Shtetl to Ellis – The Untold Story

May 23, 2021
10:30 am

Join Kerem Shalom online as we relive a journey like no other: the arduous travel of many of our ancestors from towns and villages throughout Eastern and Western Europe to the U.S. Many of us had family who took this journey—fleeing poverty, religious persecution, pogroms, and grim futures without education—arriving finally at ports like Ellis Island. Many immigrants never shared the details.

Have you ever asked yourself how they had the courage to travel so far, under very difficult conditions, to begin a new life? Now we can all gain a better appreciation of what so many lived through.

Leah Kaplan, our next L.E.D. speaker, will create a picture of what the turn-of-the-20th-century voyage was like, with details about the immigration process, the prevalent conditions, and the rules imposed on immigrants who had little money to travel. Following her extensive study at five major research institutions, including the Red Star Line Museum of Immigration in Antwerp, Ms. Kaplan will relate stories of these immigrants and share some surprising facts. 

The circumstances of many immigrants now making the trek to the U.S., although challenging in different ways, still resonate with those of our ancestors and make Leah’s presentation especially relevant and timely for all of us.