5 2023

From Shtetl to Ellis Island: The Untold Story

6:45PM - 7:45PM  

VIRTUAL Program Jewish Federation of the Berkshires 196 South Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Contact Rabbi Daveen Litwin

Virtual Program.  Register for link HERE.

Have you ever asked yourself?… “How did my ancestors leave their shtetls to travel overland many 100’s of miles to get to a port such as Antwerp, Belgium? What tests awaited them there? What was steerage really like? What hurdles did they face on Ellis Island?

Leah Kaplan 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.