May is Jewish American Heritage Month. As defined by the Law Library of Congress, Jewish American Heritage Month is "a month to celebrate the contributions Jewish Americans have made to America since they first arrived in New Amsterdam in 1654." For legislation, Presidential Proclamations, and Executive Orders pertaining to this commemoration, visit the Law Library of Congress' Jewish American Heritage Month page.
The Journey of the Jewish Americans
The Journey of the Jewish American downloaded from PBS LearningMedia, http://www.pbslearningmedia.org. Asset Copyright © 2008, JTN Productions, WETA, and David Grubin Productions, Inc. in association with Thirteen/WNET New York. All Rights Reserved. Collection funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The Jewish Americans video segment courtesy of WETA. Special thanks to AFTRA and AF of M for granting permission to use segments produced with participation of their members.
In the 19th century, most Americans had little or no contact with Jewish people. Jews who immigrated to the United States were met with a mixed attitude of suspicion stemming from prejudice, stereotypes and awe as people associated with Biblical stories and events. For the most part, the early 19th century Jewish immigrants were regarded as outsiders who were both tolerated and sometimes despised. Many began as peddlers, the traditional occupation of Jews in Europe. In this segment from The Jewish Americans, learn how their arrival was well timed to supply Americans with the goods and supplies they would need as the United States expanded west.
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