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I Banks James A 1997 Teaching Strategies for Ethnic Studies Allyn and Bacon Boston MA II Summary Chapter nine of Teaching Strategies for Ethnic Studies covers the ethnic group Jewish Americans In the United States at present time there are about 55 million Jewish Americans They comprise about 22 of the U S population They are a religious cultural and ethnic minority group that originated in Israel They live in each of the fifty states and are a very diverse group of people Jewish Americans have been a part of American history since the days of Columbus They have contributed significantly in the areas of arts science medicine education law and other fields Some of their contributions have included works by Jewish novelists playwrights and critics who write from a Jewish perspective and on Jewish themes They have played a major role in shaping many fundamental themes and concepts of our culture such as religious freedom the achievement of civic equality and the struggle of a group to maintain its ethnic identity while assimilating into the U S mainstream The history of the Jewish peoples spans 4000 years of Western civilization In 0 AD Romans defeated the Jewish state in Palestine driving most of the Jews into exile Many fled to Babylonian By the ninth century the Jewish people were flourishing in Spain where the cooperative attitudes of the Moors helped create a golden age of Jewish scholarship literature and science In the thirteenth century Christian brutality against Jews erupted Entire Jewish communities were decimated Many Jews were forced or frightened into the Catholic Church Many secretly held their Jewish faith while professing Christianity The Spanish called them Marranos pigs In 1492 the Spanish monarchs expelled the entire Jewish community Almost 150000 Jews fled Spain A few made their way to America to become the largest Jewish population in the world Today about 31 of the worlds Jews live in the U S
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