Academic Master


Jewish Religion and Ethnicity

Q1. The Great tradition according to the Jewish culture was enshrined in the Jewish religious laws and written in books, it pointed back to the ancestors of the Jews. The cultural elements of this tradition include literacy in the Hebrew-Aramaic language therefore formal education was necessary to acquire great tradition (Klich & Lesser, 2013).

Also, Jews practiced folk tradition to complement the lacking details in the great tradition. The similarity between the Great Jewish tradition with Christianity is that they both believe in monotheism as well as believing in holy books such as the Bible in Christians and Koran in Islam. In my opinion, the Great tradition locked out the illiterate mostly women who could not comprehend the readings.

Q2. The little tradition was transmitted through the word of mouth by the family hence it did not require formal education to acquire it. It was characterized by synagogue and family rituals, proverbs, spoken language, and holiday foods. The two traditions complement each other in that some of the information that could not be codified in the great tradition was filled using the little tradition. Also, most people learned the great tradition using the little tradition of the lifestyle of their community. The little tradition facilitated the assimilation of the Jews through their learning of the American customs including the way of dressing as well as the English language.

Q3. The Sephardic group comprises the Jews who migrated from Spain after the expulsion of 1492. Some of them had emigrated while others were expelled from Portugal and Spain after they refused to convert to Christianity. After arriving in the United States they settled in Latin America and currently, they are found in Colorado and New Mexico (Klich & Lesser, 2013)

. Their assimilation into the United States was successful because most of them were ready to convert to Christianity. Also, the women started learning the American customs and English language.

Q4.The Ashkenazic group is the Jews who originated from France, Eastern Europe, and Germany (Shaw, 2016). They later settled in North America. They left their original places due to the destruction of the Jewish communities in Germany. They were assimilated into the U.S through the pressure to shift to Christianity as well as adopting the secular influences of the United States. This is similar to the Sephardic Jews who also converted to Christianity to be assimilated. In my opinion, they both converted to Christianity due to the pressure they were under and the destruction as well as the isolation of the conservative Jews.

Q5. Hasidic Jews are a religious group that is much focused on the joyful religious aspects. They emerged in Eastern Europe in around 1740. They migrated to New York due to the persecution of the Jewish people back in Poland (Howe, 2017). The Hasidic Jews have been widely assimilated into the United States through intermarriages, learning the English language, converting to Christianity, and other American customs such as the way of dressing.


Howe, I. (2017). World of our fathers: The journey of the East European Jews to America and the life they found and made. Open Road Media.

Klich, I., & Lesser, J. (Eds.). (2013). Arab and Jewish immigrants in Latin America: images and realities. Routledge

Shaw, S. J. (2016). The Jews of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic. Springer.



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