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1 How the Jewish religion and the Jewish Migration influenced my life. Marisa Yapko 11/28/2017 AMST 1101 Dr. Brown-Spiers MFAC Rough Draft 2 The Jewish religion has taugh
  1 How the Jewish religion and the Jewish Migration influenced my life. Marisa Yapko 11/28/2017 AMST 1101 Dr. Brown-Spiers MFAC Rough Draft  2 The Jewish religion has taught me to have courage, bravery, empathy, and the will to make a difference in the world. I do not consider myself a religious person, but the history  behind Judaism today has kept my interest in the Torah since I was a child. Being Jewish is a  privilege in my opinion. The Jews of the past are a strong people; they have seen war, famine, death, and attempted extinction. Despite all of the turmoil they have endured, they still prosper to this day, and I see this attitude in my family. The history in Judaism spans from the Maccabees to Moses, and from Joseph to Esther, but my favorite history is the one that  personally happened in my own family. Judaism has stayed with my family through the years and events through history. It has changed with my family just as we have changed with it. My Maternal family began as part of an Orthodox Jewish community and is now a part of a reformed inclusive community, with quite different values than those of the traditional Jews. It is typical that strict Jews will cling to other strict Jews and avoid too much communication with gentiles. Now over the span of sixty years, my family has migrated to the south of the United States and holds true the religions ’  history but not of the same traditions. I believe that if certain events in history did not occur, this reformation of my family in particular would not have happened, and I may have been a completely different individual than who I am today. Both of my Grandparents have parents from two parts of Europe: Russia and Poland. Poland is where they all eventually settled, though they did not know each other at the time. Their histories however intertwined almost  precisely in the 1930’s when the Holocaust began . After the invasion of Poland, people were arrested and forced into concentration camps. The concentration camps was a place where a lot of Jews, minorities, and political prisoners were  3 essentially stored and used for labor while awaiting execution. One of my family members, who is my Grandmothers Sister-in-Law, who was a child at the time, was taken to a camp that she later managed to escape from. Most of my distant family, including my Great Grandparents managed to survive the turmoil and found refuge in New York Ellis Island. In a time where anti-Semitism ran rampant, the Holocaust was especially vicious to the Jewish people. The Holocaust was known to Hitler as “The Final Solution” , and six million Jewish people died. “Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions .” -Primo Levi These were desperate times for many Jews who had to hide and escape their homelands. Jews arrived at Ellis Island with skills as Writers, Artists and Taylors so the workforce was somewhat kind to them, until careers became very industrial. They came to the United States with a dream, in the land of opportunity anything was supposed to be possible. This was the best time in history to build a life in the US in my opinion. It is very interesting though, that one huge historical movement made thousands of people change their life. That thousands of people would migrate to Israel and the United States and learn a new country, a new language, and a new way of living. Somehow, through all the turmoil in Europe, my Great Grandparents arrived in Ellis Island, New York around 1940. They arrived poor, but they also arrived free and alive. It was even here that my Great Grandparents met up in a small Jewish Orthodox community, and as the two families had children, the community betrothed my Maternal Grandmother and Grandfather. This would be an odd situation to non-Jewish people today, but in strict Orthodox communities who shun out most of the non-Jewish world, this is quite common. “That was just how the time  4 was. If you were a boy, you worked with your Father, if you were a girl, you got marr  ied...”  (Linda Diorio, Interview). The Orthodox community in New York was all that my family had to hold on to after leaving their country. My Mother and her siblings were raised in this community most of their young lives. They knew nothing of other holidays except for a small understanding of Santa Claus from public school. Family and tradition played a huge role in the life of an Orthodox Jew. You did not question it, you did not argue with it, and you especially did not change it. Though the world had another idea in mind, and I always refer back to the song The Times They are a Changin’     by Bob Dylan to state my point that the times were indeed changing. This certainly foreshadowed what was to come in my family. Everything surely was to change. In my Grandparents time, they recall the uprising of the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement was a movement towards the equal rights of African Americans in the United States. It rocked the world and made long lasting history to this day. People that my American Studies class learned about, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and many others had huge parts in the movement and fought their whole lives to spread the message of equal rights to all. My Grandparents were somewhat involved in the movement and so were many other Jewish people. American Jews played a significant role in the founding and funding of some of the most important civil rights organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) (Jews and The Civil Rights Movement). A Jewish man named
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