History Department
History Department

Symposium: Galveston Movement—DAY 2

A Centennial Retrospective on a Forgotten Chapter of American Jewish Immigration History

Fri, September 11, 2009 | Texas State History Museum

8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Symposium is a two-day event: Sept. 10-11, 09

Location: Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
Interested in attending entire conference, with meals, register at: 512-936-4649
Participation fee: $25; registration for the symposium is now open and space is limited.

From Benjamin Franklin’s tirades against German immigrants in the mid-18th century, to
the Chinese Exclusion Act in the 19th, our nation has demonstrated a consistent history
of tension over whom we collectively regard as “real Americans” and whom we will
allow into this country.

At the dawn of the 20th century, Eastern European Jews were the
target of the latest xenophobic and anti-immigrant sentiment, as reflected in increased
detentions and deportations at our nation’s immigrant gateways.

This symposium brings together scholars, fiction writers, public health experts,
filmmakers and family storytellers to explore the dramatic tales of thousands of Jews
from Russia and Eastern Europe who managed to enter this country not through the
“golden door” of Ellis Island, but through the southern gateway of Galveston, Texas
between 1907 and 1914.

During this seven year period, over 10,000 Jews were brought to
this nation through Galveston as part of an organized plan—known as The Galveston
Movement—to divert them from the overcrowded and xenophobic port cities of the East,
to the supposedly more laid-back frontier of America’s heartland...

DAY 2Fri., Sept. 11, 2009

8-9 a.m.—Registration
Bagel Nosh: Meet and Greet, TSHM café

9-9:15 a.m.—Welcome and Introduction (Suzanne Seriff), TSHM classroom

9:15-11 a.m.—Session I: Cogs in the Wheel: A Closer Look at the Galveston Movement
and How it Worked as an Immigration Plan for East European Jews

• Setting the Scene: “Galveston” An excerpt from award winning young adult
fiction novel, Independence Avenue (Eileen Bluestone-Sherman, author)
• “The Galveston Movement and Those Who Made it Possible: Agents of Passage;
Angels of Mercy; Brokers of Employment, and Social Reformers” (Rabbi Jimmy
, Temple B’nai Israel, Galveston)
• "Cowboys and Indigents: Galveston Movement Recipient Communities in
Texas." (Dr. Bryan Edward Stone, Del Mar College, Corpus Christi)
• "The Unstable Image: Jewish Immigrants and
Progressive-Era Anxieties, with Special Reference to the Galveston
Movement" (Dr. Eric Goldstein, Emory University)

11-12 p.m.—Session II: Fictionalizing the Past, Spirit of Texas Theatre
Facilitated Discussion by award-winning children’s authors Jan Siegel Hart
and Eileen Bluestone-Sherman

12-1 p.m.—Luncheon Keynote, Classroom
“Redistribution & Anti-Semitism: The Galveston Project in the Struggle
over Immigration Restriction” (Dr. Stuart Rockoff, Director, Institute of
Southern Jewish Life, Jackson, Mississippi)

1-1:15 p.m.—Break

1:15-3 p.m.—Session III: Broadening the Lens: The Larger Context of Early 20th
century Immigration Policy and Practice to Restrict “Undesirable Aliens"

Excerpt from West of Hester Street: Docudrama of the Galveston
, with introduction by film producer, Cynthia Mondell,
Media Projects, Dallas)
The Quarantine Stations along the Texas Mexico Border: Spreading
Fear of the Nation’s “Contaminated” Neighbors.
(Dr. John McKiernan
, University of Texas at Austin)
• “Policing Gender and Sexuality at the Border: The Case of Ellis
Island” (Dr. Erica Rand, Bates College, Maine)
• “Not Quite Closed Gates: Jewish Alien Smuggling in the Post-Quota
Years”: A Galveston Movement Post-script. (Dr. Libby Garland, The
City University of NY)

3-4 p.m.—Session IV: Roundtable: The Galveston Movement as Immigration
Solution: Was it Legal? Was it Effective? : A Centennial Retrospective
Panelists: Michael Churgin (UT School of Law), Dr. Bryan Stone, Dr.
Stuart Rockoff, Dr. Libby Garland

4 p.m.—Conclusion, Dr. Suzanne Seriff
“Tell Us Your Story” Writing Forum

Galveston Movement Symposium Schedule (PDF, 76KB)

Sponsored by: Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies

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