Linfield Harry S. - The Jews in the United States, 1927

Author : Linfield Harry S.
Title : The Jews in the United States, 1927 A study of theur Number and Distribution
Year : 1929

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SINCE 1897 estimates have been prepared decennially of the number of jews in the country and· their distribution, and for the past thirty years these estimates were made at the time that the decennial censuses were being taken of the religions bodies by the United States Bureau of the Census. Before 1927, estimates of the number of Jews in the country did not go further than their distribution by states and divisions. In the course of the present study for the first time data was collected with a view to ascertaining the distribution of the Jews in the United States not only among the Divisions of the country and the States, but also among the 15,700 incorporated cities, towns, and villages of the various sizes and the 45,000 rural unincorporated areas in the country. It was not before known that residents of the jewish faith lived in nearly 10,000 cities, towns, villages, and rural areas in the country, nor that Jews have already spread ta everyplace of 25,000 or over; to nearly 90% ofthe urban places of 25,000 or Jess; to over 30% of the rural villages of 2,500 or less, and ta over 7% of the ruralunincorporated areas. The wide dispersion of the J ews over the country was found quite remarkable. For severa! reasons, previous studies of the nuinber of Jews in the United States could not enter exhaustively into the matter of the density of the Jews in the country. The present study aimed to supply this omission. Data was collected with a view to determining the percentage that the J ews constitute of the total population in the large regions of the country of the North, the South, and the West; in the Divisions like New England, Middle Atlantic, etc.; and in the separate states; an attempt was then made for the first time to determine the percentage that the Jews constitute in the unincorporated areas and in the varions classes of incorporated places in accordance with their size. Thus it was found thatwhile theJewsform 11.11% of the total population in cities of the class of 100,000 population or over, they constitute but 3.11% in the class of cities of the size of 100,000 to 25,000, and only 1.61% in the class of 25,000 or crude density that the Jews constitute in the varions classes of places, an attempt was made to determine by class of place the percentage of the Jews to the total population of the places in which Jews reside, or the specifie density of the J ews. Th us it was found that while the crude or general density of the J ews in the rural incorporated villages was but 0.48 of the total population of that class of place, the J ewish density in those villages where J ews actually live was 1.37% of the total population. The study of the density of the Jews brought out the fact that with the exception of the large cities the density of the Jews is extremely light. The study was made under the auspices of the American Jewish Committee, aided financially by two Jewish foundations. The work of the census began in the summer of 1925 and ended in the win ter of 1928, though the actual work of collecting the data was clone during the latter part of 1927. The study called forth the cooperation of the national federations of congregations and over one hundred other J ewish national organizations in the country, of the city-wide federations of congregations and the federations of charity, and of great numbers of other J ewish organizations; and the writer had the cooperation, through correspondence, of over 4,000 persans: rabbis, heads of Jewish organizations, and leading men in the varions communities including a great number of non-Jews. Doctor Cyrus Adler, President of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and of the Dropsie College who, as is weil known, was closely identified with every decennial census of the J ews in the country sin ce 1907, assisted the writer through every stage of the work. Mr. Harry Schneiderman, editor of the American Jewish Year Book, has cooperated with the writer and helped him in numerous ways; his assistance in the preparation of the manuscript was invaluable. The United States Bureau of the Census and the United States Chief Geographer have assisted the writer to clear up matters that would otherwise have remained obscure. The writer takes the opportunity here to express his deep-felt gratitude for every act of helpfulness which was rendered to him and for the fine spirit in which it was given. H.S.L. ...

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