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THE JEWS OF WESTCHESTER
A SOCIAL HISTORY

by Baila R. Shargel and Harold L. Drimmer


From the last chapter:

"The comforts and prestige for which Jewish Westchesterites struggled during the course of three centuries have not been secured without a price. Today's suburbanites are certainly more comfortable than their predecessors of 1873 and 1933 and more secure than those of 1953. Poverty will not deny them an education; antisemitism is not likely to affect their credit rating. Yet nowhere is the Gemeinschaft of the first Westchester Jewish communities in evidence today. Instead of the `two cultures' of the early part of this century, Jewish Westchester remains fragmented along religious, social, and geographic lines. Nevertheless, recent progress is also in evidence: the multiplication of innovative religious groupings, the strengthening of day schools and adult education programs, the legitimation of Jewish purpose in social welfare and defense organizations, the efforts to integrate Westchester Jewry around a strategic center. Westchester Jewry has not yet achieved cohesion or eliminated defection by the young, but the efforts of serious people to achieve these goals offer promise for the future."


The Jewish settlement of many American cities and small towns has been chronicled, but suburban communities have been largely overlooked. This book relates the story of the Jews and how they met the challenges of establishing an important presence in America's first suburb, Westchester County.

The few hardy souls who ventured into the undeveloped county in colonial times struggled for legal equality, largely achieved, and economic security, never fully accomplished. Only in the latter half of the twentieth century did Jews rise from a position of marginality to assume leadership roles in business, the professions, education, and the arts in the county.

"[This book] will long stand as the reference work on the Jews of Westchester." --Joseph Hankin, Ph.D., President, Westchester County Community College


Dr. Baila Shargel is a social historian and biographer of Israel Friedlaender. Harold Drimmer is a retired business executive with degrees from Harvard and Columbia.


268 pages, 300 illustrations, 8.5 x 11, index, 1994
$29.00 NOW 14.50 paperback --A Purple Mountain Press original

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