Primary Sources & Lesson Plans
Close to 20 million immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe including over 2 million Jews came to the United States between 1880 and 1920. The 250,000 American Jews who had arrived prior to 1880 faced a paradox. They wanted to help these new arrivals, but they were also concerned with maintaining their own hard-won success. The established Jewish community created many social welfare organizations to help their Jewish brothers and sisters adjust to life in the United States. The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) focused its attention on female immigrants, assisting them from port of arrival to establishment in their new surroundings.
1. What do you imagine the women in the photograph are being taught?
2. Describe the way the women in the photograph are dressed. What conclusions do you draw from their dress?
3. Who are the students in this class? How might they feel about being instructed in matters of diet and food preparation?
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