24 July 2010

Southern California: Red Line Jewish Immigrants, Aug. 1

The Red Star Line brought 2.7 million immigrants - half were likely Jewish - from Eastern Europe, via Antwerp, to US ports from 1873-1934.

Artist Eugeen Van Mieghem of Antwerp is probably the only European artist who captured the lives of the Jewish immigrants. His parents had a tavern in front of the Red Star Line warehouse, providing a front row seat.

Eugeen Van Mieghem Museum (Antwerp) curator Erwin Joos will speak at the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County (JGSCV) on Sunday, August 1.

The program will run from 1.30-3.30pm at Temple Adat Elohim, 2420 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks.

Joos' topic is "One Foot in America: Eugeen Van Mieghem (1875-1930) and the Jewish Emigrants of the Red Star Line."

The largest number of Jewish immigrants came following programs (1900-1914). Joos will also address Jewish writers who described their travel experiences on one of the most important shipping lines.

Joos is also president of the non-profit Eugeen Van Mieghem Foundation, which has more than 1,100 members. He has spoken some 100 times in Dutch, English and French, in Antwerp, Amsterdam, Paris, New York and Philadelphia; has written five art books, 12 albums, and organized 15 exhibits.

He will be speaking at several Jewish genealogical societies on this tour, so look out for notices and try to attend his talk.

The book and DVD -"One Foot in America, Eugeen Van Mieghem (1875-1930) and the Jewish Emigrants of the Red Star Line" - will be available for $20 each.

For more information, visit the JGSCV or contact president Jan Meisels Allen.

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