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If you have ever watched a TV sitcom where the action takes place in New York, then you have definitely noticed how there is always a Jewish character (or at least someone with some sort of Jewish ancestry). The truth is that the U.S. is the country with the second largest population of Jewish people (following after Israel) and that the largest concentration of them will be found in New York (hence the obsession of the sitcom producers and scriptwriters out there to insert at least one character that is Jewish).
The truth is that the Jewish immigrant communities in New York have definitely helped with the shaping up of the city itself and of the culture that abounds in this city. From Broadway to Woody Allen movies and to the traditional Jewish food – the bagel – there are a lot of New York trademarks whose origins can be traced back to the Jewish immigrants.
When it comes to the way in which all these Jewish immigrants got to America, you should know the fact that there were two main waves. The first wave of Jewish immigrants came in the 19th century and they were mostly Jews of German and Western origins. Later on, Jewish people from the Eastern Europe (Russian Jews, Polish Jews and so on) joined the ranks as well. Although Eastern Jewish people were more traditional and they stuck to some of their old customs practiced at home, the Western ones eventually gave up such traditions sooner than the Eastern ones. Of course, the traces of the Jewish immigration in the U.S. can be stretched as far as the 17th century, but these two waves shaped the Jewish New York as it is nowadays most well-known among those who live there and among those who know something about the New York City.
After the Second World War, even more Jewish people moved to the United States, fleeing the reminiscence of anti-Semitism in Europe. In the New World, they were accepted as such and they are nowadays considered to be a part of New York’s soul itself, especially since there are a lot of them in this city especially. Of course, New York is a blend of ethnicities and religions, but if you take into consideration the fact that the average population of the city is somewhere around 8 million and 3 hundred thousand souls and that out of them more than one and a half million are Jewish people, you can definitely acknowledge the importance of the Jewish immigrant communities in this city.
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