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A few years ago, in conversation with The Covenant Foundation about ways to engage the Jewish community in teaching and learning about migration, I suggested that the Bintel Brief, a newspaper column that used to run in the Jewish Daily Forward, might serve as an untapped resource. These letters from the Forward record the ordinary stories and dilemmas of newcomers making their way in a new land. While many of the details are grounded in the context of Jewish immigration in early 20th century New York, the letters raise universal questions about integration, assimilation, and acculturation, themes as timely now as they were when they were written. Teachers, students, all of us, needed to read the Bintel Brief to understand our past, present, and future better. The Covenant Foundation agreed. A little less than a year later Re-Imagining Migration produced Immigration and Identity: Jewish Immigrants and the Bintel Brief.
Updated: Mar. 21, 2018