A Bintel Brief - Jewish Daily Forward

Topics: Jews, Dear Abby, Ashkenazi Jews Pages: 2 (477 words) Published: March 22, 2006
The Bintel Brief is a column in the Jewish Daily Forward, which was formed in 1906. During this time many Jewish immigrants have suffered a great deal of depression and anxiety because of being Jewish. Often separated from family and bewildered by life in a new country, thousands of Jewish immigrants wrote to the offices of the Jewish Daily Forward. Nothing like existed in the homeland. It seemed so American, so up-to-date, and so very needed. It was an advice column for the new Jewish immigrants, to help them with their new lives. It was called the "Bintel Brief", Yiddish language for "Bundle of Letters." The paper's founder and editor was Abraham Cahan (1860-1951). Cahan formed the Bintel Brief to listen to the many Jewish immigrants from Russia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Middle East as they live life through hardships at the turn of the century and speak of issues through the experiences of the immigrants. Cahan would answer back with practical and sometimes very wise advice. His intended audience was mainly the immigrants of New York City. Cahan's commitment to social realism makes his work a valuable source for insight into ways in which immigrants perceived their situation. The Jewish Daily Forward did its part to bring familiarity and bring comfort to the Jewish immigrants, to give advice, to aid those in need, and to bring together the Jewish community in America.

The main detectable bias in the source is that the immigrants were lonely and needed something to turn to. Abraham Cahan founded the Jewish Daily Forward and served as the editor until his death in 1951. The major tensions of immigrant life that were revealed in the letters were the cries of help from the very poor, problems dealing with religion and discrimination, people dealing with job decisions. All the problems in the Bintel Brief are difficulties faced by immigrants and the consequences that they must face because of being who they are. Mothers were known to find their lost...
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