Friday Faces of Eldridge Street – Docent Henry Zimring

Docent Henry Zimring is the subject of our first “Friday Faces of Eldridge Street” feature. Every Friday, we will highlight someone with a special connection to Eldridge Street on our blog and Facebook pages. Henry has volunteered at the Museum since December 2007 when we re-opened to the public after an extensive restoration. Here intern Rachel Hoffman, an intern at Stern College, sits down with Henry to get his take on the Museum and…marriage.

How did you decide to become an Eldridge Street docent?

“I was sitting in my recliner and my wife comes in. She hands me a pamphlet for the Museum and says I should look into it. I said I wasn’t sure. She said she wasn’t asking. I called. My ringtone for her is the Darth Vader theme if that gives you any idea.”

What is you favorite memory from the Museum? 

“One Tuesday, my cousin was visiting New York. After we went to the Museum of Natural History, I brought them downtown to check out Eldridge Street. I don’t usually work at Eldridge Street on Tuesday but someone asked me to stay until 4:30 because they needed help with a wedding for a French couple. As I was waiting the groom came out. He was so happy to see me, he hugged and kissed me. I thought he was just happy about his wedding. Then the bride came out and hugged and kissed me, too. I was really confused. Finally, they reminded me I was their docent over the summer and had introduced them to the synagogue. I never come in on Tuesdays but somehow I got to be here for their wedding.”

What is your favorite thing about the Lower East Side?

Russ and Daughters. 

Henry also has some marital advice for young married men:

“When you go shopping with your wife always bring a book.

If she shows you some choices and asks you to pick, ALWAYS pick the first one. It’s the one she really wants.”

To learn more about the Eldridge Street Synagogue, for additional marital advice, or to sample Henry’s quick wit, stop by the Museum on a Thursday!


Interview by Rachel Hoffman

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