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The broad wooden trunk with floral engravings looks impossibly heavy. But in the early 1900s, Rachmiel “Robert” Shapiro carried it with him as he sneaked out of Russia and made his way to the United States. He was one of thousands of Jews who arrived here in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The familiar Jewish American story is a journey from Central or Eastern Europe to Ellis Island, then onward to New York or a large urban center in the North. But Shapiro’s journey was different: he landed in Texas, foreshadowing a journey thousands more would make as part of the Galveston Movement or Galveston Plan, meant to draw Jewish immigrants to Texas and the interior of the country.Shapiro’s trunk, which today greets…
The post The Surprising, Fraught History of the Texan Jewish Experience appeared first on Texas Monthly.
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