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Jews and BoozeBecoming American in the Age of Prohibition$
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Marni Davis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814720288

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814720288.001.0001

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Kosher Wine and Jewish Saloons

Kosher Wine and Jewish Saloons

New Jewish Immigrants Enter the American Alcohol Trade

(p.71) 3 Kosher Wine and Jewish Saloons
Jews and Booze

Marni Davis

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the “third wave” of Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe who altered the American Jewry's relation to alcohol in the nineteenth century. Beginning in the 1880s, thousands of eastern European Jews arrived in American ports every year, and most of them came with limited economic resources. Like their predecessors, alcohol commerce presented a historically and culturally familiar entrepreneurial choice. This new group regarded trafficking in liquor, beer, and wine as a conventional way to make a living, and gravitated to it in hopes of establishing an economic footing in their new country. Their orientation toward traditional religious practices also prompted them to create and support an emerging kosher wine industry, which both generated employment opportunities and helped to weave Jewish religious observance into the fabric of American consumer culture.

Keywords:   American Jews, Jewish immigrants, alcohol trade, kosher wine industry, eastern European Jews

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