East Side/East End: Eastern European Jews in London and New York, 1870-1920

Synopsis

This book is a comparative study of similar people in different environments at the same point in time. The six chapters discuss why eastern European Jews came to London and New York, the differences and similarities in the settlement process, the schools they found and the use they made of them, and the mobility they achieved. The study concludes that individual and societal conditions made it impossible for more than a small proportion of the generation that grew to maturity before the first world war to use schooling as a road to the middle class. In general, the Russian and Polish Jews who came to New York reached the middle class sooner than those who remained in London and thus can be said to have made the better choice.