By now, we have read countless articles warning of the coming end of the Jewish golden era in America. The dwindling number of Americans identifying as Jews (now around 4.5 million—half of all Americans of Jewish descent), the passing of the Holocaust generation and the fading memory of the Holocaust itself, ideological polarization and illiberalism are just a few of the reasons discussed.
Over the span of Jewish history, across centuries and continents, the Jewish people had many periods of prosperity. Most well-known was the Golden Age in Spain from the mid-12th century until the end of the 14th century. Under the rule of the Muslim Umayyad Caliphate, “Al-Andalus”—modern day Spain—became a haven for Jewish culture in which art, literature, philosophy, and theology. This peaceful period ended abruptly in 1492, when all Jews of Spain and Portugal were suddenly and forcefully expelled or converted to Christianity.
Hundreds of years later, around 1950 to the turn of the 21st century, Jewish life experienced another Golden Age, this time in the United States and Israel. During the post-World War II-era, as many survivors, as well as Jews expelled from Arab countries, immigrated to the Israel and the United States, conditions in America improved dramatically for Jewish Americans. Antisemitism rapidly decreased, and the Jewish community became one of the most successful immigrant communities in the United States.