American Jews Were Free to Choose

3 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2012

See all articles by DiMarkco Stephen Chandler

DiMarkco Stephen Chandler

Claremont Graduate University; California State University, Northridge

Date Written: February 17, 2012


Deborah Dash Moore, citing Oscar Handlin, suggests a similarity between immigration from country to country and internal migration (moves within a country). This article describes how Jewish internal migration within the U.S. after World War II was similar to earlier Jewish experiences of migration from Europe.

Immigration to America by large numbers of Jews was primarily the result of the poor and oppressed conditions they were forced to endure in Europe. Freedom was their principle objective then, and the expansion of freedom seemed to be at the very heart of the internal migration by Jews to Sunbelt cities after World War II. Thus, Jews who emigrated from Europe did so in order to escape a retched existence, especially Jews that immigrated from Jebenhausen a city in central Europe that was notoriously poor and overcrowded. These Jews were essentially searching for a better life, though at one time the city of Jebenhausen had provided that opportunity. However, it became overcrowded and consequently jobs began to dissipate. As a result, Jews that had once lived in Jebenhausen, and for that matter many of the cities throughout Europe, began a continuous exodus to America that would not decelerate until long after World War II. What at first began slowly by chain migration, soon erupted into a full-blown exit based upon the promised freedoms apparent in the New World. All in all, European Jews were motivated by social, economic and political considerations in their decision to immigrate to America.

Keywords: American Jews, European

Suggested Citation

Chandler, DiMarkco Stephen, American Jews Were Free to Choose (February 17, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

DiMarkco Stephen Chandler (Contact Author)

Claremont Graduate University ( email )

150 E. Tenth Street
Claremont, CA 91711
United States

California State University, Northridge ( email )

18111 Nordoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330
United States

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