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This memorial plaque honoring Emma Lazarus, American Jewish poetess, is located in The Battery's famous monument walk in Manhattan. The plaque itself is made from Israeli limestone and bronze gifted from the State of Israel to the Sisterhood of the Spanish and Portuguese synagogues. Born on July 22, 1849 in New York City to a wealthy sugar refining family of Portuguese Sephardic Jewish descent whose roots extended to the very early days of New York City as a British colonial city, Emma Lazarus was the poet who wrote "The New Colossus" Aside from writing, Lazarus was also involved in charitable work for refugees. At Ward's Island, she worked as an aide for Jewish immigrants who had been detained by Castle Garden immigration officials. She was deeply moved by the plight of the Russian Jews she met there and these experiences influenced her writing. In 1883, William Maxwell Evarts and author Constance Cary Harrison asked Lazarus to compose a sonnet for the "Art Loan Fund Exhibition in Aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund for the Statue of Liberty". In turn, Lazarus, inspired by her own Sephardic Jewish heritage, her experiences working with refugees on Ward's Island, and the plight of the immigrant, wrote "The New Colossus" on November 2, 1883. After the auction, the sonnet appeared in Joseph Pulitzer's New York World as well as The New York Times. She died in New York City on November 19, 1887, most likely from Hodgkin's lymphoma. Lazarus' famous sonnet depicts the Statue as the "Mother of Exiles:" a symbol of immigration and opportunity - symbols associated with the Statue of Liberty today. After its initial popularity however, the sonnet slowly faded from public memory. It was not until 1901, 17 years after Lazarus's death, that Georgina Schuyler, a friend of hers, found a book containing the sonnet in a bookshop and organized a civic effort to resurrect the lost work. Her efforts paid off and in 1903, words from the sonnet were inscribed on a plaque and placed on the inner wall of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
The Brown Building, formerly known as the Asch Building, was the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire on March 25, 1911. One hundred and forty-six Jewish and Italian immigrant workers died in the blaze. It was the deadliest industrial disaster in New York City history. In its aftermath, outraged advocates demanded stronger workplace safety protections and better working conditions for those who toiled in the city’s sweatshops. The Brown Building occupies 23-29 Washington Place in Greenwich Village New York City. It was completed in 1901 and is an example of the neo-Renaissance architectural style. It features a stone base and brick upper walls with terra-cotta trim. Five limestone pilasters decorate the front façade and are topped with terra-cotta capitals. Originally the building housed retail shops on the ground level and factory space on levels 2-10. After the 1911 fire, the building was refurbished and sold to Frederick Brown, who rented it to nearby New York University. In 1929 Brown donated it to NYU and it was renamed in his honor. The Brown Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark on July 17, 1991. On March 25, 2003, it was named a New York City Landmark. As of 2020, it hosts classrooms and science labs. Memorial plaques commemorate the victims. Each March on the fire’s anniversary, the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition organizes a memorial gathering. As of 2020, the Coalition is in the process of developing a permanent memorial to the fire’s victims.
Shearith Israel was the only Jewish congregation in New York City from 1654 until 1825. During this entire span of history, all of the Jews of New York belonged to the congregation. Shearith Israel was founded by 23 Jews, mostly of Spanish and Portuguese origin. The earliest Jewish cemetery in the U.S. was recorded in 1656 in New Amsterdam where authorities granted the Shearith Israel Congregation “a little hook of land situated outside of this city for a burial place.” Its exact location is now unknown. The Congregation’s “second” cemetery, which is today known as the FIRST cemetery because it is the oldest surviving one, was purchased in 1683. Today, this cemetery is a mere fragment of its original extent. Only about a hundred headstones and above ground tombs can still be seen in what remains of the old burial ground, which rises slightly above street level. It is the only remaining 17th century structure in Manhattan. The second cemetery - now known as "New Bowery Cemetery". Burials began here in 1805, in what was a much larger, square plot extending into what is now the street. The Commissioners' Plan had established the city's grid in 1811, but not until 1830 was West 11th Street cut through, at that time reducing the cemetery to its present tiny triangle. The disturbed plots were moved further uptown to the Third Cemetery on West 21st Street. In 1852 city law forbade burial within Manhattan, and subsequent interments have been made in Queens. The third cemetery is between loft buildings and across the street from the School Of Visual Arts on West 21st St just off 6th Avenue is the Third Cemetery. This cemetery was adjacent to the congregation's synagogue on 19th Street--built in 1860 and now long gone.
The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy is passionate about sharing and celebrating the Jewish heritage of the Lower East Side. The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy is the only non-profit organization dedicated solely to the historic preservation of the Lower East Side’s sacred sites. Their mission is accomplished through quality touring programs, both private, public, and educational, which showcase the Lower East Side's landmarks, history and people. A portion of the proceeds of each tour is returned to the sacred sites visited on that tour, contributing to their restoration and conservation. The Conservancy takes great pride in being a full service organization. What that means for their visitors is that they take the time to customize your tour and make your experience as enjoyable and memorable as possible. On your request, they will recommend restaurants, hotel accommodations, shopping venues, and transportation routes. From its inception in 1998, the Conservancy has worked collaboratively with a broad spectrum of the Lower East Side’s cultural, social, historic, religious, architectural, programmatic, and business resources. The Conservancy’s local partners include the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the Lower East Side Business Improvement District, The Educational Alliance, Henry Street Settlement, The Museum at Eldridge Street, the Angel Orensanz Cultural Foundation and Center for the Arts, 6th Street Community Center, and virtually all of the historic synagogues on the Lower East Side from East 14th Street. These collaborations have provided value-added for our visitors and partners. In addition to the Lower East Side, the LESJC provides tours of other New York neighborhoods of Jewish importance, such as Jewish Harlem, the Upper West side, and Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Guss' Pickles was founded by a Polish immigrant, Isidor Guss. Guss arrived in New York in 1910, and like hundreds of thousands of other Jewish immigrants, settled in the Lower East Side. Clustered in the "pickle district" of Essex and Ludlow streets, early 20th century pickle vendors gave birth to what would be known as "New York style" pickles. Guss at first worked for L. Hollander and Sons, before opening his own store. At the time, the neighborhood was teeming with 80 other pickle shops. However, immigration restrictions, a ban on pushcarts and the steady economic decline of the Lower East Side felled almost all of these shops. Guss' Pickles withstood the economic difficulty and now remains as the last store from the days of the Essex Street empire. In 1979, Harry Baker and his partner Burt Blitz took over Guss' Pickles. Through the 1980s and into the 2000s, Baker and his son Tim ran the store. Guss' Pickles was featured in the film Crossing Delancey(1988) Guss' Pickles ships gallon size nationwide at their official web-site GussPickles.com. In June 2017 Guss' Pickles opened a new store in Brooklyn. It is inside the Dekalb Market Hall.
Located in the Lower East Side, Manhattan, Yonah Schimmel's Knish Bakery has been in operation since 1910. Serving Knish, an Eastern European snack food, these handmade delicacies are a must for anyone's visit to New York. Schimmel's has served Knish to many notable guests throughout its history, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Barbara Streisand and Woody Allen, clearly indicating its popularity as one of New York's top Jewish bakeries.
Each week thousands of visitors from around the world flock to Katz's to dine in this legendary deli, and to feast on the most delectable sandwiches, platters and meats. But it's really New Yorkers have made Katz's Delicatessen what it is, making Katz's an inherent part of the city's culture and history. They enthusiastically spread the word, brought their friends in, wrote books, shot films, and kept coming back for a pastrami on rye. Building a reputation on longevity alone is nothin' to brag about, which is why we've built ours on quality. Now that's somethin' special. We only select the best cuts of beef for our corned beef, pastrami, brisket, and other fine foods. Our corned beef and pastrami is cured using a slower method, which best flavors the meat, without injecting chemicals, water, or other additives to speed the process. Our finished product can take up to a full 30 days to cure, while commercially prepared corned beef is often pressure-injected (or "pumped") to cure in 36 hours. Yep, you read that right. 30 days vs. 36 hours. Now, which sounds like the better meat to you?