chapter  2
28 Pages

The Struggle to Rebuild

The survivors, especially those who were observant, conversed in Yiddish and clung to the old and the familiar, becoming only as American as seemed necessary. Initially, residential placements outside New York City were made only in large cities that had professional agencies, for this meant that an infrastructure was already in place that could help the refugees acclimate. Research on immigration clearly demonstrates that personal interest on the part of organizational officials greatly eased the adjustment process for immigrants. Besides good intentions, however, there was the problem of adapting theories of social work to the specific backgrounds and experiences of those who came. The survivors were admitted to America as a group. Although many came as individuals, they received special consideration as victims of Hitler's tyranny. The range and variety of Jewish cultural organizations available to the newcomers tended to slow down the assimilation process.