why did the jews come to the united states?


9 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Often to escape persecution and physical assault or murder because they were Jews..

    My father’s parents both emigrated from Russia. While they were married and already had 5 children living and had lost one in infancy, they did not come over to America at the same time together. They were very poor and could not afford the cost of tickets for the entire family. They wished to escape the persecution of Jews in Eastern Europe that was getting worse with the Bolshevik Revolution.

    In 1914, my Grandfather immigrated to the United States alone. Rather than enter at Ellis Island, as the majority of this wave of refugees landed, he came ashore where thousands of other Russian immigrant Jews entered from the late 1880s until around 1920, at the southern Gulf port of Galveston, Texas. He then had to raise enough money to secure passage for the wife and five young children he had left behind in Russia.

    During the six years that my Grandparents were separated by the continent of Europe , Atlantic Ocean and half the continent of North America, they each worked hard to survive and save enough money to unite them again in America. My Grandfather worked at many different jobs to save money and tried to send what he could back to the old country. My Grandmother was left with an infant child who was still nursing and four other small mouths to feed. Besides caring for them, she worked as a wet-nurse and in a factory rolling cigarettes. The older children tried to bring home money working at odd jobs, too. Persecution of Jews was intense across Europe in those times. My Grandmother witnessed the bludgeoning death of her father at their home by a mob simply because he was a Rabbi. It was a hilly and forested area that my grandmother told me resembled the part of Arkansas where I was born and still reside. They loved the land and raised chickens and grew food on small plots of land. They could not own the land as Jews were forbidden to own property, but they lived in a form of indentured servitude to the landowner and paid a percentage of produce. Most generally had a trade as well. My Grandfather was a cobbler by trade. He made boots and belts and even sold some to the family of the last czar of Russia.

    Finally, in 1920, my Grandmother, two aunts, and three of my uncles boarded a ship named the Noordham and came to the United States.Emigration from many European countries was high and the passengers were listed on the ships manifest, or register, by their country of origin. This was not so with the Jewish immigrants from Europe. Instead of listing them as Russian, Polish, Lithuanian or Hungarian for instance, they were listed as Hebrew no matter what country they lived. This was based upon an anti-Semitic notion of Jews as a “race” that had even become accepted by the United States in fear of the wave of poor peasant immigrants flooding our shores. My Grandmother and her children were listed as Hebrew even though their fellow non-Jewish passengers on the Noordham were listed as either Russian or Polish. They had special quotas, or limits, placed on how many Jews could come into the country. Other immigrants had quotas, but they were listed by country of origin and their religion was not listed on the ships manifest. The quotas began being strictly enforced in 1914 and the quota for Jews the law was dramatically reduced in 1924. This went on until after World War 2 despite pleas throughout the War to raise them to save the lives of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. Many Jews who later tried to flee Nazi Germany for the United States were turned away because of these quotas, and many of them were killed. You can still go view the many different passenger rosters on the Internet at the Ellis Island web site and read the photographed actual ship’s manifests. It is a sobering realization that if my grandparents had not come to the United States they and the hundreds of descendents they produced would never have lived.You would not be reading this story now as I would not have been born. Almost all of their relatives and friends they left behind were killed in the years shortly after they left. I have discovered a very few distant relatives who survived; my Grandfather’s brother went to South Africa when quotas kept him out of the United States and he could not find passage to Israel, and the 3 surviving family members of my Grandmother's family went to Israel.

    Source(s): The town of Telechan, where my Grandfather was born, was the site of a horrible Nazi massacre on August 4, 1941. The 2,000 remaining Jewish men, women and children were lined up in the center of town, forced to dig their own mass graves and shot. In the 1880's there were approximately 10,000 Jews in this town and surrounding area. This community had suffered a pogrom only weeks earlier before the Nazis arrived, and the Gentiles who did this willingly aided the Nazis to gather up all the remaining Jews and set fire to those in the pit who did not die upon being shot. SEE ALSO http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=201010...
  • 10 years ago

    In the case of my father, he loved the climate and culture amenities that he found here.

    In the case of my maternal great-grandparents, the Jews were victimized in their homeland, so they went to England (around 1895) to get out of Russia. They spent a few years in London, learning English, and the fathers learned a trade.

    I don't know why they chose to leave England and go to the US. Maybe it was too difficult to rise up the social ranks (from poor immigrant to business owner) so they chose a country where there were opportunities for advancement.

    I also have relatives who went to Australia. You might want to look into the Jews of Shanghai to see why some Jews chose a country other than the U.S.

  • 10 years ago

    Well depends on what time period you're referring to but for the most part a lot of jews immigrated in the World War II era to avoid being shipped off to concentration camps and were obviously outside of Hitler's regime. Many were kicked out of their home countries and also America was seen as the land of opportunity for a very long time.

  • 10 years ago

    Reputedly there was at least one Jew on Columbus' boat. He was pretending to be Catholic otherwise he would have been killed.

    This basicaly sums it up for most of the experience -- in Europe and the Muslim countries Jews were hunted and forcibly converted. Even in the Catholic countries of America it was easier to survive than in Europe.

    Once the US was founded, this was the sole contry in the world where the Constitution stated that there was not to be one religion more favored than others.

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  • 10 years ago

    Why have most people come here? The promise of an easier life, mostly. A pluralistic society with relative economic abundance and what appeared to be endless opportunities to improve quality of life through access to top education and relatively well-paying jobs.

    It helped that Hitler's regime wasn't stationed here.

  • 10 years ago

    For much the same reason that many others did - to flee persecution, to escape poverty and misery, in the hope of a better life.

    In my grandparents case, they fled Austria at the Anschluss and came to the UK. Then France fell and my father was interned and sent to a camp in Canada. My grandfather could not work in the UK as it didn't recognise his medical qualification from the Vienna medical school. Going to the USA seemed the best option - my grandfather could work, their son was relatively nearby, and they greatly feared that after France had fallen, the UK was next.

  • 10 years ago

    Same reason all the other non-indigenous people came to the US. New opportunities. Also, many came to escape religious and racial persecution.

  • 10 years ago

    Persecution in home countries

  • ?
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    All three.

    These things are never black and white.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago


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