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The Forerunners: Dutch Jewry in the North American Diaspora

Author: Robert P. Swierenga
Subject: Jewish Studies
Source: WayneOPEN
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Between 1800 and 1880 approximately 6500 Dutch Jews immigrated to the United States to join the hundreds who had come during the colonial era. Although they numbered less than one-tenth of all Dutch immigrants and were a mere fraction of all Jews in America, the Dutch Jews helped build American Jewry and did so with a nationalistic flair. Like the other Dutch immigrant group, the Jews demonstrated the salience of national identity and the strong forces of ethnic, religious, and cultural institutions. They immigrated in family migration chains, brought special job skills and religious traditions, and founded at least three ethnic synagogues led by Dutch rabbis.

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