On October 1st 2015 at Hagley, Dr. Hasia Diner delivered an Author Talk titled "Peddlers and the Great Jewish Migration to the New World,” where she told the story of millions of discontented young Jewish men who sought opportunity abroad by working as peddlers, leaving parents, wives, and sweethearts behind.
Wherever they went, they learned unfamiliar languages and customs, endured loneliness, battled the elements, and proffered goods from the metropolis to people of the hinterlands. In many places these traveling men brought change—to themselves and the families who later followed, to the women whose homes and communities they entered, and ultimately to the geography of Jewish history.
In the talk Dr. Diner highlighted real individuals and their experiences, and how these peddlers shaped the Jewish Diaspora and individual communities around the world.
Hasia Diner is Paul and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History and director, Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History, New York University.
Banner image: From Hawkers and Walkers in Early America (Hagley Museum and Library)