“A Year in the Life: The Oregon Jewish Immigrant Experience”
Sample text from Chaim’s story:
Chaim begins to settle into his new life in Portland. He likes living with his cousins and is glad to meet other immigrants who have come from Poland and other European countries, just like he has. Some aspects of life, like speaking English and learning his way around town, are difficult, and Chaim sometimes feels lost in this new place. Some things are more familiar, and certain foods help Portland feel more like home.
Sample text from the Teacher’s Guide:
The Eastern European immigrants that began arriving around 1900 became the core of the Portland Jewish community. Settling at the southern end of the center of Portland’s downtown, they formed a nearly self-sufficient community that lasted in this form for more than fifty years. Everything–a kosher shopping district, five synagogues and a community center–contributed to a lively Jewish culture that intermixed with other immigrant groups who also lived in South Portland.
By the time Congress passed the Immigration Act in 1924, severely limiting all immigration to the United States, Oregon Jews were working mostly as merchants and storekeepers or in family networks. Although they faced discriminatory practices in country clubs and certain residential areas, for the most part acceptance came easily. Following World War II, as shifts in economic mobility provided more occupational choices, Jews gained access to the middle class and positions in the non-Jewish world in professions such as doctors, lawyers, and upper level managers.