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Nearly 4â½ Million Jews in America: Less Than a Quarter Million 50 Years Ago Before Mass Emigration

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There were 4,228,000 Jews in the United States of America at the end of 1927, which is 3.4% of the entire population of the country, according to statistics which have just been made public here by the American Jewish Committee.

50 years ago, before the beginning of the Jewish mass-emigration movement from Russia to America after the pogroms and the May Laws of 1881, there were only 230,000 Jews in the United States.

2,438,944 Jews entered America as immigrants during the period 1881-1930, while 113,099 Jews emigrated from the country in the same period. 11,526 Jews entered the United States during 1930, most of them relatives of residents already in the country.

85% of the Jewish population of America live in cities with a population of over a hundred thousand, the figures reveal.

The figures given correspond roughly to the general idea held regarding the number of Jews in the United States. At the annual meeting of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (Hias) which took place in New York in March, and was at the same time a celebration gathering marking half a century since the beginning of mass immigration from Eastern Europe to America, Mr. Abraham Herman, the President of the Hias said that in 1881 when the mass emigration movement began, the total Jewish population of America was about 250,000 out of a total of 45 million, and to-day there were approximately 4½ million Jews in America out of a general population of 120 million.

The Bureau of Jewish Social Research published in 1928 some statistical tables giving the results of a Jewish Communal Survey of Greater New York, which had been undertaken in 1926 at the direction of a Citizens’ Committee of which Judge Otto A. Rosalsky was chairman and Dr. Lee Frankel chairman of the executive committee, and carried out by a staff of 50 research workers. According to this survey the Jewish population of Greater New York alone was 1,728,000 about 30% of the city’s total population.

The survey included a study of mortality among the Jews and a valuation of communal resources in child care, health work, Jewish education, etc. According to this, the population of New York City increased in the decade from 1915 to 1925 by 16.4% and the Jewish population increased in the same period to the same extent.

The death rate among the Jewish population was shown to be lower than among the general population, but because of the lower-birth-rate, it was pointed out, and because the Jewish population which is a young group will, as the years advance, be hard-hit by degenerative diseases to which the population is subject unless effective measures are taken to fight the diseases, since it is unlikely that the Jewish population will find itself replenished from Europe on account of the immigration restrictions, the future will see New York’s Jewish population dwindling in proportion to the general population.

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