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Throughout the 1800s, most of the world's Jews lived in Eastern Europe. Although their rights were not the same as those in Western Europe there were signs of improvement in the middle of the century. This optimism halted abruptly in 1881 when violent pogroms erupted after the assassination of Tsar Alexander II of Russia. Early the next year Jews were again permitted to emigrate, which they did in large numbers. Between 1881 and 1914, over 2 million Eastern European Jews settled in the US and approx. 50,000 settled in Canada. For them and the other immigrants America and Canada were true havens, free of the persecution and most of the poverty they had known in Europe and offering great economic and educational opportunities.

A far larger wave of immigration to the US was also taking place at that time, as 26 million Eastern and southern European immigrants, including the 2 million Jews, flocked to American shores. In America it was an era of vast changes; and American life was altered by the new and varied immigrant population, the closing of the frontier, the growth of industry and cities, the rise of the labor movement and the spread of Socialism. The immigrants formed the backbone of American industry and made the US a richer, more diverse society than it had ever been. Social change, however, also created tensions, fear and opposition to immigration.

Jewish immigrants lived and worked in crowded city areas like New York City's Lower East Side. They played their part in the transformation of American society, and, in turn, were transformed by it. Still, America was not perfect. The Declaration of Independence's promise of the inalienable right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" was as yet incomplete. American Jews, drawing on both their ancient Prophetic heritage and their new, democratic one, would play a prominent role in the effort to realize the American ideals of freedom and justice.

EXTRA HISTORY ON JEWISH MIGRATION: In addition to the Jews who came to the US, some settled in Montreal and Toronto in Canada. British Columbia, Canada, was not a major lure for Jewish immigrants. The City of Vancouver was incorporated in 1886. Not surprisingly, those Jewish immigrants who did settle in British Columbia were attracted to this rapidly expanding port. Within 5 years (1891) the population of Vancouver exceeded that of Victoria, as did its Jewish population. Besides those who settled in B.C., the more adventurous chose small towns such as Nanaimo, Prince Rupert or Prince George; and Rossland, Trail and Nelson in the Kootenays.

Answer:For the same reasons why everyone else would migrate to the USA. In the Nazi period they were fleeing from persecution.
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Q: Why did Jews immigrate to the United States?
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