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Compiled by Janet Marcus

Designed by Janet Marcus

Last updated  April 2016

Copyright@2016 Janet Marcus

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Why Hoboken, New Jersey


It isn't an Eastern European shtetl It never had a large population of Jews and if it weren't right across the river from Manhattan, it would be considered a small town, a stadt or schtot in Yiddish not a village.  When we think of shtetloch we think of small market towns, villages, in Eastern and Central Europe with a significant proportion of Jews. And yet, here, hosted by Kelila Links of Jewishgen are pages about Hoboken, New Jersey.


  For the millions of emigrants who came to the United States between 1880-1926, Hoboken was the place where they tumbled out of steerage on to American soil into the ferries that took them to Ellis Island. For those who were continuing their journey to places outside of New York's Lower East Side and Brooklyn, their entry papers duly processed, loaded on to ferries to go back to Hoboken's railroad terminal.  Their first step on American soil was Hoboken.


   Hoboken was a small city of about 50,000 comprised mostly of German, Italian and Irish emigrants. Jews in Hoboken like those is small towns and cities all over America were a very small (less than 2% ) minority. We often forget that in Europe, Jews tended to live in areas that  had high concentrations of Jews. Hoboken can be considered a microcosm of how our ancestors maintained  Jewish identity in the overwhelming otherness of America?



Copyright@2016 Janet Marcus