Problems faced by Jews in America and Britain from1880-1920

In Britain, there were Attempts to close the shelters that hosted the immigrants down by members of the Anglo-Jewish community which led to the establishment of an official Jews’ temporary shelter in Leman Street (Rosen, 2000). The year was 1885 and it was still in then that the Jewish Association for the Protection of Girls and Women was founded to fight for their plights (Wertheimer, 1993). The rising number of Jews caused gentile and communities of Anglo-Jewish origin to call for immigration quotas. in 1900, two Jews, Thomas Dewar and William Evans-Gordon got elected to parliament after campaigns by activists in London. The 1903 aliens act law limited immigration into Britain (Liedkte and Wendehorst, 1999).

In America, these immigrants moved in due to the desire to give their children good education and better life. They could also get luxuries such as modern vehicles like steam engines and trains. There was the USA dream of freedom and gold but the major reason was to escape the Russia anti-Semitism policy and pogroms (Young, 1999). Jewish leaders such as Jacob Schiff campaigned for the Americanization of the Jews. Councils were started to help protect Jewish women and girls until their resettlement. The councils helped house them, maintain their health and employment problems and aided integrate them with the local cultures while still maintaining their Jewish identities (Nor wood and Pollack, 2008).

Problems faced by Jewish immigrants and how they coped with them.

            Jews in the two countries faced similar problems and though America saw them as just other people seeking economic liberty, they did not stay without problems. Both countries imposed strict quotas that limited immigration (Gurock, 1998). For Jews to stay in Britain especially, they were required to pay financial guarantees. It was impossible in both countries for Jews to get jobs and this made it impossible for refugees to migrate. Jews were forced to join the military in Britain where they were not only underpaid but they were exposed to death. The salaries were also not a guarantee (Sorin, 1995).

Jews in both countries were treated like the minority, rarely getting equal opportunities and facing persecution. They decided to bridge these problems by campaigning for positions in the government, socializing with the locals and founding councils that fought for them. They also enrolled their children into schools and found jobs that would liberate them from poverty (Sorin, 1995). The Jews as the Irish Catholics faced religious discrimination. The Brahmin society of Boston for instance comprised of Protestants who wanted to hear nothing of the Jews. To be able to practice their religion, Boston Jews mobilized with the hope that political leaders would appreciate the presence of Semites in the region.

The social- cultural differences between Jews and the people they met were also evident in sport arenas. They were not allowed to join sporting activities with locals. As in Britain, the Jewish leaders in America viewed children as the best tools for acculturation. Community programs were established in an effort to mobilize leisure activities in Jewish immigrant families. These programs also aided the quick adoption of modern habits (Tananbaum, S, 2004).

The other problem faced by immigrants from Russia was the loss of national identity.  They became foreigners upon their arrival to the countries the y moved to. They encountered cultures strange to their own, numerous languages and religions. To bridge this, they made efforts to familiarize themselves with the ways of living of the host countries. They tried to enroll in schools especially their children and started associations that would help them socialize with the locals (Sorin, 1995).

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