Perspectives on Jewish and Puerto Rican Immigrants Essay

Perspectives on Jewish and Puerto Rican Immigrants Essay

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Perspectives on Jewish and Puerto Rican Immigrants

Although a number of ethnic groups migrated to the United States, their socio-cultural development took an uneven course with certain ethnic groups achieving more success than others. What was it that made one immigrant group succeed, while another never could? Was it only hard work that determined success for immigrant groups that migrated to the United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries, or were there other factors involved? The Jewish and Puerto Ricans were two of among many immigrant groups who migrated to the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. Both groups perceived the United States as their path to prosperity. However, the fate of these two immigrant groups took a different course with Jews being more successful in life than the Puerto Ricans. While success of one ethnic group over another may have to do with intrinsic ethnic characteristics, there are many significant external factors that shape their outcome. A comparative discussion of the Jewish and Puerto Rican ethnic groups makes it clear how intrinsic and extrinsic factors profoundly impact the actual course of ethnic development.


When Jewish people arrived to the United States, they were escaping the severe oppression, poverty, and harsh violence that existed in Europe. Not all Jews lived a prosperous life as individuals, and even when they did their prosperous life was crippled by discrimination. This discrimination dates back as early as the Crusades in the Middle Ages (5th Century to 15th Century). Business restrictions placed on Jews forced Jewish families to live in conditions with no food and no shelter, although this was not their us...

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...ography of the People. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1992.

Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer. Growing up Jewish in America, an Oral History. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1995.

Steven J. Gold and Bruce Phillips. "Mobility and Continuity Among Eastern European Jews." Origins and Destinies. Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in America: pp. 182 — 194.

Héctor A, Carrasquillo and Virginia Sanchez-Korrol. "Migration, Community, and Culture: The United States-Puerto Rican Experience." Origins and Destinies. Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in America: pp. 98 — 109.

Silvia Pedraza and Rubén Rumbaut. Origins and Destinies. Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in America. New York: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1996.

Stephen Steinberg. The Ethnic Myth. Race, Ethnicity, and Class in America. Boston: Beacon Press, 1989.

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