2 thoughts on “Protected: Week 9 (June 17th) – Readings

  1. Bente Buschmann

    After reading several texts about immigration in the USA , I was curious about the immigration story of Jewsih people in the past. I am aware of their history in Europe, their suffering because of Hitler` and their horrific prosecution wherefore I was thinking of how Americans had been treating them at that time. While reading several parts of these texts, I realised that there was no huge diffence between Jews and other ethnic groups in terms of American`s tolerance.
    Jewish people were escaping from Europe to North America in order to not being killed by Nazis. They had hope, as many other ethnic groups, of being save in the new world and thereby being treated respectfully without any kind of discrimination. They simply had a wish of expierencing their own American Dream.
    Nonetheless, Jewish people were also suffering under discrimination in America, even if it not because of their skin color (since they look like a “white” European). It was because of their religion and different habits they have had.
    When moving to America, some Jewish people were establishing Jewish communities in which they could live out their religious life. One can say that they felt more freedoom and oppurtunities in America than in Europe, even though they had been affected by discrimination. This lead to the oppurtunity of living out their cultural and religious life which they obviousely could not in Europe.
    The Immigration of Jewish people also reflects the anti- Semitoc repression that Jewish people were exposed to.
    Many different Jewish communities found a new home in America, whereby its development of the Jewry has been supported.
    Nonetheless, living in America as a Jewish person was not easy, at all since one was segregated and denunciated by many Americans just because of one`s existence. Americans even ignored the fact that many Jewish people had been or were even trying to integrate themselves into the American culture. In Addtion to that, Henry Ford, a significant man for Detroit and America in general, had been fighting in a “war” against Jews for seven years which also points out how hard it was for them to afford a goos jobs or simply be accepted.
    This shoes that Jews were discrimanted like many other ethnic groups just because they were “different” to some extent which highlights the racial problem of the USA even more.

  2. Maedeh Mirzaei Ataabadi

    For this session I tried to read more about Jewish identity because for me it is interesting to know what does Jewishness means for all the people who came to America from different Eastern European countries in 1920s and 1930s and then for their next generations. Were they Jew by religion? By culture? or something else! It seems that Jewish settlement in Palestine and in general “Zionism” was like a new external source of Jewish identity which as the author said: “superseding religious, cultural, social, and economic differences” and became debated controversy in Jewish life. It is interesting to see that there are extreme poles even within those who believed Jewish identity derived from its religious traditions and by “those” I mean Orthodox and Reform Jews. To the Orthodox, the Reform Jews were non-Jews, unkosher maybe only because the Reform Jews believed in a more moderated religious practices so that younger generation can still approach the religion and in this way keep their past heritage. On the other hand, we have “Secular” Jews who did not agree on the role of religious Judaism in Jewish identity and somehow contempt all religious ties. For Some of them Diaspora traditions or holding on to Yiddish language and culture—drama, literature, lore, even life-style were the Jewish value.


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