This Jewish surname of KAZAN was an occupational name for a cantor in a synagogue. The name was derived from the Hebrew CHAZAN, and it also spelt CHASAN, HAZZAN, KHAZAN, CHASINOFF, KHAZONIVCH and CHASINS, to name but a few. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. A notable member of the name was Elia KAZAN originally KAZANJOGLOUS, born in 1909, the Turkish-born American stage and film director, born in Constantinople. He founded (with Lee Strasberg) the Actors Studio in 1947 with its emphasis on 'Method Acting'. His Broadway productions include the works of Wilder, Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams. His films include 'A Streetcar Named Desire' (1951) 'East of Eden' (1954) and 'The Last Tycoon' (1976). Between 1880 and 1914, almost three million Jews left Eastern Europe, representing the most extensive migration in Jewish history since the expulsion of Jews from Spain at the end of the 15th century. Most of the emigrants fled from Russia, where pogroms had raged, and where the laws of Czar Alexander III had oppressed Jewish life. Most of the emigrants departed from Hamburg and went to the United States, but some emigrated to Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada and South Africa. While the vast majority of the immigrants to America came through Ellis Island from 1907 to 1914 thousands of East European Jews participated in a little known episode in American Jewish history. They migrated through the port of Galveston, Texas and then were routed to towns throughout the Midwest where lodging and jobs awaited them.
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