The decades following World War II introduced enormous changes to Washington. As the federal bureaucracy expanded, newcomers flocked to the government boomtown. Over a third of Jewish workers in Washington were federal employees.
Returning veterans and newly arrived government workers contributed to the transformation of Washington from capital city into metropolitan region. Seeking new homes, they joined an exodus to the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. By 1956, half of the area’s 81,000 Jews lived outside the city limits. Synagogues and many businesses followed.
At the same time, many local Jews joined the political and social movements of the 1950s and 1960s.