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Immigration

Fanny Brooks

Fanny Bruck was born in 1837, in the small village of Schweidnitz, Germany, one of six children. Fanny was well educated and graduated with high honors. She was only 16 years old when she met Julius Brooks, a young man who had been lured to America by stories of the Gold Rush in 1847 and who had returned after five years to visit his family. They married in Breslau, Germany, on August 18th, 1853, and journeyed to America.

Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus’s famous poem “The New Colossus” helped the Statue of Liberty greet millions, but still reflected her experience of the mixed welcome that minorities faced in America.

Ingeborg B. Weinberger

Ingeborg B. Weinberger has worked much of her life with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), helping new immigrants and refugees to resettle in the United States.

Sarah Kappelman Harris

Sarah Kappelman Harris divides her life into three parts: her family, her work with Hadassah, and her work with HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society).

Immigrant Mary Antin packs the house at the Waldorf Astoria.

December 8, 1912

Mary Antin writes, “I was born, I have lived, and I have been made over. Is it not time to write my life’s story?”

Handcuffs to Synagogue: A New Year, A Recommitment to Action

Orginally published by ZEEK Magazine.

Tonight at Kol Nidre services, I will chant the prayer that absolves me from all oaths taken the previous year. The thing is — just yesterday I took an oath, alongside 119 women on a very hot day in the shadow of the US Capitol building, an oath that I (with the organization I represent, the National Council of Jewish Women) plan to keep. In part, we promised to:

"create a House United for fair immigration reform, a House United through my family, my community and my place of work, a House United for justice and equality for all and especially for the women and children who make up three-quarters of all immigrants but whose needs are woefully ignored by our failed system."

And we put our bodies on the line to reinforce our commitment to this promise.

Elissa Froman, 1983 - 2013

There are so many stories about Elissa Froman.

One of her closest friends, Emily Goodstein, tells of the time she and Froman were walking down a street in Washington, D.C., where they both lived. A homeless man who sat asking for change in front of a restaurant stopped them, addressing Elissa by name. He thanked her for making an appointment for him at a local healthcare clinic.

A favorite one that her mother, Gloria, relates: When Elissa was four years old, she asked, “Are we really alive, or is G-d dreaming us?”

Parshat Matot-Masei: What is our Journey?

While we aren’t still wandering the wilderness of Maob, or navigating the hard working conditions of the lower east side, we must not forget what it means to be a newcomer to a foreign land. And we must take alongside us the reminder that we are the links to our past and our future. We serve as the reminder to not take for granted our ability to be both freely Jewish and American at the same time and to empathize with the conditions new Americans face today. For just as we were slaves in Egypt, so too were our families the ones who paved the path for great opportunity.

Proud, Yet Ambivalent: Immigration Reform, Pride and the LGBT Community

This year, I can’t help but color my pride with a slight bit of ambivalence as a result of the failure of Senator Patrick Leahy’s amendment to the current Immigration bill, which would have recognized same-sex bi-national couples, affording them the same rights and benefits that opposite-sex couples obtain during the immigration process.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Immigration." (Viewed on December 16, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/immigration>.

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