Sunday, November 15, 2020, 1:30
Why Cleveland? Finding Answers
in the Industrial Removal Office Records
Presented by Renée K. Carl
Co-sponsored by the Siegal Lifelong
Learning Program of Case Western Reserve University
About The Lecture
Wondering why your immigrant ancestor chose to
live in Cleveland instead of Pittsburgh? Little
Rock, not Los Angeles? Memphis, not Miami? The answers
might lie in the records of the Industrial Removal
Office, a scary name for a good organization. The
IRO, founded in 1901, assisted immigrants in finding
employment and better living conditions, and helped
assimilate them into American society. IRO agents,
often working in partnership with B’nai B’rith or
other Jewish fraternal groups, spread around the
USA securing jobs, and then immigrants would be
sent to those locations to establish a new life.
Records of the IRO, housed at the American Jewish
Historical Society, include ledger books, case files
and correspondence, as well as reports by local
agents on the newly settled immigrants. Ohio, and
specifically Cleveland, played outsized roles in
the history of the IRO, and the talk will provide
an Ohio-focused angle.
The presentation examines the history of the
IRO and its records. The presentation will, using
a case study, demonstrate how to use the online
index, and how to navigate to find immigrant case
files, correspondence, and reports.
Click here for more information.