5520 Wyoming Blvd. NE

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109



color with type 1.png




 "West of Hester Street: The Galveston Movement and Jewish Immigration
in the Southwest" 

Cohen with immigrants from Cassel (UTSA).jpg

Co-sponsored by the Texas Jewish Historical Society

Between the years 1907 and 1914, the port of Galveston, Texas, served as a point of entry for Jews, either directly from eastern Europe or a 

resettlement of Jews from the crowded streets, apartments, and tenements of New York’s Lower East Side, commonly known as Hester Street. 

This time period is frequently referred to as “The Galveston Movement,” which stimulated the population expansion and growth of Jewish communities not only in Texas but also west into New Mexico often by way of El Paso, as well as into the central Midwest. 


The New Mexico Jewish Historical Society is a secular organization that promotes greater knowledge and understanding of New Mexico’s diverse experiences within a broad cultural context.

NMJHS is a beneficiary agency of The Jewish Federation of New Mexico

2020 JFNM Logo_Wording_COLOR.jpg
leaves flipped.png

Presenter: Justin Ferate

A century ago, just 90 miles from New York City, celebrated Jewish resorts were created in the mountain communities of New York’s Sullivan and Ulster Counties Jewish New Yorkers hungry for mountain air and the American way of leisure came to the mountains by the thousands. By the 1950s, more than a million people inhabited
this magical Jewish summer world.

Presenters: Noel Pugach and Harvey Buchalter 

Funded by the N.M. Humanities Council (CARES ACT)

“Preserving the Papers of Rabbi Leonard Helman”

Presenter: Linda Goff 

Funded by the N.M. Historical Records Advisory Board




click a button to register



Thank You!

BENEFACTORS ($151.00-$500.00)

Dorothy Corner Amsden

Jeffrey Brown and Cherri Hudson-Brown

Diane and Alan Chodorow

Sandra and David Dietz
   IMO Max and Ann Chesler

Halley S. Faust
   IHO Ron Duncan-Hart

The Jewish Federation of New Mexico



George Donoho Bayless
      IHO Linda and Ed Goff;
       IMO Loretta Carlson-Warren

Douglas Colton

Stuart Feen and Carol Sonnenschein

Irene and Robert Gale

Linda Goff
      IMO Carla Freeman

Paul and Marcia Greenbaum

Brian Ilfeld

Frances Levine
    IHO Dr. Stanley Hordes, my dear friend

Beverly Nomberg

Carol Pava
   IHO Shana Pava---Magna Cum Laude        and History graduate in Jewish Studies

Erika Rimson and David Bernstein

Alan David Scholder

Rae Siporin

Richard and Sophia Skolnik

Marcia Torobin

Iris Weinstein and Steven Margulin

Sheldon Weinstein

(UP TO $100.00) 

JCCNNM Logo.jpg


If you are interested in being a Sponsor or a Supporter of the 2020 Fall Conference please click on the following link.

leaves flipped.png
leaves flipped copy.png

New Mexico Jewish Historical Society Membership Information

Thank You!

The New Mexico Jewish Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Conference donations and sponsorships are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.”



1:00 PM

1:15 - 2:15 PM


West of Hester Street, a docudrama about Jewish immigrants settling in America's heartland in the early 1900s, interweaves the Galveston Movement with a warm personal story of one immigrant and his family. Faced with poverty and death, millions of Eastern European Jews poured into America in the early 1900s. They crowded into ghettos along the Eastern seaboard. Jewish leaders grew concerned that the U.S. government would soon close its doors to these new immigrants.They devised a plan to bring thousands of immigrants through the port of Galveston, Texas to settle them throughout America’s heartland. This plan became known as the “GALVESTON MOVEMENT”. There were even some unexpected results. “I told them I was a blacksmith,” said one greenhorn. “So who knew from a blacksmith? I had to say something. So I became a peddler. Peddler. . .shmeddler, if it earned me an honest living, I’d do it.” With great warmth and humor, the documentary interweaves the dramatized events of the Galveston Movement with the story of a young Jewish peddler who journeys from Russia to Texas.

The late Sam Jaffe narrates the immigrant’s heart-warming story.

Presenters: Keynoter, Allen Mondell and Film Co-Director Cynthia Mondell, Media Projects

2:20 - 3:20 PM

Immigrants at inspection station in Galveston, c.1910 (Rosenberg Library).jpg

Presenters: Bette Evans, Jan Hart, Harry Harelik, Rachel Cockerell, and David Hoffman

The concrete legacy of the Jewish immigrants of the Galveston Movement is their descendants--their ban children and grandchildren, who lived with their successes, fears, and ambiguities.  Along with their prosperity, acceptance, and material successes, the Galveston immigrants lived with compromises to Jewish observances and traditions, and with the reality of being perpetual outsiders, striving for acceptance.   Our generation lived near our immigrant grandparents.  Our experience was life in two worlds--The pervasively Protestant culture of our Texas towns, where we learned more gospel songs than Hebrew liturgy, practiced traditions we didn’t quite understand and ate barbecue and kugel, fried chicken and matzoh ball soup.  We grew up with questions from friends about whether we believed in God, and we experienced pressure to be perfect because everything we did would reflect on the Jews.    We are the living legacy of the Galveston Jews.   

This panel gathers third generation descendants of the Galveston movement, who grew up in the presence of those immigrants in the small Texas towns where they settled.    The panel’s aim is for sociological reflection rather than nostalgia.   Because we were outsiders both to urban Jewish communities and rural communities in which we lived, most of us developed an “outsider’s viewpoint” that enabled us to both cherish the legacies of the immigrant generation and to contextualize it.   Our discussions will include topics such as religions education, living Jewish in a Christian culture, differences between rural Jews and our urban counterparts, Assimilation pressures, acceptance, and marginality.   

4:15 - 4:45 PM

Conference Program Breakout Sessions

“Breakout” Rooms will be scheduled to continue conversations not only with the speakers/presenters but also a chance to “meet up” with other attendees. More information will follow.

3:25 - 4:00 PM

“Significant Jewish Figures in Las Cruces,    New Mexico in the 20th Century”

Presenter: Noel Pugach

This session explores the experiences and contributions of Sam Klein to the economic and political life of Southern New Mexico. Sam Klein owned a furniture store and served in many official capacities, including as mayor and city commissioner of Las Cruces.


9:15 - 10:15 AM

“Through Galveston into the Hinterland: The Galveston            Movement Immigrants and the Communities They Entered” 

9:00 AM

Cassel immigrants, list of destinations (JIIB Records).jpg

This talk provides historical background behind the Galveston Movement, its goals, and ideological motives and offers an interpretation that focuses on the immigrants themselves and the communities they became part of. Viewed this way, the Galveston Movement can be understood as an effort with national scope and importance. Galveston was the port of entry, and Texas received more immigrants than any other state, but this was not fundamentally a Texas event: altogether the immigrants were dispersed from Galveston to 236 American communities in 32 states. This presentation is based on Dr. Stone’s ongoing research on the immigrants’ subsequent lives, reflecting how the Galveston immigrants and the American communities they entered affected each another over time.

10:20 - 11:00 AM

“The Meyers Brothers in Albuquerque and Amarillo:  Jewish siblings in two early twentieth century  Southwest Communities”

Presenter: Naomi Sandweiss

Participants will learn about the secular and Jewish communities of early-mid 20th century Amarillo and Albuquerque through the business, family and religious experiences of my relatives, Latvian-born brothers David (1886-1971) and Louis (1888-1973) Meyer. The Meyer brothers, trained as tailors, immigrated to the US via the UK and married two sisters before settling in the Southwest and building businesses, communities and congregations while maintaining their religious observance.   

11:05 - 11:45 PM

Presenter: Haidee Joy


This session will highlight the fascinating history of Jews in Mexico from the early arrival of the Spanish in Mexico through the Colonial Period and beyond.   

12:00 - 12:30 PM

Conference Program Breakout Sessions

“Breakout” Rooms will be scheduled to continue conversations not only with the speakers/presenters but also a chance to “meet up” with other attendees. More information will follow.

Presenter: Dr. Bryan Stone


Contact Us

The office of the New Mexico Jewish Historical Society is located at the Jewish Community Center in Albuquerque, 5520 Wyoming Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109.

Phone: 505-348-4471
Administrator – Claudia Bloom


  • Black Facebook Icon