The Jewish Western Pioneer:
What We Added to the “Mix”
The dual history we have discussed included Jews.
Like non-Jews, we tended to settle in our own Eastern ethnic communities, living with our families, friends, foods, and culture.
But within this culture we, too, had certain individuals who wanted more — wanted adventure, wanted to break away, travel, and perhaps, make their fortune.
So a small number of Jews left their communities and headed West, as did many more coming off the boat from their homes in Europe.
A Large Percentage of Jews
Actually, the number of Jews that went West in the early years of the mid-1800s was a much higher percentage than most other groups.
We were less than 1% of the national population, yet the census of 1870 shows many cities and towns in the West with a 3 to 5% Jewish population.
In the same census, San Francisco had a larger percentage of Jews than New York City!
When the great migrations took place, with the advent of the transcontinental railroad after the Civil War, the Jewish population percentages dropped in the West.
We made our mark early in this “Great Adventure.”
Two Important Questions:
What did our Jewish forefathers bring to this concept of the Western Man that gave them a “leg up?”
Why were they often able to succeed faster than most – in the Wild West?
The answer: Specific Jewish Values.
The Five Prized Jewish Values
Click on each value below for a specific explaination
Language Ability “L