Jewish immigrants moved to America for many reasons. They were desperate for a new start and life. They were in search of a place where they could bring their families and be able to live a safe life. Many dreamed of a place where there was freedom and equality. Therefore, many Jewish families moved to America in the late 1800s.
Before the decisions to immigrate, many Jews were living a miserable life. In the 19th century, eastern Europe became a place of terror for many of them. Most of the immigrants came from Russia. By the late 1880s there were several organized massacres that were frequently occurring in Russia. These massacres were directly organized against the Jews. As well as these outbreaks, there were also wars that occurred, in particular the Russo- Japanese War.
Several Jewish families followed one another during the immigration. Two families who settled in North Adams were the Lemperts and the Feders. Due to the immigration following, the Shapiro family also moved to North Adams. The Shapiros were aided by the Feder family.
When these families settled in North Adams they began to start their new lives. Many moved to this area because of the mills, factories, and retail stores and markets. Most of these Jewish immigrants worked and saved money, in order to open their own businesses. Families began several grocery and shoe stores. During the time of immigration, North Adams became a popular place for shoe stores.
Besides business opportunities, Jewish immigrant came here for religious freedom. While in Russia, Jews did not have any sort of religious freedom. When they arrived here, Jews organized religious groups. Eventually these groups created synagogues around all North Adams. Synagogues gave Jews the religious freedom that they were looking for.
This page was last updated April 5, 2008.