Introduction: The Jews who weren't there : scholarly and communal exclusion
Immigration, ethnicity, and identity
Hebrew with a Sephardic accent : a test case for impact
East meets West : Sephardic strangers and kin
The Hispanic embrace
Conclusion: A view from the margins.
A small band of Sephardim, or Jews who trace their origins to Spain and Portugal, were the first Jews to arrive in the New World. By the 1720s, these Western Sephardim were outnumbered by Ashkenazim (Jews of Germanic and Eastern European background), though they maintained religious hegemony until the turn of the nineteenth century.A far larger group of Sephardic Jews, Iberian in remote origin, immigrated to the United States from Turkey, Greece, and the Balkans toward the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. Most of these Eastern Sephardim settled in New York, establishing the most important Judeo-Spanish community outside the former Ottoman Empire. A smaller group of Mizrahi Jews from Arab-speaking lands arrived at the same time. A minority within a minority and often differing in their culture and rituals, both Sephardim and Mizrahim were not readily recognized as Jews by their Ashkenazic coreligionists. At the same time, they forged alliances with the Hispanic and Arab non-Jewish immigrant communities with whom they shared significant cultural and linguistic ties.The denial of their Jewishness was a defining experience for Sephardi and Mizrahi immigrants and, in some cases, for their native-born children and grandchildren as well. The failure to recognize Sephardim as fellow Jews continues today in textbooks, articles, documentaries, films, and popular awareness. More often than not, Sephardic Jews are simply absent from any sort of portrayal of the American Jewish community.Drawing on primary source documents such as the Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) press, archival documents, and oral histories, "Sephardic Jews in America" offers a rare glimpse of their history in the United States, from 1654 to the present, focusing on the age of mass immigration. It will appeal to all those interested in the history of the Jews in America, United States immigration, ethnicity, Hispanic and Arab American studies, and sociology. (source: Nielsen Book Data)9780814799826 20160528