Between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 20th, millions of Jews from Europe, North Africa, and the Ottoman Empire migrated to a big new world, entering regions, countries, and continents where no or few Jews had ever lived. For many, on-the-road peddling—going door-to-door selling goods from a pack or an animal-drawn wagon—provided the engine that drove their migration. How did such a humble and unskilled occupation serve as the mechanism that sparked migrations, fostered Jewish integration, and shaped the creation of new kinds of Jews? Hasia Diner is the Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History and the director of the Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History at NYU. She has authored 11 books on immigration history, most recently the award-winning We Remember with Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence after the Holocaust, 1945–1962.
Sponsored by the Barnard Forum on Migration. For more information, visit barnard.edu/fom.