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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Immigrants and the suburbs


The Newton History Museum will present a lecture series on immigration and the suburbs in conjunction with the current exhibition, Hyphenated-Origins: Going Beyond the Labels, which was curated by seven Newton high school students.

The series aims to encourage more informed discussions of some of the challenges posed by immigration, including alternatives to the choice between preserving traditional culture and becoming "American." Presented by leading experts in the field, the lectures will highlight the experiences of Italian, Chinese, and Soviet Jewish immigrants in the greater Boston area.

The first in the series is entitled "What Second-Generation Immigrants Can Teach Us about Community-Building: A View from Nonantum," and will be presented on Wednesday, January 24 at 7:30 p.m. by Susan Eckstein, of Boston University. According to Eckstein, moving from cities to suburbia often can destroy ethnic bonds. Her talk will demonstrate how a suburban neighborhood thrived on the basis of community giving, even as the neighborhood became more mixed ethnically, and more
prosperous economically.

The free lectures will be held at the Newton History Museum, 527 Washington Street. For more information about the rest of the series, call 617-796-1450 or visit the museum online.

-- Ralph Ranalli

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