Jewish Yearbook Notes Rising Immigration, Expansion of Congregations

The American Jewish Yearbook, which annually paints a word and number picture of Jewish life in America, reports rising Jewish immigration, with Central Europe increasingly replacing Eastern Europe as the place of origin, a continuing spread of Jews to smaller cities and villages, and an expansion of congregations.

The 40th volume of the Yearbook, in the review of the year by Editor Harry Schneiderman, summarizes the position of the Jew in the world by declaring that the period was “probably the most sombre and disheartening twelve months since the close of the World War.”

In the year ending June 30, 1937, a total of 11,352 Jewish immigrants were admitted to the United States, over 80 per cent more than the previous year (6,252). During that period, 232 Jews emigrated from the country, leaving a net increase through immigration of 11,120. A total of 109 Jews were deported — The lowest percentage since 1924 — and 368 others were debarred, or 3.24 per cent, which was higher than the preceding year, but lower than in 1932 and 1933.

Meanwhile, within the United States, the number of Jewish congregations is growing, According to a special article by Dr. Henry S. Linfield, director of the Jewish Statistical Bureau, who served as special agent of the United States Census Bureau. While the results of a 1936 census of religious bodies were not available, Dr. Linfield said that they would show “an increase in the number of congregations in 1936 over 1926 comparable to that of 1926 over 1916.” (The number was 1,901 in 1916 and 3,118 in 1926.) The number of communities having congregations also continued its increase from the 1936 figure, which was 817, compared with 580 in 1916.

“The number of communities that reported in 1936 greatly exceeds the number that reported in 1926, showing that in spite of the depression the Jewish religious institutions continued to expand,” Dr. Linfield said. “Very important is the fact that in this census, reports were actually received from over 4,000 Jewish communities in cities and in villages in every state of the union, nearly twice as many as ten years ago. The complete results, based partly on reports received and statistical estimates, will show that the spread of Jews from Larger to smaller cities and villages has continued during the past ten years.”

In addition to Dr. Linfield’s article, which reviews censuses of Jews and Jewish organizations from 1850, there are special articles on Felix M. Warburg By Dr. Cyrus Adler and on Rabbi Henry Pereira Mendes by Rabbi David de Sola Pool. The 771-page volume also includes various directories, lists and statistics. The Yearbook is issued by the Jewish Publication Society with the cooperation of the American Jewish Committee.

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