Ellis Island Visual Project. RUSSIA. Map Continued. Origin of Ethnic Group. Many Jewish Russians came to the U.S. in the late 19 th century early 20 th century to avoid persecution and their economic problems.
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1880 - 1928
Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union 1928-1953
Russian Jewish immigrants, 1911
---Did not necessarily expect streets of gold, but there were other more reasonable expectations:
---Spoke of higher wages, many available jobs, and easier land to acquire than in their former country.
---They had heard about poor factories and living conditions from letters, so knew that wouldn’t be too good
---Russian nobles and intellectuals expected respect, even while not in native country
The Golden Door?
Term “Golden Door” came from words inscribed on Statue of Liberty:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
---Allured by Declaration of Independence and message of “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”
---Attracted by promise of religious and political liberties in Pennsylvania and other states
Russian immigrants brought with them several trades and crafts that would enrich life in the United States
Few Russian groups refused to assimilate into American culture, so many did not keep their traditional crafts and lifestyle.
Russians tended to follow trades similar to what they had done in Russia: sewing, tailoring, other non-industrial jobs
A Russian man sells traditional Russian crafts.
A family assembles pieces of clothing
Russian Immigrants usually unskilled laborers enjoyed to represent their Elite Culture, which they left behind.
They wished to fondly remember their homeland's entertainments such as Plays and Theatre.
Immigrants longing to express their Foreign culture developed rich performances which became popular in the Cities
At First these performances held little impact on American culture but that would change.
An example of a Russian influence is the success of singing star Sophie Tucker who came to the United states as an Infant.
She began her influences as a young ten year old girl who sang in family cafes, before her style grew more popular bringing her to Broadway in “Last Of the Red Hot Mamas”