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Saul Steinberg

Saul Steinberg (1914-1999), cartoonist and graphic designer, born in Ramnicu Sarat, Romania, but later grew up in Bucharest. He studied philosophy at the University of Bucharest, after which he enrolled at the Politehnica in Milan, Italy, where he studied architecture, graduating in 1940. During his stay in Milan he actively contributed to the satirical publication Bertoldo.

Following the introduction of anti-Semitic laws in Italy, Steinberg managed to move to the Dominican Republic hoping to obtain the American visa, during which time he contributed with drawings to numerous foreign publications. In 1942 The New Yorker magazine sponsored his entry into the United States, thus starting a fruitful connection between Steinberg and this publication. For the rest of his life, Steinberg contributed nearly 90 cover drawings and over 1,200 other designs for The New Yorker.  During World War II, Steinberg worked for US military intelligence services, posted in China, North Africa and Italy. At the end of the war he began to work for various American periodicals. A retrospective of his work was exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 1978 and another retrospective, this time after his death, was exhibited at the Institute of Modern Art in Valencia, Spain, in 2002.

Date of birth:
1914
Date of death:
1999
ID Number:
18883315
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
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Related items:
STEINBERG, STEINBERGER, SHTEINBERG, SHTEYNBERG, SHTAINBERG, SHTAYNBERG

Surnames derive from one of many different origins. Sometimes there may be more than one explanation for the same name. This family name is a toponymic (derived from a geographic name of a town, city, region or country). Surnames that are based on place names do not always testify to direct origin from that place, but may indicate an indirect relation between the name-bearer or his ancestors and the place, such as birth place, temporary residence, trade, or family-relatives. It is also an artificial (or ornamental) name (a made-up name often in compound of two words).

Literally "stone mountain" in German, Steinberg is associated with several localities by that name in Germany, near Brody in Galicia, Poland, and Hungary, such as Steinberg near Nuremberg (Nuernberg in German), Bavaria (Germany); Krems, Niederoesterreich (Austria); and Schaffhausen (Switzerland). Kamnik in Slovenia, Yugoslavia, is Stein in German, and the name of a number of places in Poland called Kamien has been translated by Jews into the Yiddish Shteyn. Stein, literally "stone/rock" in German, is an artificial name that is commonly found in Jewish family names as a prefix (Steinberg) or a suffix (Loewenstein). It was translated by Jews into the Yiddish Shteyn. The second component of the name, Berg ("mountain" in German), is found in many German place names. Berg, literally "mountain" in German/Yiddish, is a common artificial name in Jewish surnames, that can be found as a prefix (Bergstein) or a suffix (Goldberg). Jews are known to have lived since the 13th century in the former Duchy and Grand Duchy of Berg in Westphalia. In some cases, Berg is also a Hebrew acronym of Ben Rabi Gershon ("son of Rabbi Gershon").

Steinberg families are recorded in 19th century Russia, Hungary, Romania, Germany, Poland, Lithuania and the U.S.A., one family tree going back to the 14th century.

Distinguished bearers of the Jewish family name Steinberg include Judah Steinberg (1863-1908), the Bessarabian-born classical writer of Hebrew short stories; the 20th century Ukrainian-born Hebrew and Yiddish poet, Jacob Steinberg, and the 20th century Romanian-American cartoonist Saul Steinberg.

Bucharest

Romanian: Bucuresti

Capital of Romania

The historic Jewish district of Bucharest used to be centered around the Choral Temple, and spread from Piata Unirii east towards Dristor. However, most of the Jewish buildings that stood there were destroyed during the 1980s in order to make way for the Bulevardul Unirii. As of 2015, there remain a handful of points of Jewish interest in Bucharest, serving the community of approximately 3,500. The Choral Temple, the Yeshua Tova Synagogue, and the Great Polish Synagogue, continue to hold services; the latter also hosts the city's Holocaust Museum. The Beit Hamidrash Synagogue, which dates back to the late 18th century, is abandoned and decaying, though the structure itself is still (barely) standing. Another abandoned synagogue whose building still stands is the Hevra Amuna (Temple of Faith).

The Jewish History Museum (Muzeul de Istorie a Evreilor din Romania) is located in what was once a synagogue called the Holy Union Temple. The synagogue building itself was constructed in 1836; it began serving as a Jewish history museum in 1978. Mozes Rosen, the chief rabbi of Romania from 1964 until his death in 1994, founded the museum and provided a number of items for its collection.

The State Jewish Theater, which is located in Bucharest, is the oldest uninterrupted Yiddish-language theater in the world. The theater features plays by Jewish playwrights, plays about Jewish topics, and Yiddish plays that run simultaneous Romanian translations through headphones. The theater is located next to the Lauder-Reut Jewish school, which has over 400 students enrolled in its kindergarten, elementary, and middle schools.

HISTORY

The Jewish community of Bucharest was formed both by Sephardic Jews who arrived from the south, chiefly from the Otooman Empire, and later by Ashkenazi Jews arriving from the north. A responsum by the rabbi of Solonika during the 16th century that mentions a Sephardic community is the first documented evidence confirming the presence of Jews in Budapest. The Jewish community began to grow and prosper; some were even the creditors of the ruling princes. This economic success, however, eventually came at a steep price (pun intended); when Prince Michael the Brave revolved against the Turks in November 1593, he ordered that his creditors be killed, among whom were a number of Jews.

Ahskenazi Jews began arriving and establishing their own community towards the middle of the 17th century, drawn there after fleeing the Khmielnitski Massacres taking place in Ukraine. Their numbers grew, and eventually the Ashkenazi community became larger than the Sephardic community. For tax purposes, the Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities were organized into a single community by the state, and were forced to pay a fixed tax to the treasury. Meanwhile, the general population, afraid of economic competition, was intensely hostile towards the Jews. In 1793 residents of the suburb Razvan petitioned Prince Alexander Moruzi to expel the Jews who had recently settled in the area and to demolish the synagogue that they had built. Though the prince ordered that the synagogue be closed, he did not remove the Jews from Razvan and, in fact, issued a decree confirming his protection of them. In 1801 there were anti-Jewish riots following blood libel accusations, and 128 Jews were killed or wounded.

In 1819 Prince Alexandru Sutu officially acknowledged both the Sephardic ("Spanish") and Ashkenazi ("Polish") communities, allowing them to operate as separate entities. This continued until 1949 when the Communist regime once again forced the two communities to join together. By 1832 there were 10 Ashkenazi and one Sephardi synagogues in Bucharest. The Great Synagogue, which was Ashkenazi, was dedicated on Rosh Hashanah, 1847.

In spite of the impressive Great Synagogue, the Ashkenazi community of Bucharest had to deal with a number of fissures and tensions during the 19th century. There were tensions between those were born in Romania, and those who immigrated to Bucharest, who were not under the same system of taxation as the native Romanians. This led the immigrants within the Jewish community, who were considered "foreign subjects" to refuse to pay the tax levied on kosher meat. This was a problem, as this tax constituted the sole income of the community council. The authorities, who were drawn into the conflict, at first upheld the traditional rights of the Jewish communal organization. However, following repeated complaints from both sides, as well as constitutional changes that took place in Romania in 1832, the community was given a new constitution that greatly curtailed its autonomy. Instead of operating autonomously, it fell under the direct authority and close supervision of the municipality. Eventually, in 1851, the Prussian and Austrian subjects (about 300 families) were officially permitted to found a separate community.

The increasing influence of the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment), also led to tensions within the Ashkenazi community. It is important to note that this conflict also reflected the economics of the community; those in favor of the Haskalah and who wanted the community to undertake more progressive reforms tended to be from the upper classes, while those who were more traditional tended to be further down the socioeconomic ladder. At that time, the Bucharest Ashkenazi community was torn by strife between the Orthodox and progressive factions. The controversy began to center around a school with a modern curriculum that opened in 1852, as well as the proposal in 1857, led by Ya'akov Lobel, to build a Choral Temple, that would incorporate modern ideas and principles into its services. The appointment of Rabbi Meir Leib Malbim in 1858 as the chief rabbi did not help quell the disputes. Malbim was a fierce and uncompromising opponent of the Reform movement, and he quickly made enemies among Bucharest's Jewish elite. The conflicts between Malbim and those who were in favor of the Reform Movement came to a head in 1862, when Malbim was arrested. He was freed only after Sir Moses Montefiore intervened, and on the condition that he leave Romania. The Choral Synagogue was completed in 1867, and became the center for the modernists of the community.

Among the most prominent spiritual and religious leaders of the community before World War I were Antoine Levy and Moritz (Meir) Beck, who were rabbis of the Choir Temple Congregation from 1867 to 1869 and 1873 to 1923, respectively. Other outstanding figures within the Choir Temple community were Iuliu Barasch and Yitzchak Leib Weinberg. Yitzchak Esiik Taubes was the rabbi of the Orthodox Congregation from 1894 until 1921. The most prominent lay leader was Adolf Stern. Moscu Asher led the Sephardic community, and Rabbi Hayim Bejarano was a noted scholar and poet. Later, the lawyer and politician Wilhelm Filderman would become the president of the Union of Romanian Jews, and Rabbi Jacob Isaac Niemirower would be the country's first chief rabbi. Filderman, in fact, would in 1941 work successfully to annul the decree forcing Jews to wear an identifying badge.

Between the two World Wars the Bucharest community grew in both numbers and importance. The Jewish population of the city, which had become the capital of Greater Romania and attracted immigrants from all parts of the country, increased from 44,000 in 1912 to 74,480 (12% of the total population) in 1930 and 95,072 in 1940. Most Jews worked as artisans, merchants, clerks, and bankers. Others were active in professions such as medicine and law. Several ironworks and foundries were established by the end of the 19th century. Major Jewish business leaders at that time included Leon Abramovici, Sigmund Prager, and Adolph Solomon.

There were a number of Jewish schools in Bucharest, particularly at the turn of the 20th century. Among the most influential was the abovementioned school established in 1852 by Yisrael Pick and Naftali Popper. These founders sought to imbue their school with the Haskalah principles that they believed in, and the school became extremely influential on Jewish education in Romania. There were also vocational institutions serving Jewish workers, including the Ciocanul (Hammer) school which trained Jewish craft workers.

Communal institutions included over 40 synagogues, two cemeteries, 19 schools, a library and museum, two hospitals, a clinic, two homes for the elderly, and two orphanages. There was also a B'nai B'rith, as long as a number of social and cultural organizations serving the community. A number of newspapers also served the community; the first Jewish newspaper, "Israelitul roman," was founded in 1855 and written in Romanian and French. Other publications included "Fraternitatea," "Revista Israelita," "Egalitatea," and "Curierul Israelit." Yiddish and Hebrew language publications included "Et LeDaber," "HaYoetz," and the Zionist newspapers "Mantuirea" and "Hasmonaea." A Yiddish theater was established in the late 1870s, and reached its peak during the interwar period. This theater would later be banned under Ion Antonescu.

Anti-Semitism continued to be a problem for the Jews of Bucharest. In 1866 the visit of Adolph Cremieux, a French lawyer who advocated for the political emancipation of the Jews, resulted in Jewish synagogues and shops being vandalized. The rise of prominence of nationalist leader Alexandru C. Cuza spurred the development of a number of anti-Semitic organizations, many of which were centered at Bucharest University.

In September 1940, with the rise of the Antonescu-Iron Guard coalition, Bucharest became one of the new regime's main centers of the anti-Jewish activities. This culminated in a pogrom during the rebellion of the Legionary Movement; 120 Jews were killed, thousands were arrested and tortured, synagogues were desecrated, and Jewish homes, shops, and community buildings were looted and destroyed.

Until the end of the Antonescu regime in August 1944, the Jews of Bucharest were subjected anti-Semitic legislation and persecution. Jews were legally downgraded to second-class citizens. They could no longer access state-funded education or health care, and their property was confiscated. These restrictions had major economic effects on the community: in 1942 only 27.2% of the city's Jewish population of about 100,000 were registered as employed, compared with 54.3% of the non-Jewish population. In September 1942 several hundred Jews were deported to Transnistria, where many eventually perished. Thousands of other Jews, particularly the young, were required to work as forced laborers.

The lack of access to education, combined with the growing poverty of the Jewish community, spurred the need for the community to greatly expand their own educational and social welfare activities. In 1943 the Jewish community ran 27 schools and 21 soup kitchens. Bucharest became the center of relief activities for Romanian Jews.

The Jews of Bucharest were saved after Antonescu was deposed on August 23, 1944 and German forces were not able to entering the city. Though Adolf Eichmann had begun making preparations to deport Romania's Jews, the fierce opposition on the part of the Romanian army, coupled with the entry of the Soviet Army on August 30, 1944, prevented any of these plans from being carried out.

After World War II, large numbers of Jewish refugees and concentration camp survivors began arriving in the city; by 1947 the Jewish population had grown to 150,000. The Communist regime, which came to power in 1947, gradually closed all Jewish national, cultural, and social institutions in Bucharest. The welfare institutions were nationalized and the schools were absorbed into the general educational network. A state Yiddish school was opened in 1949, but closed a few years later. A State Yiddish Theater was founded in 1948 and a Yiddish drama school was established in 1957. Two Jewish newspapers, the Romanian "Unirea," followed later by "Viata Novua" and the Yiddish "Ikuf Bleter" were published. Of the 44,202 Jews (3.6% of the total population) registered in the city in the 1956 census, 4,425 of them declared Yiddish to be their mother tongue. In spite of the difficulties in living under a Communist regime, Rabbi Mozes Rosen was able to successfully navigate the opaque policies of the Romanian government, allowing Bucharest to continue to serve as the center of Jewish communal and cultural life.

The rise of Nicolae Ceausescu, who was the dictator of Romania between 1965 and 1989, prompted mass emigrations to Israel. In 1969 it was estimated that there were 50,000 Jews living in Bucharest; by the turn of the 21st century there were only about 4,000.

Milan

A city in Lombardy, north Italy

The presence of Jews in Milan in the Roman period is attested by three Jewish inscriptions, two of which refer to "father of the community." In 388, Ambrose, bishop of Milan, expressed regret for failing to lead his congregation in burning down the synagogue which instead had been destroyed "by act of God". It was soon rebuilt, but about 507 was sacked by the Christian mob, whose action was condemned by the Ostrogothic ruler Theodoric. The community presumably continued in existence, though there is little evidence in succeeding centuries except for vague references to Jewish merchants and farmers in the tenth century. With the spread of Jewish communities through northern Italy in the 13th century that of Milan was also revived, but in 1320 the Podesta issued a decree expelling the Jews. In 1387 duke Gian Galeazzo Visconti granted privileges to the Jews in the whole of Lombardy; these were confirmed by Francesco Sforza and his successors. When in 1452 pope Nicholas V approved the Jewish right of residence in the duchy, he specifically authorized the construction of a synagogue in Milan. Pope Pius II demanded a levy of one-fifth on the possessions of the Jews to subsidize a crusade (1459), but was opposed by duke Francesco Sforza. In 1489, under Ludovico il Moro, the Jews were expelled from the entire duchy. They were soon readmitted, except to Milan itself where a Jew could only stay for three days. Similar conditions continued under the last Sforza dukes and after 1535, when the duchy of Milan came under Spanish rule. In 1541 emperor Charles V confirmed that Jews were allowed to live in various towns of the territory, but not in Milan. Thus, when the Jews were finally expelled in 1597, there were none in Milan itself. In 1714, when Lombardy came under Austrian rule, Jews began to return to Milan, and by the middle of the 19th century they numbered approximately 500; a synagogue was built in 1840. In 1848 some were active in the rising against Austrian rule. In 1859 Milan became a part of the new Italian kingdom, and the Jews received full rights.

Because of the great commercial and industrial development around Milan which now followed, the city became a center of attraction for new immigrants. In 1900, 2,000 Jews resided there and in 1931, 6,490.

After Hitler assumed power many refugees arrived from central and eastern European countries; this flow continued illegally during the first years of war. About 800 Jews were deported from Milan during the war. Many were captured and killed by the Germans in the towns and villages where they had taken refuge. During the autumn of 1943, the Germans carried out an anti-Jewish raid, in the course of which the community synagogue was destroyed.

At the end of the war, 4,484 Jews were living in Milan and were joined temporarily by many refugees from camps in Lombardy. A number of Jewish immigrants came to Italy after 1949 from Egypt and, to a lesser degree, from other Arab countries; 4% came from Israel. The Jewish population of Milan in 1965 was 8,488 persons out of a total of 1,670,000 inhabitants, with the Sephardi and oriental element predominating. After the Six-Day War (1967), some 3,000 Jews, who fled persecution in Egypt, and above all in Libya, sought temporary refuge in Italy. Assimilation was widespread, especially among the Italian element, with the proportion of mixed marriages fluctuating around 50%. The general socioeconomic status of the community was middle class or upper-middle class, with the characteristic concentration in the wholesale and export-import business.
The community of Milan has a Hebrew school with about 1,000 students. Beside the central synagogue, which follows the Italian rite, there are seven other synagogues and houses of prayer of Italian, oriental, Persian, and Ashkenazi rites, as well as a rest home for elderly people. In 1967 there were 8,700 Jews in Milan, making the community the second in importance in Italy.

Dominican Republic

A Caribbean state that occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island of Hispaniola.

Estimated Jewish population in 2018: 100 out of 10,000,000 inhabitants. (0.001%). 

The Treaty of Ryswick in 1697 granted the western part of Hispaniola (Haiti) to France, and the eastern part (Santo Domingo, later known as the Dominican Republic) to Spain. In 1795 Spain ceded its part of the island to France, only to retake it in 1808. Santo Domingo was occupied by Haiti between 1822 and 1844; in 1844 Santo Domingo declared its independence and became the Dominican Republic (the Dominican Republic's independence was not recognized by Haiti until 1874). Both Spain and the United States subsequently occupied the Dominican Republic; the country has been fully independent since 1924.

Since 2008 there has been a Chabad in Santo Domingo offering visitors kosher food options and Shabbat services.

Weekly services are held on Friday night in Sousa's synagogue, though there is rarely a minyan. Rabbi Ancel Solomon, a rabbi from Toronto, spends half the year in Sousa to serve the local Jewish community.

Many Jews from the Dominican Republic have left for Florida, seeking a higher standard of living.

HISTORY

During the 16th century a Spanish policy developed of sending Conversos (Jewish converts to Christianity as a result of the Inquisition) to Santo Domingo; indeed, some historians believe that during the colonial period the majority of people living in Santo Domingo were Conversos.

Between 1781 and 1785 a number of Jews came to Santo Domingo from the Dutch island of St. Eustatius. Others arrived from Curacao, St. Thomas, and Jamaica during the French occupation. More Jews came from Haiti after the slave rebellion. The vast majority of these immigrants maintained their foreign citizenship as Dutch, British, or Danish nationals.

Though no organized community was established during the period of Haitian occupation (1822-1844), the Jews of Santo Dominto nonetheless thrived. They lived in the capital, Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, Monte Christi, La Vega, and San Pedro de Macoris. Most worked as exporters of tobacco, timber, and jewelry. Marriages were performed by Rafael Namias Curiel, who was also a cantor. The Jews were also warmly received by the local population, and seen as patriotic and productive. The children of most of these immigrants ultimately assimilated almost completely with the local population. Their descendants were among the most prominent figures in the history of the Dominican Republic, including President Francisco Henriquez y Carvajal (1859-1935).

The Dominican Republic was one of the few countries prepared to accept large-scale Jewish immigration before and during World War II. At the Evian Conference on refugees, which was organized by US President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938, the Dominican Republic offered to accept up to 100,000 Jewish refugees. The Dominican Republic Settlement Association Inc. (DORSA) acquired 22,230 acres of land in Sousa (on the northern coast) from President Rafael Trujillo and the American Jewish Joint agricultural Corp. (Agro-Joint) heavily subsidized the project. The eventual agreement signed by DORSA and the Dominican Republic assured the immigrants freedom of religion and eased immigration by offering tax and customs exemptions.

It is estimated that approximately 5,000 visas were actually issued. While these visas allowed their recipients to escape the Holocaust, most of those who received the visas ultimately never reached the Dominican Republic; travel proved to be extremely difficult, especially for Jews from occupied countries. On the eve of World War II there were 40 Jews in the Dominican Republic. The first immigrants arrived in the middle of 1940 and by 1942 the Jewish population was 472. By 1947 a total of 705 Jews had made their way to the Dominican Republic. Though the project was intended to promote agricultural development, few of the Jewish immigrants were inclined towards agriculture. Indeed, of the 373 Jews living in Sousa in July 1947, only 166 were engaged in agriculture. The rest worked as businessmen and artisans.

The census of 1950 indicates that the Jewish population was 463. In 1968 there were approximately 150 Jews remaining in Sosua the surrounding area, about 100 in Santo Domingo, with another 30 in Santiago and other areas. Santo Domingo and Sousa each had one synagogue. Jewish communal life centered around the Comite Central de los Judios de la Republica Dominicana.

An Israeli embassy was established in the Dominican Republic in 1964, six months after the Dominicans inaugurated their embassy in Jerusalem.The Dominican ambassador to the United Nations, Max Henriquez Urena, who himself was the descendent of a marriage between a Jewish father and a Converso mother, gave the welcoming speech when Israel was admitted to the United Nations in 1949.

In 1997 there were approximately 250 Jews living in the Dominican Republic, most of whom lived in Santo Domingo. There was also a smaller community in Sosua. The population did not change between 1997 and 2004.

New York City

The largest urban Jewish community in history; metropolitan area population 11,448,480 (1970), metropolitan area Jewish population 2,381,000 (1968), of which 1,836,000 live in the city itself.

The New York Jewish settlement began in 1654 with the arrival of 23 Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews from Recife, Brazil (a Dutch possession) who were defending the city from Portuguese attack. The director general of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant, did not welcome the Jews. They protested to their coreligionists in the Dutch West India company and privileges were granted them. However, they were not allowed to build a synagogue.

The surrender of New Amsterdam to the British in 1664 brought a number of changes to the Jewish settlement.

Generally, civil and religious rights were widened, Jews were permitted to hold and be elected to public office, and restrictions on the building of a synagogue were lifted.

"Shearit Israel", the first congregation in New York, was probably organized in 1706. Between 1729 and 1730, the congregation erected the first synagogue. During this period, the Jewish merchant took a major interest in the business of overseas trade. Jews were the first to introduce cocoa and chocolate to England and were heavily engaged in the coral, textile, and slave trades, and at times had virtual monopolies in the ginger trade.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Jews represented between 1% and 2% of the total New York City population and in 1701, it is estimated that Jews comprised 12% of all businessmen who engaged in foreign trade.

The advent of the American revolution found the Jewish community divided. Some were supporters of the American cause, while others supported the British. The end of the revolution brought many distinct changes. Civil liberties, which were often a matter of governmental whim under the English, became part of the New York State constitution. Opportunities were expanded and new fields opened. One of the distinctive changes in post-war New York was Jewish involvement in the political life of the community, perhaps best seen in the career of Mordecai Manuel Noah, who was High Sheriff of New York in 1821.

The period after the revolutionary war also saw the proliferation of congregational organizations and divisions within the Jewish community as well as mutual aid societies and Landsmannshaften. There were also numerous fraternal orders founded, the most important being the independent order B'nai B'rith, founded in 1843. In 1852, "Jews' hospital" was founded, which later became known as Mount Sinai.

Beginning in the 1870's and continuing for half a century, great migration from Eastern Europe radically altered the demography, social structure, cultural life, and communal order of New York Jewry. During this period, more than 1,000,000 Jews settled in the city. They were overwhelmingly Yiddish speaking and impoverished. On their arrival, East European Jews found a Jewish settlement dominated by a group strikingly different in its cultural background, social standing, and communal outlook. By the 1870's, this older settlement had become middle class in outlook, mercantile in its economic base, and reform in group identity. In 1870, the less affluent and those whose occupations required it lived in the Southern Ward of the Lower East Side, while the German Jews moved half way up the East Side of Manhattan. The relocation of synagogues and the establishment of other Jewish institutions underscored this process of removal and social differentiation, thus dividing the Jewish populace into "uptown" and "downtown" Jews.

In the decade after the civil war, fathers and sons entered the dry-goods business and transformed their establishments Bloomingdale's, Altman's, Macy's, Stern's, Gimbel's, and Abraham and Strauss. A significant number of German Jews entered the field of investment banking. They also played a central role as entrepreneurs in the city's growing ready-made clothing industry. In 1888, of 241 such clothing manufacturers, 234 were Jewish. The immigrant Jews entered the apparel trade in great numbers because it was close at hand, required little training, and allowed the congeniality of working with one's own kind.

During the 1901-1909 period, the groundwork was laid for the emergence of an aggressive, responsible, and progressive Jewish labor movement. The socialist newspaper, "Forward", was developing into the most widely read Yiddish daily and became a major educational medium for the Jewish working class. The "uprising of the 20,000" - a strike of the waistmakers, mostly young women - in the fall of 1909, was followed by the "great revolt" of the cloakmakers a half year later. These strikes increased the numbers and stability of the international ladies garment workers' union (I.L.G.W.U.).

During the last third of the 19th century, the established community built - in addition to imposing temples - a number of large and progressive philanthropic institutions.

Two developments of major significance for the future course of orthodoxy in New York took place between 1910 and movement and in the year 1915 Yeshivat Etz Chaim and the Rabbi Elchanan theological seminary united.

The sharp rise in immigration after 1903 underscored the need for more rational use of the resources and communal wealth which the community possessed. Some downtown leaders recognized the ineffectualness of their own institutions.

In both sectors of the community, the alienation of the younger generation from Judaism and Jewish life was viewed with alarm. These concerns led to the development of the short-lived New York Kehillah, an attempt to create a united community structure. The immediate catalyst was the accusation of the New York police commissioner in 1908 that 50% of the criminals in the city were Jews. Led by Judah Magnus, a coalition of representative leaders established the Kehillah as a federation of Jewish organizations in 1909. Magnus served as chairman until its demise in 1922. The establishment in 1917 of the federation for the support of Jewish philanthropies proved more lasting than the Kehillah.

The Yiddish speaking masses who settled in New York created a rich and varied cultural life. Between 1872 and 1917, 150 journals in Yiddish appeared. The Yiddish theater reinforced the press.

During the 1920's, the New York Jewish unions entered areas of activity never previously known to U.S. trade unions. They conducted large scale adult education, health clinics, a bank, summer resorts, built modern urban housing, and generously subsidized struggling trade unions.

Jews constituted 51% of enrollment in the city's academic high schools in 1931, and 49.6% of the city's college and university students in 1935. Also by the 1930's, over half the city's doctors, lawyers, dentists, and public school teachers were Jews.

As the largest single ethnic group, Jews were a highly important factor in the political life of the city. In no other city could Jews as a group weigh so heavily in politics or were real or alleged Jewish political interest reckoned with so carefully.

In 1967, there were 539 orthodox, 184 conservative, 93 reform, and five unclassified synagogues known in Greater New York; all but 163 of the total were within the city's boundaries. Actual synagogue affiliation tended to be low, however. The city's conservative congregations leaned close to orthodoxy in which most of their members and leaders, at least before 1950, had been raised. The Jewish Theological Seminary is the focal institution of the conservatives and exercised broad spiritual influence in the Jewish and general community. Jewish education in New York followed nationwide trends in the slow disappearance of the Cheder, the rise and decline of the communal Talmud Torahs, and Yiddish schools in the period from 1915 to 1950.

The city of New York is home to the largest Jewish population in the entire United States. Behind the central districts of Israel, New York City has the highest number of Jews in any metropolitan area in the world. By 2013 there was approximately 1.5 – 1.7 million Jews living throughout New York City, accounting for nearly 18% of the city’s total population (8.3 million).

Serving the Jewish people of New York City are several organizations. Many of these focus on Jewish religious practice, healthcare, education and family services. Throughout the city’s five boroughs are many foundations which support local communities and advocate for Jewish and Israeli causes. Some of the major organizations include UJA Federation of New York, The Jewish Communal Fund, The World Jewish Congress, The American Jewish Congress, AJC (Global Jewish Advocacy), The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and COJECO, the Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations. There are additionally many local organizations that specialize in the needs of their respective communities, such as the Bensonhurst Council of Jewish Organizations, which is the oldest in New York City, the Bronx Jewish Community Council, the Crown Heights Community Council, the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush, and the Boro Park Community council.

Found across New York City are hundreds of synagogues, representing nearly every movement within Judaism. While the majority of these are in permanent buildings, some are held in temporary places. Many of these are not found in directories. There is an estimated 50 Orthodox synagogues, 8 Conservative, 17 Reform, 2 Reconstructionist and 5-7 which are unaffiliated with any particular movement. Among the wide range of Jewish educational services, are more than 350 private Jewish day schools which serve over 140,000 students. These include 191 high schools, 247 elementary schools and 159 preschools. Outside of school are many programs for Jewish youth, such as the Bnei Akiva Religious Zionist Youth Movement, Friends of Israel Scouts (Tzofim) and Young Judea.

New York City is well known for its numerous cultural institutions and museums. Many are internationally known and visited by thousands every year. Among those of which are culturally focused, are several Jewish museums and Holocaust memorials, such as the Anne Frank Center (USA), Bernard Museum of Judaica, and The Center for Jewish History. Other museums include the Derfner Judaica Museum, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Jewish Museum (New York), Living Torah Museum, Yeshiva University Museum and the Jewish Children’s Museum. New York City also has many Jewish cultural centers including the JCC Manhattan, YIVO (Institute for Jewish Research), the Leo Baeck Institute, the American Jewish Historical Society and the American Sephardi Federation.

Significant Jewish immigration began in the late 1800s with major waves taking place between 1881 and 1945. Additional waves of Jewish immigration began following the establishment of the State of Israel. During the 1950s and 1960s as many as 300,000 Israelis immigrated to the United States. Israeli Immigration continued throughout the 1970s and has ever since. By 2000, approximately 30,000 Israeli Jews were living in New York City. The Israeli community is well known for its entrepreneurship, having opened many startups and branches of existing Israeli businesses. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, new waves of Jewish immigrants began arriving to New York City. In the 1980s and 1990s, the city’s Jewish population was greatly augmented by the Jews of Eastern and Central Europe and the Caucasus region. These included the Georgian and Bukharian communities as well as Ashkenazi Jews from the Baltic Republics, Moldova and the Ukraine. In 2012, the more than 350,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union in New York City were Jewish.

Over generations, Jews have developed various communities throughout New York City creating several Jewish enclaves. Boro Park in Brooklyn for example is home to the largest Orthodox community in the world. Other notable Jewish neighborhoods include Crown Heights, Flatbush, Williamsburg and Midwood Brooklyn, Forest Hills and Fresh Meadows Queens, the Upper East and Upper West Side as well as Lower East Side in Manhattan, and the predominantly Hasidic neighborhoods of Willowbrook, New Springville, Eltingville and New Brighton.

Serving these neighborhoods as well as the rest of New York are several hospitals and health care facilities which were established by the Jewish community. In addition to Mount Sinai, one of New York’s oldest and largest hospitals, are several medical centers including Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, the Montefiore Medical Center, Beth Israel Medical Center, Maimonides Medical Center, the Sephardic Bikur Holim, Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Jewish Home Life Care, and the Hebrew Home for the aged. Found throughout these Jewish neighborhoods are many historic landmarks. In some cases, the neighborhoods themselves are the landmarks. The Lower East Side is a perfect example. Others include historic synagogues such as the Kehila Kedosha Janina, the only Romaniote (Greek) synagogue in the entire western hemisphere, or the Eldridge Street Synagogue, the first Eastern European Orthodox synagogue. Another group of landmarks include famous restaurants like Katz’s Delicatessen and Streit’s Matzo Company.

Since early Jewish immigration, New York City’s Jewish leaders developed foundations to keep medical centers like communal organizations alive. A number of Jewish Federations are overseen by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Other funding and support come from organizations like the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life, the Jewish Communal Fund, Hadassah, Yeshiva University and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Being a community that numbers nearly 2 million, the Jews of New York City enjoy several Jewish media outlets, including radio and print news. Notable periodicals include the Jewish Week and the Jewish Post of New York. Others include the Manhattan Jewish Sentinel, the Long Island Jewish World and Five Towns Jewish Times. There is even a Yiddish language newspaper known as The Jewish Daily Forward.