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In 1942, YIVO held a contest for the best autobiography by a Jewish immigrant on the theme “Why I Left the Old Country and What I Have Accomplished in America.” Chosen from over two hundred entries, and translated from Yiddish, the nine life stories in My Future Is in America provide a compelling portrait of American Jewish life in the immigrant generation at the turn of the twentieth century. The writers arrived in America in every decade from the 1890s to the 1920s. They include manual workers, shopkeepers, housewives, communal activists, and professionals who came from all parts of Eastern Europe and ushered in a new era in American Jewish history. In their own words, the immigrant writers convey the complexities of the transition between the Old and New Worlds. An Introduction places the writings in historical and literary context, and annotations explain historical and cultural allusions made by the writers. This unique volume introduces readers to the complex world of Yiddish-speaking immigrants while at the same time elucidating important themes and topics of interest to those in immigration studies, ethnic studies, labor history, and literary studies. Published in conjunction with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.
"In 1942, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research held a contest for the best autobiography by a Jewish immigrant on the theme "Why I Left the Old Country and What I have Accomplished in America." Chosen from over two hundred entries and translated from Yiddish, the nine life stories in My Future Is in America provide a compelling portrait of East European and American Jewish life in the immigrant generation at the turn of the twentieth century."--Jacket.
Collects and analyzes letters from Jewish men and women in the early stages of migrating from Eastern Europe.
Describes Jewish life in Eastern Europe in the nineteenth century, and the Jewish migration to America with the problems of adjusting to life in a new country in the face of prejudice and difficult living conditions.
The definitive history of Jews in New York and how they transformed the city Based on the acclaimed multi-volume series, City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York, Jewish New York reveals the multifaceted world of one of the city’s most important ethnic and religious groups. Spanning three centuries, Jewish New York traces the earliest arrival of Jews in New Amsterdam to the recent immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union. Jewish immigrants transformed New York. They built its clothing industry and constructed huge swaths of apartment buildings. New York Jews helped to make the city the center of the nation’s publishing industry and shaped popular culture in music, theater, and the arts. With a strong sense of social justice, a dedication to civil rights and civil liberties, and a belief in the duty of government to provide social welfare for all its citizens, New York Jews influenced the city, state, and nation with a new wave of social activism. In turn, New York transformed Judaism and stimulated religious pluralism, Jewish denominationalism, and contemporary feminism. The city’s neighborhoods hosted unbelievably diverse types of Jews, from Communists to Hasidim. Jewish New York not only describes Jews’ many positive influences on New York, but also exposes the group’s struggles with poverty and anti-Semitism. These injustices reinforced an exemplary commitment to remaking New York into a model multiethnic, multiracial, and multireligious world city.
A collection of autobiographies written by young Polish Jews in the 1930s. The candid writings not only reveal the personal struggles, ambitions and dreams of 15 young authors, they also reveal the nature of ordinary Jewish life in Poland in the years between the world wars.

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