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Unformatted text preview: Traditional religious practices, including strict adherence to dietary laws and to the rules of the Sabbath and religious holy days, were altered in America. By 1881, the American Jewish population had assimilated into American culture and adapted their religious observances to a more relaxed American life. In 1881, Russian Czar Alexander II was assassinated. The Russian government blamed Jews for the assassination and undertook violent physical attacks called pograms on them. In 1882, the government passed the May Laws, which sharply curtailed Jews' ability to earn a living and participate in Russian society. Faced with outright hostility and ostracism, many Jews left Eastern Europe, believing that the United States offered religious tolerance, economic opportunity, and the possibility for starting a new life. Eastern European Jews referred to the United States as the "goldineh medinah," Yiddish for...
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- Fall '11