Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tuesday July 15

Went with Jack Z. to arrange
with a lawyer about the
camp credit union.

I am alarmed not having
received any call yet
about my naturalization.


Matt's Notes

"Jack Z." is, as we've noted before, the august Jack Zichlinsky, one of Papa's best friends and a brother in the Zionist fraternal organization Order Sons of Zion (B'nai Zion). Immigrants like Papa were used to getting a number of financial, medical and legal services through private, dues-supported organizations like B'nai Zion, which was already a burial society and a reseller of life insurance for its members. As an officer of his local chapter Papa was obviously responsible for organizing its credit union as well.

Though he's discussed B'nai Zion many times before, this entry has the first mention of Papa's naturalization status. According to The National Archives and Web sites, naturalization would have been a two-step process for Papa: after living in the U.S. for at least two years, he would have filed a Declaration of Intention to naturalize (a.k.a. "First Papers") and after a waiting period of another three to five years he would have filed a Petition for Naturalization.'s New York County Supreme Court Naturalization Petition Index shows that Papa probably filed his petition in June of 1920. He'd been waiting a while for his naturalization, but I wonder why he picked July 15th, 1924 to feel especially worried about it. Maybe Jack Z.'s own naturalization has just come through and he'd discussed it with Papa while they were out and about, or maybe naturalization chatter had increased in the local community, in the newspapers, or on the radio for some reason. The Johnson-Reed Act of 1924, a bill that imposed heavy immigration restrictions on Eastern Europeans (among other groups) had also become law couple of months earlier -- maybe Papa had just gotten around to worrying about it now since it happened around the time of his father's death. In any event, I have to look into this more.


Additional References

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