|While the massive flow of immigrants to the Northeast was taking place, a number of Jews were finding their way to America through the port of Galveston, Texas. The descendants of these immigrants, now scattered throughout the United States, are hardly aware that their ancestors participated in a unique attempt to organize and channel Jewish immigration. From their recruitment in Eastern Europe to their settlement in the American West, these immigrants were supervised by a network of agents and representatives. The project, known as the "Galveston Movement," brought over ten thousand Jews to the United States between the years 1907 and 1914.
In Galveston: Ellis Island of the West, a thorough analysis of the various problems--promotional, organizational, political, ideological, and financial--besetting the Galveston Movement, and of the Movement's attempts to solve these problems, serves as the basis for an important case study of an experiment at channeling immigration. Accounts of individual immigrants, told in their own words or in the words of those who welcomed them, provide fascinating glimpses into a story which well deserves to be told.
Bernard Marinbach is a member of the faculty of the Overseas Students' Unit of Tel Aviv University.