ERIC Number: ED191792
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974
Reference Count: 0
Jews in American History: A Teacher's Guide.
This publication contains discussion questions, student activities, and lists of resource materials which a teacher can use to include American Jewish history in secondary United States history courses. The book concentrates on those aspects of Jewish history which offer material with which to illuminate many important general themes and concepts. In the Colonial and early national period, a number of themes suggest themselves. The Judaic tradition was one of the formative influences in Colonial New England. It helped shape early legal codes in Massachusetts as well as the close alliance of church and state which characterized the government of the Bay Colony. The arrival of the first Jews to New Amsterdam in 1654, together with that of other minorities, is important in developing the theme of immigration as a factor in American history. The reception which the earliest Jews received in America was mixed and suggests a theme which continued well into the 19th century--that America was not always a land of religious liberty and equality. During the Revolutionary War, Jews fought in the same battles and campaigns as did other Americans. The German Jewish migration of the mid-19th century lends itself to a continuation of the themes of immigration and pluralism and also suggests the theme of America as a land of opportunity. During the Civil War, Jews were a diverse people reflecting regional attitudes rather than a common Jewish outlook. Between 1880 and 1920, there was an increase in the Jewish population in America. The Jewish experience at this point illustrates several important developments in modern American history: the acculturation of immigrant groups, urbanization, and the development of the trade union movement. The striking feature of the Jewish community is its determination to preserve Jewish identity which raises the problem of assimilation in a pluralistic society. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: B'nai B'rith, New York, NY. Anti-Defamation League.
Note: Photographs and some reprints with small print throughout document may not reproduce clearly from EDRS in paper copy and microfiche. Prepared in collaboration with KTAV Publishing House, Inc., New York, N.Y.