Bodies and Souls

Bodies and Souls

The Tragic Plight of Three Jewish Women Forced Into Prostitution in the Americas

Book - 2005
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An account of the forced slavery and prostitution of thousands of Jewish women from the 1860s to the beginning of World War II. Young and poor, they were sold or duped into slavery, forced to become prostitutes by the Zwi Migdal, a notorious gang of Jewish mobsters. They left behind the grinding poverty and anti-Semitism of Eastern Europe's urban ghettos and rural shtetls to find themselves in brothels in South America, Latin America, South Africa, India, and New York. Though these women were forced into this, the Jewish community deemed them unclean. Barred from synagogues and shunned by their coreligionists, they were also forbidden from partaking in Jewish burial. Eventually they formed The Society of Truth, a religious order of love, honor to God, and faith in one another that established women-only synagogues, kosher kitchens, and cemeteries.
Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060090234
Branch Call Number: 306.74 Vincent
Characteristics: xii, 276 p. ,[8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm


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Jul 04, 2011

This book about slavery is important to those interested in women's history and Jewish history. In the late 1800s, thousands of Eastern European Jewish women were enslaved, not unlike Africans being kidnapped and held in slavery. Only these women, after they were forced to sail to the Americas, had only one kind of work to do as slaves: they were forced to become sex workers. Thousands had been kidnapped or grievously deceived into leaving Eastern Europe (and other countries). The women in Eastern Europe, the subjects of this book, had grown up living in desperate straits - families were starving, living in hovels, and Jewish people were frequently persecuted and murdered. Even parents sold their daughters to men who promised to marry them but, instead of becoming husbands, the men became slave-holders, pimps who prostituted the women and even sold them at markets set up for that purpose.
There is much much more. It is an important piece of history that is often ignored.


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