DEAR EDITOR: Letters from a Bintel Brief

A curriculum designed to teach timeless lessons about life, love, community, and self using historic letters from new Americans.

At the turn of the 20th century, eager new immigrants sent their burning questions to the editors at the Jewish Daily Forward. The leading Yiddish-language newspaper at the time, the Forward served as a guide and companion for many Jewish people newly living in America. Their letters to the newspaper were printed in an advice column called A Bintel Brief (meaning “a bundle of letters”). In these letters, they sought answers on how new immigrants should navigate American customs, immigrant struggles, new jobs and broken relationships. Although these questions were posed long ago, we can glean from them timeless wisdom and understanding of the immigrant experience.

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What was life like for new Americans in 1900?

 

Prepare your classroom for Dear Editor with a contextual lesson →

Eager young newsies await the start of their day selling Forward newspapers. [Lewis Hine, 1913]