By: a guest on Feb 26th, 2012
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The subject of this interview is typical of immigration patterns in the 1880s and, to an extent, the entire period. She hails from an Eastern European nation, where she was a bit more than a peasant. While both richer and poorer immigrants came to the United States, the average lay on the moderately educated craftsman or shopkeeper. These people settled specifically in Manhattan's Lower East Side, where in the fashion of virtually every ethnic immigrant minority they brought the area to near-ghetto conditions.
Compared to other immigrants, Jews were, on the large, more educated and therefore gravitated to better jobs than many other immigrants of other ethnicities, who, in contrast to the Jews, ended up in factories. Not to say that Jews never did- the average quality of employment was simply higher.