought charity and the defense of Jewish rights to the foreground of U.S. Jewish concerns, while the development of nationwide transportation and communication provided the means of making Jewry an organic, nationwide body.
Beginning in 1895 in Boston, local Jewish charities set up federations for unified fund raising and allocation. This federation method was soon taken up by every larger community, and essentially covered the United States with the founding in 1917 of the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies (see *Philanthropy) in New York City. These bodies tended to assume local Jewish leadership, developing a quasi-ideology that philanthropy was the one tie uniting Jews of all kinds. The most influential national Jewish spokesman from its founding in 1906 was the *American Jewish Committee, which drew its membership by invitation from the leading Jews of every city but was centered in New York City.
The elitist [[capitalist racist Darwinist]] viewpoint of the committee frequently conflicted with such movements as [[racist]] Zionism and [[Socialist]] Jewish trade unionism, which drew their strength from immigrant mass followings. However, the wealthy, well-connected, and extremely able leadership of the American Jewish Committee, notably Jacob H. Schiff, Mayer *Sulzberger, and above all Louis Marshall, exhibited a talent for compromise and enjoyed prestige which gave the committee's membership of bankers, merchants, lawyers, and politicians its leadership.
[[The natives of the "USA" never got a lawyer for their rights. The natives are NEVER mentioned in Encyclopaedia Judaica...]]
WORLD WAR I, NATIVISM, AND PROSPERITY
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): "USA", vol. 15, col. 1609-1610: Immigrants leaving Ellis Island,
escorted by families and friends, 1915. Courtesy U.P.I., New York
[Many Jews on the German side against Russian czarism - foundation of the Joint]
World War I (1914-18), which the United States entered in 1917, proved decisive in welding together the various segments of U.S. Jewry and affirming their place in U.S. society. When the war started there was considerable Jewish sympathy with Germany as the enemy of Russian czarism, a bastion of socialist strength, and the ancestral land of a large proportion of U.S. Jewry [[from which they had been pursued]]. In November 1914 early efforts for overseas relief were unified by the establishment of the *American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, led by Jacob H. Schiff, his son-in-law and partner Felix M. *Warburg, Nathan *Straus, Herberg H. *Lehman, and prominent personages from immigrant circles.
[[Addition: The Jewish banker Schiff helped to give birth to murder Communism
The Jewish banker Jacob H. Schiff not only supported the aid organization of the Joint, but also financed the first Communist army. Schiff was a decisive figure in the international lodges and without his "help" for Trotzki and Lenin - other figures in the international lodges - the Russian revolution and the installation of murder Communism could not have been performed. Schiff gave to Trotzki 20 mio. US dollars for his Communist "project". This is only one example how bankers organized their wars...]]
[Balfour declaration of 1917 brings many Jews on the side of the allied - Jews in "American" troops]
As the war raged, Jewish opinion moved with U.S. opinion generally toward a pro-Allied policy. The decisive year was 1917. The overthrow of Russian czarism, the idealistic motivation of U.S. entry into the war, and the British conquest of Palestine, soon followed by the Balfour Declaration "giving" the land of the forefathers back to the Jewish people, stirred a fever of enthusiasm. Approximately 250,000 Jews served in the U.S. Armed Forces in 1917 and (col. 1622)
1918, a majority of them young immigrants. Some 3,500 lost their lives, and 12,000 were wounded. Military experience was an intensive acculturation to the larger U.S. for Jews who came from urban immigrant districts.
[[The drive in the Arab world for general anti-Semitism as a reaction against the Balfour declaration is not mentioned. Israel should be an eternal war trap, and many Jews - and a lot of stupid "Christians" - don't see this until today and don't see that a religion (Jewry) cannot be a "nation", but a religion is a religion (2008)]].
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): "USA", vol. 15, col. 1613-1614: Map with the Jewish population of the U.S., 1918, according to state borders of today.
[Racist Zionism in the criminal racist "USA": personalities - Balfour declaration 1917 - "Peace conference" at Paris of 1919]
[[Since 1896 racist Zionism had it's spiritual base with the racist booklet of racist Theodor Herzl "The Jewish State" maintaining that the Arabs could be driven away as the natives in the "USA" had been driven away, and the Arabs could be enslaved, and probably gold mines could be managed as in South Africa. The racist Zionists projected a "Greater Israel" with the borderlines from the Nile to the Euphrates according to the Bible, 1st Mose, chapter 15, phrase 18. Racism was a "science" at that time, in combination with Darwinism. But the criminal plan against the whole Arab world to install a "Greater Israel" from the Nile to the Euphrates is not classified criminal until now, the rabbis don't correct the criminal Bible, and the racist Zionist Jewish government in Jerusalem is not accepting the Human Rights and is not abrogating the Herzl "philosophy". The Zionists don't want to accept until now that Jewry is a religion and not a state. Many Jews and "Christians" became a victim of Zionist madness...]]
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): "USA", vol. 15, col. 1623-1624: Delegates to the convention of the Federation of [[racist]] American Zionists, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1908. Courtesy Zionist Archives, New York
During the World War I period [[racist]] Zionism acquired influence in U.S. Jewish life which it had not previously enjoyed. The organized movement dated from 1897, but there had been [[racist]] Zionist groups as early as 1882. The leadership was composed of several acculturated businessmen and Hebraic intelligentsia, centering about such persons as Richard J.H. *Gottheil, Harry *Friedenwald, Judah L. Magnes, Stephen S. *Wise, Jacob *De Haas, Joseph *Cowen, Henrietta *Szold, and Israel *Friedlander. Funds and outlets for activity were extremely limited, however, and membership was mostly young people of immigrant parentage, with modest means and connections. The coming of war and the neutrality of the United States with the probability of the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, stirred interest. In addition, Louis D. Brandeis entered the movement and assumed active leadership in 1914.
[[There was projected a Jewish Empire...]]
The [[racist]] Zionist idea began to stir U.S. Jewry as it appeared to be a Jewish counterpart of the "self-determination of nations" propounded by President Woodrow *Wilson. It was adapted to the U.S. Jewish outlook by stressing Palestine as a refuge for oppressed Jews and a place where an ideal society would be built. [[Racist]] U.S. Zionist ideology avoided interpreting all lands except Palestine as exile (galut). Under Brandeis, Zionism membership and influence grew rapidly. The American Jewish Committee's leadership was challenged for the first time by the movement for an *American Jewish Congress which, it was rightly supported, would include the realization of the [[racist]] Zionist goal among postwar Jewish demands.
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): "USA", vol. 15, col. 1623-1624: Eighteenth annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America, Boston, Mass., 1915. Among those present are Henrietta Szold (1) and Louis Dembitz Brandeis (2). Courtesy Zionist Archives, New York.
The congress movement succeeded in calling a U.S. Jewish election on June 4, 1917, at which pro-Zionist delegates were chosen. By this time the American Jewish Committee compromised, and soon thereafter the Balfour Declaration, endorsed by the United States, appeared to settle the Palestine question.
The delegation sent by the American Jewish Congress was headed by Julian William *Mack and Louis Marshall, and collaborated with other Jewish representative bodies at the Paris Peace Conference in acquiring national minority rights for Jews in the newly created states of central and eastern Europe. U.S. Jewry thus made its debut at the center of the world Jewish affairs, like the United States itself - where postwar withdrawal from European involvements was reflected in decreased U.S. Jewish interest in foreign matters and a drastic drop in the funds raised for overseas purposes. U.S. *Zionism entered into prolonged decline after Brandeis, now on the Supreme Court, and his well-connected leadership group withdrew from [[racist]] Zionist activities following their defeat in 1921 by the Weizmann wing of the [[racist]] Zionist Organization over the issue whether Palestine was to be developed by large-scale public corporate enterprise or by mass contributions to the new Keren Hayesod general development fund. Deprived of access to large givers, the principal Zionist funds could raise no more than $15,000,000 during the 1920s. Hadassah, founded by Henrietta Szold in 1912, raised smaller sums for its health services, as did the Gewerkshaftn [[Yidd.: Workers Unions]] for Palestine labor institutions from their inception in 1924. (See also *Zionism: U.S.)> (col. 1625)
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