Emerging Metropolis: New York Jews in the Age of Immigration, 1840-1920 (City of Promises)

Emerging Metropolis: New York Jews in the Age of Immigration, 1840-1920 (City of Promises)

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 147981105X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Emerging Metropolis tells the story of New York’s emergence as the greatest Jewish city of all time. It explores the Central European and East European Jews’ encounter with New York City, tracing immigrants’ economic, social, religious, political, and cultural adaptation between 1840 and 1920. This meticulously researched volume shows how Jews wove their ambitions and aspirations—for freedom, security, and material prosperity—into the very fabric and physical landscape of the city.

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with the help of an influx of cheap labor that came in the form of eastern European Jews in the 1870s, 1880s and 1890s. As eastern European Jews arrived in New York and settled in the same neighborhoods that had once nurtured the central European Jewish secondhand market, they soon learned of the importance of the garment industry and used neighborhood networks to find their way into it. By 1890, one-half of all employed eastern European Jews in New York worked in the garment industry, and by

it was an otherness that did not threaten their social position. By the 1880s, Moorish synagogues helped to shape the New York urban landscape. An 1882 story in Atlantic Monthly depicts a young lawyer and an acquaintance strolling through New York: They went down, past the unfinished Cathedral, the Moorish Synagogue, and the Egyptian reservoir, with the castellated dwellings opposite, on the battlements of which an Ivanhoe or Sister Anne, or the yellow dwarf might have appeared; past the

day during the busy seasons, and the stove, needed to heat the irons, operated even throughout torrid summers. Operators sat by the windows for the sunlight, but in winter this weakened by late afternoon, straining their eyesight. One tenement at 7 Ludlow Street held several small factories: The first shop that we entered consisted of a small room with two small grimy windows, and another room that had once been a bedroom. It was without windows, having only grates that looked out into the dark

observance, for one, continued to be a contentious issue for the eastern Europeans, as it had been for the central Europeans earlier. The threat to the Sabbath came from several directions. After the turn of the century, finding jobs that allowed for Saturday rest became increasingly difficult due to the garment industry’s shift to the factory away from the neighborhood shop. As one garment worker recalled, [The garment trade] had started to migrate to new buildings uptown from the small,

a complaint with the Bureau. Applicant had not seen her husband since her arrival, but countrymen had advised him of her presence. Man located in Brooklyn, invited to call at the Bureau, where a complete reconciliation was effected. Charles W., a baker by trade, deserted the family in 1911 in New York. Three months later located in St. Joseph, Mo. He expressed regret for his act. Wished to return to family but was stranded without means. St. Joseph Charities communicated with Bureau and man

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