The Most Dangerous Woman in America

Via the Jewish Women’s Archive: Emma Goldman’s career, followed closely by many in the Yiddish-speaking world, provided this newspaper — subtitled “A Journal of Humor, Wit, and Satire” — with a great deal of subject material. The caption under this cartoon reads: “Emma Goldman, the grogger [noise-maker] and Free Speech in America.” The cartoonist effectively […]

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(Jewish) Gangs of New York

On our Gangster, Writer, Rabbi walking tour, we explore the lives–and funeral processions–of three iconic Lower East Side figures: writer Sholem Aleichem, Rabbi Jacob Joseph, and East Side gangster Big Jack Zelig. Though Bugsy Siegel and  Meyer Lansky usually come to mind when thinking of Jewish gangsters, Zelig was a true leader of crime in […]

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Shabbos Recipes

Searching for a recipe for your Shabbos meal? You can call your bubbe — but if that fails, we’re here to provide your weekly fix. On tap this week is a garlicky summer gazpacho and a sweet sangria for all of your ceremonial needs. Garlicky Summer Gazpacho Garlic, the favored seasoning of Jewish cooks worldwide, […]

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Independence Day

After leaving Eastern Europe, the founders of our synagogue forged their lives as Americans on the streets of the Lower East Side. How did they celebrate their newfound heritage? Unfortunately, I’ve found no mention of barbecued borscht or other culinary treats, but a strong sense of pride as Americans certainly took hold in the Eldridge […]

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Food Memories

They say that the way to a man’s heart is his stomach, but I believe that the path actually leads directly to the brain. Merely mentioning food can unlock troves of memories thought to have disappeared long ago. This year, I asked the festival-goers waiting in line at our Egg Rolls and Egg Creams Festival […]

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From the Trenches: An Egg Cream Report

From the Trenches: An Egg Cream Report

At our annual Egg Rolls and Egg Creams Festival this past Sunday, I celebrated my 5th year of pouring, stirring and sipping egg creams, the official beverage of the Lower East Side (in my estimation, at least.) Serving egg creams to a crowd of 8,000 is like running a marathon: a true test of endurance, […]

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Festival Musings

When I first envisioned a Chinese Jewish Festival more than ten years ago, I thought it would be good for the neighborhood and for our mission to tell the story of the immigrants who made and make our neighborhood special. I imagined Chinese and Jewish artists and musicians sitting side by side informing the public […]

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School Days: A Reader’s Answer

In response to my last School Days post about the cheder at the Eldridge Street Synagogue, former Director of Education Annie Polland sent in some enlightening details. Taken from a paper she presented at a conference about the institution of the Bar Mitzvah at the turn of the last century, the following gives us a […]

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The Lost Languages

Language is one of the aspects of immigration that we explore through exhibits and education programs at the museum. In our Yiddish newspaper interactive activity, visitors become editors of their very own turn-of-the-century paper, mixing articles from socialist presses with editorials from the Orthodox dailies. The display of Yiddish signs from the neighborhood shows the […]

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School Days

What was education like for worshipers at the Eldridge Street Synagogue at the turn of the last century? On my walking tours, we often pass a local landmark: Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem, known in the neighborhood simply as “The Yeshiva.” This local Jewish school, chartered in 1907 and still thriving today, very often has visitors asking: […]

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