Migration as a response to political and social impositions, exclusion, and persecution plays a prominent role in Jewish history, as does migration assistance. After World War I, European states and the United States tightened their immigration laws. This had an impact on the work of aid organizations that sought to assist Jewish migrants. Women’s organizations that had promoted the professionalization of social work during World War I turned to refugee assistance in the interwar period. They brought their professional expertise to a field of work that was increasingly limited by a national, ethnic, or religious orientation of immigration laws. The project examines how their assistance changed over the period from initially providing general aid to all those seeking help, to identifying those ‘entitled’ to help, and all the way to managing migration targets.
Drawing Boundaries through Humanitarian Aid Based on the Example of Jewish Migration to the USA between 1920 and 1950