Compare and contrast the general struggle of the following three groups, the Jews, Mexicans, and Catholics, from past until present.

Their social cliques (societies) established in the U.S.


The influx of Jewish immigrants started in the nineteenth century and by 1880 there was a significant number Jews in the United States. The Jewish community was predominantly focused on three main communities or societies.i.e The Orthodox who believed in keeping the tradition intact and following their set of religious laws and principles. The Conservative were a society which also retained the traditional values but molded them to the existing social norms. The Reform inculcated the Jewish laws and tactfully changed them to aid in modern trend of society.

The German Jews made two sects which were the Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism. In the present United States the sect of modern Jewish societies and movements are segregated under three different groups which are

The Society for Humanistic Judaism, Congress of Secular Jewish Organizations and Workmen’s Circle. These Jewish societies have helped their members to establish themselves in the new environment and also remain close knit even with the differences in certain principles. Christopher M. Dumm, executive director of the Indian American Center for Political Awareness, says, \"No community in the U.S. has such a strong well knit set up as the Jews. It is the best example of how the bulk of society can come forward to help the economically poor to build human capability so that they can find suitable jobs in the market.\" (Christopher Dumm, the


Mexicans have identified themselves through groups like the Spanish Coalition which helped settle these Mexicans as well as help them through difficulties that they faced with the existing social discrimination. The more prominent Mexicans fought for educational institutions for Mexican students and various other societies were formed to help the underprivileged Mexicans in the US.


The largest Catholic immigration to the US is by Hispanics the rest are from other eastern countries. Fathers paved the way for societies of secular priests with the aim of preparing the younger generation for priesthood. With these ideals of their religion they were molded to build churches to represent their values and traditions in life. A large number of convents were established later on in the century. The Catholics were predominantly involved in religious societies and charity associations on those times. In today’s world some of the major charitable

organizations are run by Catholics and Catholic societies.

Access to education


Most of the young Jews attended public schools where they had the chance to mingle with others students from varied cultural backgrounds. Some others chose to study in the traditional Jewish day schools and Yeshivas where they academics included studies on Jewish culture and their language. The Synagogues also offered educational programmes taught in Sunday schools or elementary schools, where the student can keep in touch with the Jewish culture.

In the early days acceptance of Jewish students to good universities was limited.

Only a selected handful of Jewish professors were absorbed in elite educational institutions. Several policies pointing towards the quota systems limited the Jews entering all types of educational institutions which resulted in the Jews having no choice except to accept and work around the options opens to them at that time.

“In 1848 the Hebrew Education Society was founded at Philadelphia—originally a school for general instruction in the ordinary branches up to and through the Grammar-school grade, together with instruction in Hebrew and in the Jewish religion”. (1901-1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

Later on the Hebrew Free School Association came into the picture with free education which catered to children from different backgrounds and places.

These educational institutes were intended to take the place of existing private schools with equal sanding in the educational society.


Mexicans have poor educational background since the early immigrants themselves were not very well educated. The descendants therefore found it difficult to adjust them in the intricate educational system followed in the increasingly progressive society. With the employment fields demanding high

educational qualifications the Mexicans found themselves lagging behind and opting for menial jobs as a result of incomplete educational qualifications.

Mexicans generally do not take to higher education due to which they have always remained poverty ridden compared to other immigrated dwellers. Their early education is very limited due to the fact that they do not pursue or finish even the primary education levels. This is the only group that has the highest drop outs in college much before graduation making the literacy level of

Mexicans drop to a great extent. Mexicans have the lowest percentage of literacy in the US due to which they are more inclined towards low skill jobs resulting in low incomes leading to poverty and making them the poorest sect in the US.

However in recent times the Mexican community has moved a great deal forward in increasing their knowledge on business ventures this is reflected in the numerous Spanish language media stations and newspapers available in the US today.


The early schools were formed by Catholics by dedicated parents and priests who along with the nuns formed the backbone of the emerging educational society then. Increasing cultural changes along with obstacles of resistances were the foundations of the catholic educational system that are prevalent today.

The Catholics built their own schools to counter the protestant educational system. These catholic institutions strived to blend with the social norms of society while retaining the catholic culture and religious beliefs as well.

Catholics were predecessors of convent education that we enjoy today. The first catholic educational convent was founded in Philadelphia. With this historical step into the world of education the Catholics went on to spread their wings and educate millions of Americans in the world today. The early catholic schools did encounter obstacles but has managed to survive and dominate the world of education today. Some of the premier and elite educational institutions in the world are Catholic convents and institutes which has come a long way to conquer the world of knowledge through their educational systems.

Employment (what types of jobs did these groups due when they arrived in the U.S)


Early immigrant Jews were peddlers and exceptional merchants who took the most advantage of the continents existing trade resources. They were the pioneers who had helped America to make clothes with sewing machines since

Jews were renowned for their weaving and sewing capabilities. Jews were born tradesmen and had an amazing aptitude for finance. The Jews also entered the field of education and have since made great progress in the respective fields.

Many of them also made their into the media and entertainment fields to become famous in due course. There have been a few who have served the nation as senators since 1845. Even though they were basically from an agricultural background, the fact that they could not own land when they first immigrated drove them to financial sector of banking and trading.


Mexicans were mostly employed as unskilled laborers in the agricultural and industrial fields. The men were the work force behind the Mexican immigrant society and were employed in hard labor as well. They represented cheap labo force that was essential to build the economy of the country. Their fear of deportation was exploited to a large extent by employers and they constantly

were undermined which kept them from benefiting from the social welfare due to

the underprivileged.

Later the Mexican immigrants protested against the immigration laws which eventually granted citizenship to Mexican immigrants. In the present world Mexican immigrants are steadily climbing the social ladder and striving to make a stand in the American society. Many Mexicans are now an integral part of Americas Meat packaging, landscaping projects and the hospitality industry.

They have expanded their employment territory and become business men

especially in the restaurant and media line.


The immigrant catholic families had to struggle hard during their early settlement days to earn a living in the new society. The only strength was their hope in religion and help from each other which kept them going for a long time.

Ranching and farming was taken up by them even though it involved hard labor while some of them ventured into small and successful business in the neighborhood.

Later on they diversified with the progress in the society and mastered the field of education through religious entities. Most of their progress was based on religious overtones. Employment within the educational field was plenty and gave them a better standing in the society as well. With well educated Catholics on the rise they were able to get prime positions in high places thereby being to lend a helping hand to the others in the community.

Today American Catholics constitute a major part of the society’s culture and have contributed to a big extent towards the growth of the American culture with charitable organizations and educational institutions providing work to millions of Americans.

Jewish Assimilation

The Jewish assimilation was encouraged by the fact that the immigrant Jews were willing to make adjustments in their religious ideals and accommodate in order to blend into the adopted society and culture. The non Jewish culture initially was a shock but with efforts the immigrant Jews changed and incorporated the new values into their lives in order to blend into the American society.

These inter racial marriages increased the assimilation factor through the children had access to two cultures at the same time. This is compounded by the fact that very few children have been passed on the traditional Jewish culture and religious values. The United States itself has done a great deal in the assimilation of Jewish immigrants.

The contribution of Jews towards the financial and business sectors has been of added value to the country. They have proved their worth in varied sectors making the assimilation process combined and successful.

Mexican Assimilation

Mexicans being the largest community of immigrants in the US, along with the increasing community of illegal immigrants to the country. They arrived in hordes from the long penetrated border and settled in the southwest. They have religiously tried and made all efforts to be assimilated into the American society.

Learning the language has been the primary target and trying to blend into the cultures as most of them do not like being associated with the pure ethnic identification.

They have moved on to metros making their presence felt in various non skilled and cheap labor requirements of the society. In addition to this some others had made it to the high society by learning the English language, getting good education thereby being able to settle in cosmopolitan neighborhoods. Their growing patriotism to their adopted land is a major factor contributing to the assimilation of Mexicans.

Catholic Assimilation

In spite of being a part of the white race and from a Christian background the Catholics faced many hurdles assimilating into the American culture. Since the influx of immigrants was increasing the new immigrants found themselves left out from the social societies due to the problems they faced in settling down.

Eventually they blended into the culture primarily by actively involving themselves in social activities and learning the native language. In addition to these foreign languages was accepted by the government reducing the need for the English language.

The lack of skilled labor in the Catholic community was initially looked down upon by the non catholic settlers. This was changed with hard work and significant contributions by the catholic community towards building the Unites States of America.

The fact is that even with all these diverse cultures and languages the US has remained a progressive nation and the changes have not affected its culture. The United States of America with all the varied cultures still remains a dreamland of opportunities and a super power in the world.

Works Cited

Greg Reed. The Bi-College News online “ What does it mean to be an American?”. ARCHIVES > MARCH 28, 2006 > OPINION > Article View 28 March 2006, 04 April 2008.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. “Secular Jewish Culture” 28 February 2008,

Diner Hasia, The Jews of the United States, 1654 to 2000, Jewish Communities in the Modern World, 4

An S. Mark Taper Foundation Book in Jewish Studies

Online edition of India\'s National Newspape Sunday, Apr 03, 2005

The Hindu

Copyright © 2005, The Hindu Republication

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