Jewish Immigration to America (1654-1924):
My work in this historical and literary field examines one of the largest and successful exoduses in human history. It focuses on a span of over 270 years, examining the plight of over five million Jews from Spain, Brazil, Poland, Germany, and Russia journeyed to what they considered the “Promised Land.” This study serves four purposes. First, it will identify social, political, and economic factors that encouraged this unprecedented migration, and more specifically, to investigate the origins of their journey from Europe to America and link these efforts to economic hardship, persecution, and the great social and political upheavals of the nineteenth century. Second, this study will examine the extensive communication and transportation networks which aided this exodus, highlighting the roles that mutual aid societies (especially the Alliance Israelite Universelle in Paris, the Mansion House Fund in London and the Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society in New York City) played in the success of these migrations. Third, the study will analyze this diaspora’s cultural impact on the Jewish communities in which they settled as well as scrutinize the manner in which anti-Semitism, industrialization, over-population, and urbanization adversely affected their settlement in America. And finally, it will discuss the role of acculturation as it pertains to the Jewish immigrants’ assimilation into American culture where they gathered in districts near downtown areas, joined the working class, spoke Yiddish, and built strong networks of cultural, spiritual, charitable, and social organizations.
Nazi Germany and the Holocaust:
My work in this historical and literary field examines the origins of Jew hatred and anti-Semitism that evolved over the course of 2,000 years in the minds and hearts of most Europeans dating from first century Gospels to the Holy Crusades to the Reformation and Enlightenment. This effort also includes identifying anti-Semitic traditions that manifested itself in the German psyche as well as aided in the accession of Adolf Hitler and his Nationalist Social Party in 1933. Important questions to be answered include: What are the origins of Jew hatred and/or historical anti-Semitism? What role did Christianity play in its source, its intensity, and its duration throughout European and Jewish history? How did historical anti-Semitism evolve from being non-secular to secular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? More importantly, how did historical anti-Semitism have a decisive effect on the rise of the Nazis prior to 1933?
The First World War and the Lost Generation:
My work in this historical and literary field study analyzes the impact World War I had on a generation of young men, who were inspired by abstract values such as duty, honor, and glory to make the world a safe haven for democracy. This study will also assess the physical, mental, and spiritual impact of the war on the soldiers by examining the disillusionment and embitterment of their war experiences. More importantly, this research will identify and briefly evaluate literary texts and cultural artifacts created by writers and artists who rejected contemporary social values and became known as the “Lost Generation.” This study is divided into three broad themes: The Road to War, Into the Breach, and The War’s Aftermath. This study will serve four purposes: First, to identify the origins and root causes that led to the Great War of 1914-1918 and assess the role both Great Britain and Germany played in Europe’s destabilization prior to the start of this devastating conflict. This portion of the study will also briefly discuss the instability created by the Great War in Europe between 1914 and 1933 and the evolution of the new world order. Second, to examine the rapid advancement and implementation of modern weaponry during the Great War and discuss its impact on military tactics and strategies as well as analyze the physical, mental, and spiritual hardships inflected on those who served on the front lines. Lastly, this portion of my study will analyze and discuss the disillusionment and embitterment of returning First World War veterans whose war experiences led them to reject the values of society, which led to their being known as the Lost Generation.