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The Jewish People

By 1800, there were two clear Jewish communities in America, the Sephardic and the Ashkenazic. The Ashkenazic Jews were a part of the colonial Jewish economy and community. They were Jews from Poland and Germany who had organized a congregation in Amsterdam by 1635. From there, several joined the Iberian Jews as they moved to North America. More followed in the eighteenth century. Larger Sephardic communities had already been established. There were some tensions between the two groups because their rituals, liturgies, and Hebrew pronunciations differed, as did their vernaculars, Ladino and Yiddish. They had a shared heritage, however, which drew them together (14-15).

As noted, the two primary Jewish groups were the Sephardic and Ashkenazic jews. The Sephardic Jews were originally Dutch, while the Ashkenazic jews were form Germany and Eastern Europe. Many of the smaller Jewish groups along the Eastern seaboard had to rely on Sephardic Jews in Europe for funding to build synagogues. German Jewish settlers tended to become peddlers.

The Jewish population increased so that there were five synagogues in Cincinnati by 1855, and other inland cities as well experienced an increase in population so that there would be satellite communities in these cities. Jewish settlers expanded into the South and Far West. Inland cities saw an increase in their Jewish population.

By 1910, the Jewish population constituted 1.38 percent of the total American population and 9.91 percent of the world population of Jews.

Most Jews in 1910 lived in urban centers in cities like New York and Chicago. In New York, they constituted the city's largest


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The Jewish People. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:49, August 20, 2017, from
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