Settlement Houses & Assistance

In this section of the website, we explore the role of Settlement Houses in the New York metropolitan area.  Through the historical context of Jewish immigrant neighborhoods at the turn of the 20th century, and within current Mexican immigrant communities, it is possible to understand the ways in which these assistance organizations have been influenced by the very city they serve.

In the last fifty years, settlement houses have become more culturally-oriented as American attitudes towards immigrant assimilation (or lack thereof) have shifted.  In years prior it was the modus operandi for immigrants to “assimilate” into the so-called American culture, but now they are encouraged to be proud of their unique cultural heritage, and to celebrate it. This trend can be applied to both Jews and Mexicans as immigrant groups to the New York area.  Within the Landsmanshaften,  the societies geared themselves towards a more cultural theme as opposed to a religious theme over time,  and in both functions they were extremely popular in the initial flood of migration.  Mexican assistance groups in the present day consider cultural programs to be an essential component of their educational departments.

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