Postville

By Emily Duchin

Succession - The Hasidic Jews and Mexican immigrants took over Postville, creating and working in their own meat plants and even requiring teachers to teach English to the immigrant's children. Yep. The amount of non-English speakers in small-town Iowa required the schools to teach them the language.


Below is a diagram of how Postville relates to succession.

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Residential Segregation - Real estate agents would raise prices on their neighborhood houses whenever a Mexican immigrant would be searching for a house. Because they could not afford it, they then had to move to a more far away trailer that was cheaper. This meant that many of the immigrants lived in the outskirts of Postville, together, rather than closer to the locals.


This is an example of the trailer home the Mexicans lived in due to increased prices. They were not next door to their Jewish or white neighbors and lived near other Mexicans.

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Barrioization - With the influx of Hasidic Jews in the town, along with a new kosher meat plant business, there lead to an increased Hispanic population. It was noticeable enough that the schools in Postville had to teach English to the Hispanic children and the town increased police car patrols in fear of the untrustworthy Mexicans. The locals did not take kindly to this.

Identifying Against - The Hasidic Jews certainly did in Postville. They did not mow their lawns, a shocking occurrence in the town. They also wore dark clothing in the middle of summer and did not identify with small town culture. The narrator mentions that one of the defining traits for the Jews was that they identified against to maintain their identity.

Assimilation - When Postville locals first saw the Hasidic Jews take over their town, they expected them to blend in with small town culture. To their disappointment, they did not and tensions started after that. From the video's interviews, some Postville locals mentioned that they should have adapted to their culture and if they did not then they should have never come to the town at all.


On this photo, a parade celebrating a Jewish holiday is taking place. The Hasidic Jews still stuck to their culture instead of blowing it away.

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