Von der Gemeinde zur "Community": Jüdische Einwanderer in Chicago 1840-1900,
Osnabrück: Germany: Göttingen: Germany, Universitätsverlag Rasch, Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht Osnabrück, 488pp.
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From Gemeinde to Community: Jewish Immigrants in Chicago, 1840–1900 combines four research fields, American Jewish and German Jewish history, the history of transatlantic migration, and American urban history. More than 100.000 Jews left Central Europe for North America during the 19th Century. This study examines the social, economic, religious and cultural development of the Jewish immigrant community in Chicago between 1840 and 1900. 19th Century Chicago attracted European immigrants in huge numbers and by 1900 it emerged as one of the largest cities in the world. Jewish immigrants played key roles in building Chicago but they were also influenced by the radical climate prevailing in America's newest and most rapidly growing large city. This study assesses the German background of the immigrants, identifying and tracing the paths of migration networks from Central European villages into Chicago. The study focuses on how Jewish immigrants conceived new forms of organizing Gemeinschaft in a challenging environment, inside and outside of the synagogue. The Jewish experience in Chicago proves the close relationship between processes of ethnicization and Americanization but also the Jewish appreciation of religious pluralism in the American context. Much attention is devoted to Jewish links with other immigrants and ethnic groups, notably with the large German-speaking community. The strong rise in Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe after 1880, its impact in Chicago generally, and the multifaceted responses of the established "German Jews" are examined in great detail. The study relies heavily on demographic tools, by exploring and mapping social and residential mobility within Chicago.
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