Monday, December 21, 2009

"The Russian Jew in the United States" -- Entire book now online

Many of you, those of you who follow the progress of the Museum of Family History, are already familiar with the Museum's exhibition, "The Russian Jew in the United States," which is based on the book of the same name. The book is also known as "The Immigrant Jew in America," both being published as separate editions between 1905 and 1907.

It should be noted that simply because the title implies that the book is about "the Russian Jew," i.e. the Russian Jew in America, during the time the book was written and published, Russia, or rather the Russian Empire, was composed of more countries (or parts of countries) than Russia alone. The editor distinguishes the Russian population in the United States from the Spanish-Portuguese and German populations, each being considered a "distinctly marked strata of population."

The Museum would like to announce that the entire book (with minor exceptions) is now online at the Museum of Family History and is ready for your perusal. The first part of the book was put online in time for the IAJGS Philadelphia 2009 conference. Post-conference the New York section was added, and just completed is the section about Chicago. I recommend that you at least "leaf through" the three sections; perhaps you will find material of interest to you. It does give a good picture of what Jewish life was like around the turn of the twentieth century for many Jewish immigrants.

Each major part of the book, i.e. for Philadelphia, New York and Chicago, is composed of ten sections, i.e. the introduction, "General Aspects of the Population," "Philanthropy," "Economic and Industrial Condition," "Religious Activity," "Educational Influences," "Amusements and Social Life," "Politics," "Health and Sanitation," and "Law and Litigation." Separate sections published irrespective of any particular city, are named "Distribution," and "Rural Settlements" in the Eastern and Western States. There are also pages dedicated to the Jew in Russia as well as the Russian Jew in the U.S., the latter written by famed Abraham Cahan, editor and founder of the Yiddish newspaper, the Jewish Daily Forward.

The link to the overall exhibition is Simply click on the "enter" link found within the bottom half of the paqe. You may then chose the section or sections of your liking.

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