Faced with poverty and death, millions of Eastern European Jews poured into America in the early 1900s. They crowded into ghettos along the Eastern seaboard.

Jewish leaders grew concerned that the U.S. government would soon close its doors to these new immigrants.

They devised a plan to bring thousands of immigrants through the port of Galveston, Texas to settle them throughout America’s heartland.

This plan became known as the “GALVESTON MOVEMENT”. There were even some unexpected results.

“I told them I was a blacksmith,” said one greenhorn. “So who knew from a blacksmith? I had to say something. So I became a peddler. Peddler. . .shmeddler. . .if it earned me an honest living, I’d do it.”

With great warmth and humor, West of Hester Street interweaves the dramatized events of the Galveston Movement with the story of a young Jewish peddler who journeys from Russia to Texas.

The late Sam Jaffe narrates the immigrant’s heart-warming story.

Awards and Competitive Screenings