Jews Living in America in the 1920's

Topics: Judaism, United States, 20th century Pages: 3 (965 words) Published: March 4, 2013
A New Beginning
In the autobiography, “Out of the Shadow”, author Rose Cohen, a Russian-Jewish immigrant, explains the social and economic conditions during the late 1800s and early 1900s for Jews immigrating into the United States. Cohen explains how many Jews fled Eastern Europe and Russia during this time due to the ruling of the tsar, fear of religious persecution, and economic restrictions. Because these restrictions were becoming the norm for Jewish people in their county, Rose’s father, a tailor, began to embark on a journey to the United States of America, in hopes of beginning a new life for himself and his family. Even though her father is captured at the border of Russia and returned home, he managed to get to America. Once in America, he began work as a tailor, striving to earn enough money to bring his entire family to America. In the next year and a half, Rose’s father is finally able to get Rose and her aunt Masha to America. During the early years of Rose’s life in America, she experiences many obstacles and conditions that were faced by Jews throughout the United States during the late 19th century and early 20th century. During Rose and her Aunt Masha’s arrival at Castle Garden in America, they experienced various social conditions, which were different and new from their old lifestyles in Russia. As Rose’s father began to introduce her to the new American society, she became very upset at that many Jews were becoming Americanized; they were forgetting completely about their Jewish religion and roots. Rose writes, “The first thing men do in America,” she had said, “is cut their beards and the first thing the women do is to leave off their wigs” (Cohen 79). She explains that the grooming of Jewish men and women was mandatory, because they had to adapt to the American way. Jews chose to conform in hopes of finding the high-paying jobs and avoiding harsh treatment. In the work force, many Jews were also Americanized through the changing and...
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