Not Conversant in Yiddish/Hebrew [was English-language Jewish Newspapers] #general


Hi, Fellow-genners,

I am intrigued by Helene's post and have the following
situational questions -

Jews have lived [and continue to live] among many
peoples. They have always learned the lingua franca
in order to interact and transact business. Until
recent times, did Jews forgo learning Hebrew or being
able to converse in Yiddish, Ladino, etc. once they
had become comfortable in the mainstream? It was my
understanding that Jews were never *fully* in the
mainstream but existed on the periphery.

In the last century, a family might feel integrated
enough into the larger society [i.e. German, Austrian,
British, American...] so that reading [or the ability
to read] a Yiddish paper wouldn't be seen as necessary
- then a birth or obituary notice would be posted in
the main local paper just like everybody else.

Did many eastern European Jews come to the US in the
late 1700s or early 1800s? Western European Jews who
arrived in the US back then most probably were not
Yiddish speakers.

Many thanks in advance for your insight,
Shellie Wiener
San Francisco, CA
Helene Kenvin <hekenvin@...> says in part:

... I should have mentioned that this branch of my
family has lived in the US for some nine generations.
In 1903, these ancestors were unlikely to have read or
put announcements in either The Forward or any other
non-English-language newspaper.

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