Twenty-three Jewish refugees flee Brazil and the long arm of the Inquisition, and land in New Amsterdam.Collection TypeBook
Jefferson Letter1Collection TypeArchival
Peter Stuyvesant Letter with translation1Collection TypeArchival
Dutch West India Company allows Jewish settlers to reside permanently in New Amsterdam.
The English conquer New Amsterdam and rename it New York.
In September 1654, twenty-three Jews, fleeing the Portuguese conquest of Dutch Brazil, arrived in New Amsterdam (now New York City) and established the first Jewish community in North America. Over the next century, other Jews migrated to New York, Newport, Savannah, Charleston and Philadelphia. By 1775, perhaps 2,500 Jewish men, women, and children called the American colonies their home.1
- 16801Collection TypeMuseum Holdings
- 17101Collection TypeMuseum Holdings
New York's Shearith Israel dedicates its first synagogue building on Mill Street.Collection TypeArchival
Phila Franks (1722-1811), elopes with Oliver DeLancey, a Christian. Hers is one of the earliest recorded intermarriages in American Jewish history.Collection TypeArchival
- 17451Collection TypeArchival
First holiday prayer book printed in America is published in New York.Collection TypeBook
American Jews sought to fulfill the age-old requirements of Judaism: To keep the Sabbath, eat only kosher food, have their infant sons circumcised and provide Jewish burial. They founded a synagogue congregation in each of the five cities. Unlike Europe, where state-sanctioned rabbis prescribed and enforced religious observance, identifying with Judaism in America was voluntary. Individuals defined the meanings of being Jewish for themselves to a degree unknown elsewhere.11
Jewish population in America numbers approximately 250.
The Jews of Newport, Rhode Island dedicate a Sephardic ritual synagogue designed by leading architect Peter Harrison.Collection TypeBook
The Declaration of Independence proclaims “all men are created equal.”
Like other Americans, Jews took sides--and took up arms--during the Revolutionary War. About 100 Jews served in the Continental Army and state militias. By fostering religious freedom, the Revolution confirmed Jews in their belief that they were truly at home in America. In 1790, when the nation’s Jewish congregations sent letters of greeting to president George Washington, he assured them that the United States government “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”1
This prayer for the Government for General George Washington and New York State Governor George Clinton was composed and delivered by Gershon Mendez Seixas (1745-1816) in 1784.1Collection TypeArchival
- 17871Collection TypeWebsite
- 17941Collection TypeArchival
- 18021Collection TypeMuseum Collection
Polonies Talmud Torah, the first Jewish school on record in the United States, established in New York City.Collection TypeBook
Mordecai Manuel Noah, politician, editor and playwright, appointed United States Consul at Tunis, the first major diplomatic post awarded an American Jew.Collection TypeArchival
In Philadelphia, Rebecca Gratz (1781-1869) establishes the first independent Jewish women’s charitable society.Collection TypeMuseum Collection
In 1820, American Jews numbered about 3,000, but by 1870, over 200,000 Jews could be found spread throughout the nation. Attracted by the booming commercial economy and religious freedom, a prolonged wave of immigration from the German states, Austria, Bohemia, Hungary, Poland, and Lithuania, had brought tens of thousands of mostly young Jewish men and women to America.1
Jews in Charleston, South Carolina organize the first Reform Jewish religious group in the United States.
The first Jewish American periodical, The Jew, published in New York.
- 18331Collection TypeArchival
The first book by an American Jewish woman, Penina Moise’s Fancy’s Sketch Book, published in South Carolina.
First Passover Haggadah printed in America.
David Lee Levy of Florida elected to the United States Senate, the first Jew in Congress.
Twelve Jewish immigrants found B’Nai B’rith (Sons of the Covenant), the first secular Jewish organization in the United States.
- 18441Collection TypeMuseum Holdings
- 18491Collection TypeMuseum Holdings
Sabato Morais (1823-1897), rabbi of Congregation Mikvah Israel in Philadelphia, denounces the eveils of American slavery from his pulpit.Collection TypeArchival
Board of Delegates of American Israelites successfully protests Ulysses S. Grant’s “vile order” expelling Jews from Union-held areas of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky.Collection TypeArchival
Former United States Senator Judah P. Benjamin (1811-1884) is appointed Secretary of War and then Secretary for the State for the Confederate States of America.Collection TypeArchival
More Jews emigrated to the United States between 1870 and 1924 than in any period before or since. The vast majority-some 2.5 million-fled poverty and anti-Semitism in the Russian Empire, Romania and Austria-Hungary and transformed American Jewish life. By fostering the rise of a Jewish working class in the garment trades and other industries, these immigrants reshaped the labor movement and left-wing politics in America. By 1930, the Jewish comunities’ numbers rose to over 4 million, or about 3.5% of the US population.1
- 18691Collection TypeMuseum Holdings
In Cincinnati, Isaac Mayer Wise founds Hebrew Union College, Reform Judaism’s rabbinical seminary.Collection TypeBook
- 18811Collection TypeArchival
The Statue of Liberty unveiled in New York Harbor. Emma Lazarus’s sonnet “The New Colossus” (1883) is added to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.Collection TypeMuseum Holdings
- 18901Collection TypeArchival
The American Jewish Historical Society is established.Collection TypeArchival
The Jewish Daily Forward (Forverts), a Yiddish daily newspaper, is founded in New York by Abraham Cahan (1860-1951).Collection TypeBook
Solomon Schechter comes from England to America to head the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.Collection TypeBook
Oscar Straus appointed US Secretary of Labor and Commerce, the first Jew to hold a cabinet post.
Irving Berlin writes "Yiddle on Your Fiddle Play Some Ragtime," symbolizing the blending of Yiddish music into the American songbook.Collection TypeArchival
Henrietta Szold founds Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America.Collection TypeArchival
Louis D. Brandeis becomes the first Jewish justice of the Supreme Court.Collection TypeArchival
- 19181Collection TypeArchival
За период между 1870 и 1924, в Соединенные Штаты эмигрировало больше евреев чем за любой другой период, до и после. Подавляющее большинство из них—около 2,5 миллиона— бежало от антисемитизма и нищеты в Российской империи, Румынии и Австро-Венгрии. Они преобразили жизнь американского еврейства. Способствуя росту еврейского рабочего класса в швейной отрасли и других отраслях промышленности, эти иммигранты переформировали движение за права рабочих и левое крыло в американской политике. К 1930 году численность Американской еврейской общины возросло до более 4 миллионов, и составило около 3,5% населения США.11
Barney Dreyfuss World Series creation contract1Collection TypeArchival
- 19241Collection TypeVisual
After Congress ended mass emigration from Eastern and Southern Europe in 1924, for the first time in its history the American Jewish population became predominantly native-born. The children and grandchildren of immigrants entered the mainstream of American life. The rise of Nazi Germany and the disaster of the Holocaust confirmed the Zionism of many American Jews. Most Jewish Americans greeted with enthusiasm the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. By 1950, American Jewry, with five million individuals, was now the largest and most influential Jewish community in the world.11
- 19281Collection TypeMuseum Collection
The first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize, Of Thee I Sing, composed by George Gershwin.Collection TypeArchival
Women's Division of the American Jewish Congress declares a boycott on German goods to protest the Nazi persecution of Jews.Collection TypeArchival
Private investigator and author, Abraham Shoenfeld (1891-1977), who rooted out Jewish crime and criminals for the New York Kehillah, joins the American Jewish Committee to root out anti-Semitism.
- 19431Collection TypeArchival
By the end of World War II, more than half a million American Jews serve in the United States military.Collection TypeArchival
- 19471Collection TypeArchival
President Truman acknowledges the State of Israel.Collection TypeWebsite
- 19531Collection TypeArchival
Hank Greenberg admitted into the Baseball Hall of FameCollection TypeMuseum Holdings
During the Cold War, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed, convicted of having deliverd atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.
Epidemiologist Jonas Salk develops polio vaccine, the first effective weapon to combat the polio scourge.
Irving Berlin introduces his song “God Bless America”
The late 20th century found Jews more ensconced in the American mainstream than ever before. The turbulence of the 1960s and 1970s, however, saw Jews bring the student, civil rights, and anti-war militancy to bear on their own movements in support of Israel, and for the liberation of Soviet, Syrian, and Ethiopian Jews. The sixties counterculture also fostered an increased diversity in religious observance--the Havurah and Jewish Revival movements for some and a return to traditional Orthodoxy and Hasidism for others. The freedom to choose or create one’s own way of being Jewish and American remains vital after 360 years.11
Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles Dodger pitcher, named the National League’s Most Valuable Player1Collection TypeMuseum Holdings
Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry founded, following a march to protest Soviet anti-Jewish policies.Collection TypeArchival
The Jewish Defense League (JDL) was formed.Collection TypeArchival
The Friends of Ida Kaminska Foundation, Inc. was formed.Collection TypeArchival
Sally Priesand (b. 1946) ordained, the first female rabbi in America.Collection TypeArchival
- 19771Collection TypeArchival
Rosalyn Sussman Yalow wins Nobel Prize in Medicine for her role in developing radioimmunoassay.
Isaac Bashevis Singer, Polish-born author of Yiddish fiction who immigrated to the US in 1935, awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The Jewish Defense Organization (JDO) breaks away from the Jewish Defense League (JDL) by Mordechai Levy, a former member of the Jewish Defense League.Collection TypeArchival
FJP and UJA merge to form the UJA-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York.Collection TypeArchival
Ira Berkow starts as a sports feature writer and columnist for the New York Times.Collection TypeArchival
- 19891Collection TypeArchival
Stephen Spielberg releases his Oscar-winning film Schindler's List.
The United States Holocaust Museum opens in Washington DC.
- 19971Collection TypeWebsite
The Jewish Community Centers (JCC) Association of the National Jewish Welfare Board begins the Birthright Israel program, which sponsored first-time visits to Israel for American Jews.
Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman named first Jewish vice presidential candidate of a major political party.Collection TypeBook
- 20021Collection TypeArchival
- 20031Collection TypeArchival
AJHS begins soliciting materials and processing the Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement (AASJM) collection.AJHS учреждает Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement (AASJM)—Архив Американского Движения за Права Советский Евреев.Collection TypeWebsite
Family History fairs led by Steven Siegel (1946-2012) attempt to connect the public with genealogy and archives.
Emma Lazarus Award Ceremony honors recipients Kenneth J. Bialkin and Mikhail Gorbachev.Премия имени Эммы Лазарус вручается Кеннету Биалкину и Михаилу Горбачёву.
Processing begins on the four year project to process, arrange, and describe the UJA-Federation of New York Collection1Collection TypeWebsite
- 20121Collection TypeArchival
Monuments Men movie premieres1Collection TypeArchival
К концу 20-го века евреи прочно обосновались в американской массовой культуре. Неспокойные декады 1960х и 1970х с их движениями за студенческие и гражданские права и массовыми антивоенными протестами отразились на еврейских движениях в поддержку Израиля, за освобождение советских, сирийских и эфиопский евреев. Контркультуры шестидесятых способствовали возникновению разнообразия в религиозных обрядах—движения Хавура и еврейское возрождение для одних, возвращение к традиционной ортодоксии и Хасидизм для других. Свобода выбирать или творить свой собственный способ быть одновременно евреем и американцем остается жизненно важной по прошествии 360 лет.11