Passover Food Shopping on the Lower East Side: Yesterday and Today
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  • 10 . Apr . 2014

Once home to the largest concentration of Jews in America, the Lower East Side still houses some favorite Jewish food establishments. Here are some of our favorites where Passover shoppers past and present have picked up traditional foods for the holiday seder. A visit to these places sheds light on Passover customs, foods and history, while emphasizing the Lower East Side’s continued link to the immigrants who prepared for the Passover holiday over a century ago. Streit’s Matzos on 148-154 Rivington Street. Satisfy all of your matzo needs here. Streit’s has been in business and in the same family for about ninety years and has been making the traditional unleavened bread in the factory since 1925. We were served by a fourth-generation Streit’s family member! Stop by Streit’s to see how [...]


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Chicken Soup With Matzo Balls: From Our Kitchen to Yours!
Chicken Soup With Matzo Balls: From Our Kitchen to Yours!
  • 10 . Mar . 2014

By: Sophie Kaufman, Museum Intern I came up with the idea for the event Old Recipes for a New Generation: Chicken Soup & Matzo Ball Demo (Monday, March 10, 2014) because, to put it simply, I wanted to learn how to make matzo ball soup! There are certain traditional Jewish recipes that everyone should know how to whip up. These recipes are easy to make, healthy and affordable. At our cooking event, Eldridge Street’s Program Director Hanna Griff-Sleven will be guiding participants through the steps of making the perfect Jewish penicillin. Hanna learned this delicious recipe from her mother, and here we pass it onto you!   Chicken Soup With Matzo Balls Recipe Chicken Soup Ingredients: 1 whole (5-pound) roasting chicken 2 stalks of celery (chopped) 2-3 carrots (peeled and [...]


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5 Great Places to Find Historic NYC Photos
5 Great Places to Find Historic NYC Photos
  • 28 . Feb . 2014

By Sophie Kaufman At Eldridge Street, we are often looking for great historic photographs that help tell the story of our landmark site, the historic Lower East Side, and immigration to New York City. Here we share five of our favorite on-line historic photo resources perfect for uncovering vintage photographs, newspaper clippings, videos, recordings and more! Our Favorite Online Resources: 1. The Museum of the City of New York Go to the Collections Portal to explore the more than 135,000 images from the City Museum’s collections, all relating to New York City history. We are big fans of their Yiddish Theatre and Jacob Riis collections. You can explore their content more easily by using their research tabs of  “Highlights”, “Themes”, “Borough”, “Formats”, and “Exhibitions.” Also, make sure to check out the Arthur Rothstein collection for beautiful photographs [...]


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From the Archives: Saving a Lower East Side Landmark
From the Archives: Saving a Lower East Side Landmark
  • 20 . Feb . 2014

By Museum Deputy Director, Amy Stein-Milford While conducting research for a new exhibition that will open at the Museum this spring, I can across an article from the 1970s. It describes the Eldridge Street Synagogue when it was at its most precarious.  It includes an interview with Professor Gerard Wolfe, who was then writing a book on the synagogues of the Lower East Side. He descibes:”When I got to the vestibule on the main floor, I found the doors of the sanctuary warped shut. I pulled them open and stepped inside, and my hair stood on end. It was like the Twilight Zone, like going into the past…Forty years of accumulated dust covered the pews.” This photo here documents that period in the synagogue’s history.     It was soon after [...]


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Yesterday and Today: Jewish Culinary Landmarks of the Lower East Side
Yesterday and Today: Jewish Culinary Landmarks of the Lower East Side
  • 12 . Feb . 2014

By Sophie Kaufman If there is one thing that we at the Museum at Eldridge Street share it is an overwhelming love for food, especially when considering the numerous culinary options available in our Lower East Side home. As die-hard foodies, we’d like to share our favorite eateries and vendors from yesterday and today. We think they have made their mark and reflect the diversity of our ever-evolving neighborhood, from Jewish eateries that have vanished to the still-standing kosher restaurants that serve Chinese delicacies. These restaurants have functioned as watering holes for locals and have impacted the social, economic and political climate of this bustling neighborhood. Take the Garden Cafeteria, for instance. The Garden Cafeteria, once located just a few blocks from the Eldridge Street Synagogue, not only fed locals [...]


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Shadows at Eldridge Street: Celebrating Groundhog Day!
Shadows at Eldridge Street: Celebrating Groundhog Day!
  • 30 . Jan . 2014

By Sophie Kaufman What do Groundhog Day and the Eldridge Street Synagogue have in Common? Both Punxsutawney Phil and the Eldridge Street Synagogue made their big debut in 1887, 127 years ago! According to folklore, when Punxsutawney Phil fully emerges from hibernating in his burrow an early spring season is predicted. If Phil sees his shadow upon emerging and retreats back into his burrow, then six more weeks of winter-like weather will commence. This Sunday, February 2, as we all hold our breaths for an end to the arctic cold front, our Preservation Detectives’ Groundhog Day Scavenger Hunt will discover what light and shadows mean to Eldridge Street! Even on a gloomy February day, the synagogue dazzles as light floats through the stained glass windows, creating colorful shadows that are [...]


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The First Rabbi at Eldridge Street – Avrohom Aharon Yudelovitch
The First Rabbi at Eldridge Street – Avrohom Aharon Yudelovitch
  • 13 . Jan . 2014

This piece about Rabbi Avrohom Aharon Yudelovitch was researched and written by Barry Yood. Barry is the great-grandson of Rabbi Yudelovitch and, as a docent at the Museum, shares the story of his great-grandfather’s shul with visitors from around the world.  In 1918, 25 years after they first opened, the congregation of the Eldridge Street Synagogue hired their first full-time pulpit rabbi: Avrohom Aharon Yudelovitch.  They chose wisely. Yudelovitch was a brilliant scholar, a charismatic speaker, and was respected both in the United States and Europe. He would represent the congregation both to the Jewish and broader New York City communities until his death in 1930. Rabbi Yudelovitch was part of the massive wave of migration that brought more than two million Jews from Eastern Europe to America. He was born [...]


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Rugelach: The Mysteriously Delicious Treat
Rugelach: The Mysteriously Delicious Treat
  • 18 . Dec . 2013

By Sophie Kaufman Next week,  as part of our December holiday week offerings, Museum Deputy Director Amy Stein-Milford and Director of Family History Center & Cultural Programs Hanna Griff-Sleven will pass along their rugelach wisdom. Participants will learn how to roll doll and mix fillings, and leave with treats to share with the family. Here, intern Sophie Kaufman explore the origins of this traditional Jewish pastry. In preparation, Amy and Hanna have been testing recipes and getting their final concoction down to a science. What are a few secrets they have discovered? Beyond perfecting the most malleable dough, they have discovered the creativity of the classic rugelach model. Amy describes her rugelach experiments: “Beyond the dough, we’ve been exploring the boundaries of the rugelach filling. This is fun. We’ve used just [...]


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Thanksgivukkah: Odd Facts and a Delicious Recipe
Thanksgivukkah: Odd Facts and a Delicious Recipe
  • 20 . Nov . 2013

By Sophie Kaufman This year at Eldridge Street, we are marking the unlikely conjunction of two favorite family holidays: Hanukkah and Thanksgiving. This joint holiday has been dubbed Thanksgivukkah and it is the first time the two have come together in 125 years.  We will celebrate this Sunday, November 24th with a Thanksgivukkah Extravaganzikah! A Two-Hour Holiday Special. We’ll make a Turkey-shaped challah, Thanksgivukkah art and gelt, and go on a Great Dreidel Scavenger Hunt. The eight-day Hanukkah festival of 2013 begins at sundown on November 27th, the evening before Thanksgiving. Although the two holidays would have overlapped in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln did not formally establish the Thanksgiving holiday until two years later, in 1863. Therefore, this year will officially mark the first Thanksgivukkah in history. The two holidays won’t coincide [...]


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Synagogues of the Lower East Side
Synagogues of the Lower East Side
  • 13 . Nov . 2013

By Sophie Kaufman This past summer, Museum at Eldridge Street’s Education and Programs Associate Sara Lowenburg set out to make a map of the Lower East Side synagogues for our visitors. She decided to create the map after receiving a constant query from visitors: Beyond the Eldridge Street Synagogue are any Jewish religious and cultural monuments still standing? In an area that is now home to a bustling Chinatown it does not look as though any remnant of the great wave of Jewish migration still exists. But on closer inspection, Sara discovered numerous hidden treasures that represent the Jewish population that once inhabited the teeming streets of the Lower East Side. Email Sara at slowenburg@eldridgestreet.org for a copy of the “Synagogues of the Lower East Side” map. Sara utilized Gerard [...]


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