“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Galveston in Galveston County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

The Galveston Movement

The Galveston Movement Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, July 8, 2012
1. The Galveston Movement Marker
Inscription. By the late 1800's, thousands of Jews began fleeing their homes in Russia and Eastern Europe to escape anti-Semitic policies and violent pogroms. Many immigrated to the U.S., establishing communities in New York City and elsewhere along the East coast. Overcrowding in these neighborhoods coincided with growing anti-Semitic sentiment. The Galveston Movement, a humanitarian effort that brought nearly 10,000 Jewish immigrants through the Port of Galveston between 1907 and 1914, was initiated to address these issues by dispersing Jews throughout the U.S.

Jacob Schiff, a banker and philanthropist, championed the idea of bringing Jews to the South. He was the sole donor of the plan, pledging $500,000. Galveston was chosen because its railroads and relatively small size would encourage immigrants to move elsewhere. It was also home to Rabbi Henry Cohen, leader of the local reform synagogue B'nai Israel, and a small but thriving Jewish community.

The first ship to arrive under the plan was the S.S. Cassel, on July 1, 1907, from Bremen, Germany; 86 of the passengers were Jewish. Cohen welcomed the new immigrants, as he would every group that came during the program. The arrivals were processed at the Jewish Immigrants' Information Bureau (JIIB) headquarters. JIIB workers informed them of communities needing workers
The Galveston Movement Marker Between Buildings image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, 7
2. The Galveston Movement Marker Between Buildings
of varying skills and gave the immigrants railroad tickets and rations. More than 150 towns requested that the JIIB send skilled workers. In 1914, the program ended when the JIIB office in Galveston closed. A total of 9,332 Jews came through Galveston. While the number of Jews living in the American Midwest, South and West has never matched the numbers living in the East, the program brought thousands of Jews to places they had never imagined.
Erected 2008 by Texas Historical Commission.
Location. 29° 18.103′ N, 94° 47.469′ W. Marker is in Galveston, Texas, in Galveston County. Marker is at the intersection of 22nd Street and Sealy Avenue, on the left when traveling south on 22nd Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Galveston TX 77550, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Congregation B'nai Israel Synagogue (a few steps from this marker); Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Eaton Memorial Chapel (about 300 feet away); The Rosenberg Library (about 500 feet away); Confederate Mariner: Leon Smith (about 500 feet away); The Rt. Rev. Monsignor James Martin Kirwin (about 600 feet away); Galveston in the Republic of Texas (about 600 feet away); [Galveston County] 1901-1965 (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Galveston.
Also see . . .
1. Article in Wikipedia. (Submitted on July 10, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.)
2. Some History. (Submitted on July 10, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.)
3. Article in the Texas Handbook. (Submitted on July 10, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.)
4. Article from the Jerusalem Post. (Submitted on July 10, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.)
Categories. 20th Century
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. This page has been viewed 391 times since then and 77 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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