We tell it like it is, and like it was in the seventeenth century when great, great, great, (etc.) Grandpa Shmuel stepped off a boat from a shtetl in Russia, or a large city in Spain, to find himself on barely-paved streets where people speaking languages he’d never heard before traded goods, animals and, to his great shock, human beings. He arrived with some money, or none, with an education, or none, and with skills that were valuable in his hometown but irrelevant here or, if he was exceptionally lucky -- with skills that could be put to immediate use...
NMAJH exists to recount the story of how the Jews who migrated to America from around the world became today’s Jewish Americans.
What challenges and what blessings awaited our ancestors? What resources did they tap, what courage did they muster, what barriers did they overturn, as they evolved into one of America’s most visible and multi-faceted immigrant communities?
Every immigration story you’ll encounter in our galleries is different, but they add up to one conclusion: Neither the Jews nor their adopted country would ever be the same.