In Search of A Better Life
The last name Topletz is well known in the Dallas Jewish population as well as the marketing, investment and real estate sectors. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, the man that started it all was Solomon Topletz, who traveled to the United States through Galveston port in the summer of 1894. Alongside thousands of other Jewish refugees out of Poland, Solomon, at the age of 24 would establish himself and his newly wedded wife Rebecca in the United States and eventually Dallas, Texas. Solomon Topletz was a prominent Jew of a well to do family in Poland, but when Russia took rule in the late 19th century people began to flee the country in masses from czar rule, especially the Jews. The overall conclusion of this paper will be to establish whether or not it was good for Solomon to leave his prosperous life in Poland for a foreign American land. The ideas analyzed will demonstrate his decision based on economic, social, religious, and political standpoints compared to American Jewish life in general during his time.
Solomon Topletz was my great-great-grandfather, or my grandmother’s grandfather, who was born in a small town in Poland. His family was well off as they owned several small businesses selling shoes. Economically, he could have stayed in Poland and would have probably been very successful given that the political rise of Russian power had not had any influence; but that was not the case. In turn, his decision to migrate himself and three other relatives to the United States jeopardized his entire wealth. In an Interview with my grandmother, Shirley Topletz-Levin, she explained, “he took a huge risk coming to America, but it turned out to be a winning bet because he gained freedom and in ...
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...h and aspirations in Poland, this was a risk that paid off in the end. Socially, it was in the best interest of almost every Jew to come to America in search of better treatment from the people and live without persecution. Religiously, America was chosen as the option to seek religious freedom, but as we see, movements such as the conservative movement show us that freedom of religion does not mean practicing the religion to a higher degree. Politically, America supported Jews and any immigrant for that matter as they fled from other countries in search of a governing body that would not shun them. Overall, the choice for Solomon Topletz to abandon his century of inheritance in the land of Poland was a good thing. More positive experiences happened because of his departure than would have if he would have stayed and been terrorized in Poland.
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