Jerry Rishe, U.S. Immigration Law as it Affected Jewish Immigration


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Date(s) - May 19, 2024
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Jerry Rishe

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JGSLA’s next meeting– Live & Zoom

Temple Ramat Zion Synagogue

17655 Devonshire St, Northridge, CA 91325

There is ample free parking in a large parking lot, entrance on White Oak. Please drive up to the gate to trigger opening.

The synagogue will be open at 1:00 P.M. 

Jerry Rishe, U.S. Immigration Law as it Affected Jewish Immigration

  This program was not recorded.

Sunday, May 19, 2024
Zoom will start @
1:30 P.M.
Synagogue opens at 1:00 P.M.

Program Description:  There is a handout for this program.

The Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924

The 1924 Johnson-Reed Immigration Act marked the beginning of a dark chapter in our nation’s immigration history. The N.Y. Times headline declared: AMERICA OF THE MELTING POT COMES TO END.

The story of how we reached that point is littered with xenophobia, fear of the Other, the Ku Klux Klan, the so-called science of eugenics and the need, as stated by President Coolidge, that America must remain American. After Johnson-Reed passed, it ended a historic migration of Jews to the United States & created restrictions that would keep out many Jewish refugees when the Nazis rose to power a decade later.

How did the change in immigration law impact the ability of Jews to enter the U.S.? How did the U.S. State Department acquire an outsized role in denying immigrants generally, and Jews in particular, legal entry into the United States?


Jerry Rishe attended Cal State University Northridge where he competed on the Speech and Debate team winning numerous awards for public speaking. After graduation, he attended Whittier Law School becoming an attorney in 1978.  For the last 16 years of his legal career he was a trial attorney with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (later the Department of Homeland Security) prosecuting people charged with violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act in Immigration Court. In addition, he defended the Service and Department against charges in employment matters. In 2008 he was honored by being named Employee of the Year.

Jerry is frequently engaged as a speaker before organizations on a variety of topics. His expertise on immigration law provides a background to talk about the history of Jewish immigration, the path taken to the 1924 Immigration Act and its implications upon passage.


JGSLA MEMBERS FREE – $5 FOR GUESTS, ALL ARE WELCOME, please share the ZOOM link with folks you know.