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Living Locally, Organizing Nationally, and Thinking Globally

Living Locally, Organizing Nationally, and Thinking Globally

The View from the United States

(p.11) 1 Living Locally, Organizing Nationally, and Thinking Globally
Hasia R. Diner
NYU Press

This chapter explores the ways in which American Jews lived locally and organized nationally in 1929 yet remained connected to the global Jewish chain. In 1929, about 18,000 new Jewish immigrants had been admitted to the United States. Jews clustered in America's cities, and much of what constituted Jewish communal patterns played itself out through the informal mechanisms of family and neighborhood. They got involved in various community institutions and affiliated themselves in one way or another with some organized activity that constituted Jewish communal life. This chapter considers the patterns of meaning that 1929 played in the lives of Americans as Jews and as American Jews and how they discerned connections between themselves and the Jewish people around the world. It shows that American Jews, despite becoming increasingly American and Americanized, remained fixed on the broader, global picture based on the belief that what happened to Jews in other parts of the world also affected them.

Keywords:   family, neighborhood, community institutions, communal life, American Jews, 1929, Jewish immigrants, United States, Jews

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