Immigration & Communal Growth
During most of the eighteenth century, American Jews lived primarily in five port cities on the Atlantic seaboard: New York, Newport, Philadelphia, Charleston, and Savannah. New waves of immigrants arrived over the course of the nineteenth century and, following the general pattern of America's demographic growth, the Jewish community expanded westward. Some of the immigrants who arrived in the nineteenth century settled in existing Jewish communities, while others established new centers of communal life. After 1892 the majority of Jews immigrating to the U.S. arrived at New York City. They were greeted by the Statue of Liberty. The Ellis Island experience, where thousands of immigrants first entered this country, is indelibly etched into American memory - as is the symbol of the Statue of Liberty.