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A General Survey

In the Talmudic tractate Pesachim, p. 87, it says that G-d acted mercifully with the Jewish People by spreading them among the other nations. Were all Jews to live in the same country, their enemies could destroy them all. Anyone with any sense can see how true this is by what G-d did to hundreds of thousands of Jews in Europe at the same time he sent off and saved them from utter destruction. Had all Jews lived in one valley of death, the Germans would not have spared a single person of the Jewish People.

        It was fortunate that a remnant of the decimated Jewish community of Drohitchin (Holocaust years 1940-1945) survived, and that Divine Providence created the causes and reasons to impel many Jews from Drohitchin to emigrate from Drohitchin from the 1880s on. As the verse says in Genesis regarding Jacob's meeting with his brother Esau, “And He divided the people, saying that if Esau attacks one part and destroys it, the remaining part should survive.” Today there are many Jews from Drohitchin, may they continue to increase.

Emigration from Drohitchin

The first Jewish emigrants from Drohitchin started arriving in the United States in approximately 1880. Thereafter and until the outbreak of World War I in 1914, there was an intensive stream of emigration from Drohitchin to the United States. The world was not so “civilized” and “modernized” as today, and leaving and entering one country for another was accomplished without great difficulty. You simply made a decision and went.

        During the war years of 1914-1919, emigration from Drohitchin ceased. In 1920 emigration from Drohitchin started again at a brisk pace. Hundreds of people from Drohitchin streamed to the shores of the Free World. This continued until 1924, when the United States imposed heavy quotas, which brought Jewish emigration to the United States to a halt.

        According to the American quota system, approximately 152,000 people were permitted to enter the country each year, and of those, approximately 108,000 visas were allotted to Germany, England and Ireland, while the remaining 44,000 were allotted to over 100 countries. It is easy to figure out how few visas were available for Jews in Poland, and especially for Jews in Drohitchin. The entire total for Poland was approximately 4,000.

        Had the United States not closed its doors, the Jewish world would have been totally different, and hundreds of thousands of these Jews, including many from Drohitchin, would be alive today. So the United States is not entirely blameless for the large numbers of victims of German murder. After emigration to the United States stopped, many Drohitchin Jews looked elsewhere for a refuge – to Argentina, Cuba and Palestine. Emigration to Palestine was extremely limited due to the certificate system. A small percent managed to make their way to Canada and other countries.

        Three centers: New York, Chicago and Palestine

Currently most of those from Drohitchin are concentrated in New York and Chicago. For some time the New York community was the most dynamic and influential. Today, the Chicago community is the wealthiest and most stable. This is due to the fact that Chicago, which is a younger city with a developed industrial base and growing factories, is home to many people from Drohitchin who have had the opportunity to prosper economically.

        Aside from Chicago and New York, there are people from Drohitchin in California, Florida, Missouri, Connecticut, and others. As mentioned, many Drohitchin émigrés are in Argentina, Cuba and Canada. However, the third largest community of

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