This 1909 photograph shows Jewish women praying on the Lower East Side’s then-new marvel: the Williamsburg Bridge! Opened in 1903, the bridge was the longest suspension bridge at the time, and was designed for both trolley and horse and carriage traffic. It also included a walker’s pathway. That’s where this group decided to pause and pray. The bridge, which connected the Lower East Side to Brooklyn, inspired many Jewish families to leave the Lower East Side and seek out less crowded neighborhoods across the East River. While people can still walk across the bridge today, trolleys and carriages are no longer welcome; these days, it’s train and vehicle traffic only!
More to Think About….
- Why do you think this group stopped to pray on the bridge?
- Why do you think families would have wanted to live in a less crowded neighborhood?