Globalization and Its Impact on Jewish Communities in Central Maryland

Globalization has had a remarkable effect on Jewish communities around the world, and Central Maryland is no exception. In this article, we will explore the effects of globalization on Jewish communities in Central Maryland, from migratory movements to education and religious life. In the early 19th century, around 10,000 German and Central European Jews settled in Maryland. This was followed by a massive influx of Eastern European Jews between the 1880s and 1920s.

This migratory flow was essential in transforming Jewish life in the region. The interactions between social limitations and opportunities in a given country or region, as well as the unique nature of Jewish origins and patterns of integration, have been key factors in the development of Jewish communities in Central Maryland. In the United States, the main indicators are closer to those of Brazilian and Argentinian communities with an average intensity, while Mexico is closer to Canada with a higher intensity. Despite increasing criticism of Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories and its lack of official recognition of all Jewish religious currents, Israel has maintained its centrality in public conversation. The Jewish religious world in the Americas has intensified and expanded due to globalization.

This is particularly notable in the United States, where it has brought Latin American and North American experiences closer together. Rabbi Illowy was invited to be the chief rabbi of the Shaarei Chased Congregation in New Orleans due to his popularity. Until recent decades, education in private Jewish community institutions had been the exception rather than the rule, since most Jewish families had sent their children to public schools. However, this pattern has changed due to globalization. The digitalization of global communications has also favored transnational ethnic and religious associations and virtual communities. This has had a direct impact on the associational dynamics and institutional formations that shape the structural bases of Jewish life. Therefore, we must see American and Israeli communities in their internal and cross-border diversification.

Decades after the founding migrations to the Americas, renewed migratory waves have become central factors of social change for those who move and those who stay. In conclusion, globalization has had a profound impact on Jewish communities in Central Maryland. From migratory flows to education and religious life, it has reshaped Jewish life in the region.

Ankie Groot
Ankie Groot

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