Photo Credit: Jewish Press

I recently acquired a Yiddish booklet published called Hoypt Yedies Vegn Emigratsye In Galveston. Published in 1907, the work contains information and promotional material on the opportunities and success that can be found by moving to Galveston, TX.

When we think of the throngs of Jewish immigrants to this country who arrived in the early 1900s, images of the Statue of Liberty and pushcarts on the Lower East Side generally come to mind. But several Jewish organizations over the years made a concerted effort to divert the flow of immigrants from New York to elsewhere in the U.S. in light of the horrid conditions, poverty, and crime on the Lower East Side.

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One such place was Galveston, TX. Between 1907-1914, approximately 10,000 Jewish immigrants arrived at the entry port in Galveston, at a time when the entire population of Galveston was 37,000 and the entire state was home to fewer than 400,000 people.

New York philanthropist Jacob Schiff was a leading figure behind the Galveston Movement, to which he donated nearly $500,000 ($13 million today). The Jewish Territorialist Organization, established in 1901 by the United Hebrew Charities of New York, the B’nai B’rith, and the Baron de Hirsch Fund assisted travelers along their journey from Eastern Europe and helped them settle once they arrived in Texas.

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