Life Cycle

Americanizing Jewish youth, Emerson School, Portland, 1919

Picture 4 of 15

Looking at this picture, we seem to hear Uncle Sam saying, “We want YOU to assimilate.” Public education in Maine for Jewish immigrants like Peggy Davidson (left) reflected a national movement to use schooling as a means of Americanizing immigrant youth. These efforts to implant respect for democracy and American ideals are an example of outside pressures that shaped Jewish identity in Maine.

Courtesy of Maine Historical Society