The Great Immigration was the population movement of millions of Jews primarily from Eastern Europe to the United States and other countries over the course of a half century between 1875-1924. Although the process, scope, catalysts, challenges of the immigration and immigrants are fascinating aspects of the story, perhaps the most unique angle is the fact that the entire endeavor was a ‘silent revolution’. Throughout the 19th century the Jewish community in Russia and elsewhere debated, discussed and pondered solutions to the many challenges facing the Jewish community and Jewish identity in the modern era. No solutions were incredibly successful. Yet one was. Immigration. It completely transformed the Jewish landscape.
And it was this solution which was really a silent revolution, for it had no leadership, no political platform, no organization. It was a grassroots movement from rank and file anonymous individuals making subjective life choices regarding migration. It was this silent revolution which made a decisive and quite astounding impact on the future of the Jewish People.
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