L323 Fall 2019 Russian Jewish Immigration to the United States: My Heritage, My Story
Wednesdays, 9:40 – 11:05, Oct. 16 – Nov. 13, Thursday, 9:40 - 11:05, Nov. 14
Note day of last session
Instructor: Mark Weinstein
“??????? E???? ?????????? ? ???” means “Russian Jews Immigration to the USA.” This course is presented by a third-generation American of Russian Jewish heritage. Much of the material comes from conversations with grandparents, curiosity, and ongoing study. Immigration is currently a hot subject, but unless you are a Native American, you also come from immigrant stock. Why did middle eastern Jews settle in large numbers in eastern Europe in the first place? What was life like for them there? Why did more than two million leave from 1880 to 1924? They were not the first Jews to arrive in America; the first were middle-class Austro-German Jews who began immigrating in the 1830s and who were already here when the impoverished Russian Jews arrived. How did our Russian ancestors get here, where did they first settle, how did they earn a living, and how did they interact with the earlier Austro-German Jews and the American community at large? This demographic triggered new federal laws in 1924 that severely and specifically targeted them and limited their immigration. But this isn’t the whole story; post-WWII there were two smaller Russian waves. Woven into the narrative are my family’s and my own history in America, “The Promised Land.”
Mark Weinstein, an OLLI member, is a retired electrical engineer and a docent at both Smithsonian Air and Space Museums. He has presented OLLI courses covering aviation and technology. He is a history buff, a news junkie, and is intrigued by technology. In his wild impetuous single days he flew a Piper Tri-Pacer.