Immigration Matters: Jews, Other Immigrants and America

Immigration Matters: Jews, Other Immigrants and America

All Day Conference

Co-sponsored with the Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History at New York University

Sunday, March 31, 2019, 11:00 am

Free and Open to the Public, RSVP Required at

Join us for an all-day conference on immigration in historical and contemporary perspectives. Immigration made America and its Jews. The move towards restriction and the aftermath of the 1920s legislation left long shadows across the history of both the nation and the Jews of the world. This day-long symposium will examine the efforts exerted by American Jews to prevent, roll-back, and resist immigration restriction. Beginning in the early twentieth century, as the forces in favor of restriction began to gather political clout, American Jews, on their own and in conjunction with allies, including other immigrant groups, sought ways to protest and soften restriction. After 1924 they likewise attempted to circumvent and then rewrite the racially-based laws. Historians will explore the Jewish stake in immigration as an historical matter and will in the course of that exploration ask about the contemporary moment as immigration once again roils the political landscape. Speakers include: Maddalena Marinari, Joel Perlmann, Randi Storch, Libby Garland, Geraldine Gudefin, Heather Lee, Hasia Diner, and Carl Bon Tempo.

See the Full Conference Schedule Here.

Currently on display at the Center for Jewish History, the exhibition When The Door Closed, They Carried the Torch addresses advocacy in the age of Immigration restriction, exploring how Jewish individuals and organizations continued to help immigrants in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. The exhibition showcases unique materials from the Max James Kohler Papers, the collection of the National Council for Jewish Women, and more. The AJHS has recently finished processing the records of the organization HIAS – The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the organization that helped families immigrate and resettle in the US since 1881.