Added: August 25, 2009 – Last updated: April 11, 2015


Author: Gur Alroey

Title: "And I Remained Alone in a Vast Land"

Subtitle: Women in the Jewish Migration from Eastern Europe

Journal: Jewish Social Studies: History, Culture and Society (New Series)

Volume: 12

Issue: 3

Year: Spring-Summer 2006

Pages: 39-72

ISSN: 0021-6704 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1527-2028 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | Russian History | Types: Sex Trafficking


Link: EBSCOhost (Restricted Access)

Link: Project MUSE (Restricted Access)


Author: Gur Alroey, Program in Israel Studies, University of Haifa


»Jewish emigration from Eastern Europe to lands overseas from the start of the twentieth century until the outbreak of World War I encompassed more than 1.5 million Jews seeking to flee the unbearable socioeconomic conditions that were their lot in the Russian Empire. Hundreds of thousands of these migrants were women and children who left to join their husbands and fathers already in the destination countries. This article traces the multifaceted migration process undergone by the Jewish immigrant woman--from her role in the decision-making process about where to move, to that fateful moment when she receives the tickets for the voyage from her husband and sets out on her way.« (Source: Jewish Social Studies)

»Describes the experiences of Jewish women in Eastern Europe who took their children and followed their husbands to the United States, Argentina, Palestine, and other countries in the early 20th century. Although historians have neglected research on the topic, the position of the women left behind as husbands went to the Americas merits scholarly attention. Women had to provide for young children and make a living until husbands could send for them, a process that could take months or years. These women had to deal with the tsarist bureaucracy, save for necessary expenses, and endure the hardships of the journey. Single young women ran risks of rape or white slavery. Husbands in the new country often deserted wives and children in the old. The records of the Jewish Colonization Association reveal the obstacles Jewish women faced in bringing their families to America and other lands.« (Source: Historical Abstracts)


  Sources (p. 40)
  The Jewish Woman in Eastern Europe: A Socioeconomic Perspective (p. 42)
  The Decision to Emigrate (p. 45)
  Implementation of the Decision (p. 50)
    Bureaucracy (p. 54)
    The Lack of Funds (p. 56)
    The Vicissitudes of the Journey (p. 57)
  When Husbands Desert Their Wives (p. 59)
  Conclusion (p. 65)
  Notes (p. 67)
  Abstract (p. 72)

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