Griff Family Recipes for a Sweet New Year

This post was adapted from a piece written by Hanna Griff-Sleven and last published in 2018. The Museum’s former Program Director, Hanna Griff-Sleven, not only cooked up many great programs (including our signature Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas Festival!) but is a wonderful chef, too. In this post from 2011, she shares some delicious […]

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What makes a museum a museum?

What makes a museum a museum?

This post was researched and written by Haley Coopersmith. When you hear the word “museum” what comes to mind? Gilded reliquaries filled with the bones of biblical saints? Fiji mermaids, human skulls, and marble busts in glass cases? Or maybe rooms stuffed to the brim with a variety of taxidermy specimens and fossilized remains from […]

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On this day: bad press for “our down-town brethren”

On this day: bad press for “our down-town brethren”

This post was written by Museum intern Lila Norris. As you may have read, last week on September 4th marked the anniversary of the Eldridge Street Synagogue opening its doors, but this week marks another related anniversary regarding press that followed that opening. On September 11th, 1887 the Reform-based publication The American Isrealite, published in […]

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On This Day in 1887: Eldridge Street Synagogue opens its doors!

On This Day in 1887: Eldridge Street Synagogue opens its doors!

Today is a huge anniversary for the Museum and our landmark synagogue – on September 4th, 1887 the Eldridge Street Synagogue officially opened to the public. Remarkably, construction in the incredibly ornate building had begun only ten months earlier. And on September 4th, 1887, the Lower East Side gained its first purpose-built, large-scale synagogue. It […]

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Chop Suey’s Unbirthday

Chop Suey’s Unbirthday

This post originally appeared on August 29, 2018 and has been modified slightly for reposting. We like to use this blog as a place to mark moments in time that are important to our collective past and present. But it can also be important to take stock of what is not, along with what is. […]

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The Lower East Side Goes to Camp

The Lower East Side Goes to Camp

This year camp is all the rage, but I’m not talking about fashion or aesthetics. Think rather of the outdoors, friendship bracelets and nostalgia for your childhood. Today there are hundreds of summer camps around the country that cater to a range of interests from theater, religion, rocket science to sports. But this is old […]

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Not-So-Living History: The Queens Cemetery Belt

Not-So-Living History: The Queens Cemetery Belt

This post was written by Museum intern Sophie Brous. If you’ve ever flown over New York City, you may have noticed the huge number of cemeteries spanning the area around the Brooklyn-Queens border. Known as the Queens cemetery belt, this massive stretch of land claims at least 5 million interred in its soil. In fact, […]

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Coming to America: Divides in the Jewish-American Community

Coming to America: Divides in the Jewish-American Community

This blog post was written by Museum intern Brendan Hyatt. During the height of Eastern European Jewish immigration to the United States – the phenomenon which drove the establishment of the Eldridge Street Synagogue – opinions on how the newly massive Jewish population ought to behave and interact with American culture differed widely. “Native” New […]

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