(212) 374-4100
See where the American dream began
and is still alive and well!
Home Tours & Events The Conservancy The Lower East Side Donate FAQs Contact Us

Public Tour and Event Calendar

Upper West Side North

Ohab Zedek SynagogueSunday, September 7, 2014

SORRY, THIS TOUR IS SOLD OUT

The Upper West Side offers a wealth of cultural history and architectural styles: Beaux Arts, Art Nouveau & Art Deco. Boarded by Central and Riverside Parks, this 2.5 mile neighborhood is home to some of the most outstanding residential buildings in NYC.

In the 1930's, throngs of Jewish refugees moved to the UWS, joining their numbers to an already large and diverse community. Today's UWS is a powerhouse of shuls, schools, Jewish eateries and more.

On this new tour we will explore the area from W.86th to W.96th Streets, and discuss the Jewish history from the 'inside' with a tour of The Jewish Ceter, and viewings of other world-renown synagogues, including Ohab Zedek, Shaare Zedek, and B'nai Jeshurun. We will visit the former home of Zero Mostel. Isaac Bashevis Singer and Actors Studio founder, Lee Strasberg.

The tour will also include a view of one of the original Upper Westside mansions built at the height of the glory days of Riverside Drive in the 1890s. The Rice mansion was home to two distinguished UWS families and is now the home of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim.

Time: 10:45 AM

Meeting Place: 86th Street and Central Park West, NE corner, park side.

Fees/Info: $20 adults, $18 seniors & students
($2 additional day of tour)

Young Professionals Nosh and Stroll on the LES (Ages 20's & 30's)

Sunday, September 7, 2014 LES Pickles

Have you ever tasted potatonik?

Join the LESJC for a stimulating stroll featuring delicacies based on original European recipes. Nosh on a fresh baked bialy, a pickle right out of the barrel, and potatonik. We will tour historic Jewish sites on and off the beaten path, including the Bialystoker Synagogue, originally the Willet Street Methodist Church (1826), a site on the Underground Railroad. We will also enter a shteibl, a one or two room house of prayer. View Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, pulpit of the only chief Rabbi ever appointed in NYC, and formerly the largest Russian, traditional Jewish congregation in the United States.

This tour will last approximately 3 hours. Price $22 in advance and $26 the day of the tour

Time: 2:00 PM

Meeting Place: Meet in front of Moishe's Bakery at 504 Grand Street

Fees/Info: $22 adults ($4 additional day of tour)

Buy Now! 
 

Ethnicity, Place and Time on the Lower East Side: A Public Walking Tour

Sunday, October 5, 2014 Place and Time

The Greater Lower East Side is recognized as New York City's most iconic immigrant settlement.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries different ethnic groups- Irish fleeing the great famine, Jews from Eastern Europe, Italians, Hispanics and Asians have all shaped the area with distinct cultural patterns, use of physical space and the built environment. This tour will explore cultural institutions, ethnic markets, funeral homes and worship sites that characterized each neighborhood settlement. The accompanying narrative is a blend of New York City history and social history explaining the interaction between ethnicity, time and space.

This tour, led by Barry Feldman, is recommended for walkers with comfortable shoes.

Time: 10:30 AM

Meeting Place: Meet at Ludlow & Canal Streets – in front of Chinese Funeral Home

Fees/Info: $20 adults $18 Seniors & Students ($2 additional day of tour )

Buy Now! 
 

O! Multitudes!: Three Centuries of Domestic Architecture on the Lower East Side Walking Tour

Lower East Side Backyard TenementSunday, October 19, 2014

The Lower East Side is the iconic New York City immigrant neighborhood. For the past century and a half, immigrants have crowded its streets and tenements, and established cultural, social and religious institutions.

On this tour, housing on the Lower East Side will continue to be explored. Also, learn how to distinguish a tenement from a row house and see examples of pre-law, old law and new law tenements. You will be surprised by the rear tenement double-deckers that remain from 1867 pre-law housing legislation. New architecture will be contrasted to sites visited.

Time: 10:45 a.m. (3 hours)

Meeting Place: In front of HSBC Bank, 58 Bowery, corner of Canal Street.

Fees/Info: Adults: $20; seniors and students: $18 ($2 additional day of tour)

Buy Now! 
 

Upper West Side South

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Upper West Side offers a wealth of Cultural history and a variety of architectural styles: beaux arts, art nouveau and art deco. Bordered by Central Park and Riverside Park, the 2.5 square mile Upper Westside neighborhood has some of the most outstanding 19th row houses in New York City.

During the 1930’s, a significant number of Jewish refugees escaping Europe moved to the area joining an already diverse community. The Upper West Side is now home to a cross section of Jewish culture, with dozens of synagogues, Jewish style restaurants, and educational institutions.

On this tour, Jewish Upper West Side 2, we take a look at the southern portion of this very large Manhattan neighborhood, beginning at 68 Street and touring all the way north to 81 Street, ending at Zabar’s. We will talk about the secular and Jewish history, theaters, apartment houses and the famous and infamous residents that have called this community home. The Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish Congregation in NYC, and The Westside Institutional Synagogue are some of the houses of worship we will see.

Join Marty Shore and explore this fascinating area.

Time: 10:45 AM

Meeting Place: corner of 68th & Central Park West on the Park Side

Fees/Info: $20 adults & $18 seniors & students $2 additional day of tour

Buy Now! 
 

Jewish Community of Colonial New Amsterdam Walking Tour

Mill Street SynagogueChatham square Cemetery

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Join us as we trace the origins of Jewish settlement in New Amsterdam. We will visit the former locations of Jewish sites in Lower Manhattan and discuss their historical significance. Sites include early Spanish and Portuguese rented synagogues and Mill Street Synagogue, the first synagogue built in North America.

A tour of Congregation Shearith Israel's cemetery at Chatham Square (now Chinatown) is included. This is the oldest known Jewish cemetery in New York City. From 1654 to 1825 all Jews in New York City belonged to this one congregation. This Jewish cemetery dates from 1683.

Time: 10:45 a.m. (aproximately 2 hours)

Meeting Place: Meet at the corner of Pearl Street and Broad Streets across from Fraunces Tavern.

Fees/Info: Adults: $20; seniors and students: $18
($2 additional day of tour)

Buy Now! 
 

Delancey to Doughnuts: A Chanukah Walking Tour

soufganiotSunday, December 21, 2014

Join us for our last public tour of 2014!

The tour starts at Congregation Bnai Jacob Anshe Brzezan (Stanton Street Shul) a site of old world warmth and tradition. Shul 'elder' and board member Elyssa Sampson will be on hand to share the dramatic history of this charming site.

Tour will stop atEssex Street Market and the incomparable Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum.

Our program concludes with lighting the menorah, soufganiot (doughnuts) and coffee.

Time: 10:45 a.m. (aproximately 2 hours)

Meeting Place: Meet at Stanton Street Synagogue, 180 Stanton Street (between Clinton & Attorney Streets).

Fees/Info: Adults: $23; seniors and students: $21
($2 additional day of tour)

Buy Now! 
 


Notable Past Events

Over the Rainbow: Lag B'Omer for Kids @ the Stanton Street Shul

Stanton Street Synagogue
Stanton Street Mazel. David Wander, Artist
Lower East Side History MonthMay 18, 2014 - 11 AM to 1 PM

Welcome to the Lower East Side. We're shooting for Over the Rainbow with a great children's program. Weather permitting, we'll be going outside to the Siempre Verde community garden for seed planting, marshmallow roasting, and enjoying spring. Indoors, art and music teachers will run a scavenger hunt in our historic synagogue building, and teach holiday themed arts & crafts, rock painting, and we'll have a special music concert. The painting shown here by artist and teacher David Wander connects to an older tradition of Jewish religious zodiacs called mazoles or mazelot, as re-interpreted by Stanton Street artists. The twelve original immigrant mazoles can be seen in the main sanctuary.

The bow and rainbow are symbols associated with Lag B'Omer and with the promise, or covenant of a green world that starts again after the destruction of the flood. Lag B'Omer is a Jewish holiday that joyously marks the halfway point of counting the days between two important festivals: Passover (Pesach) and Shevuot. On Pesach, we mark the Exodus with the remembrance of enslavement; on Shevuot we remember the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Pesach is associated with the barley harvest; Shevuot, the wheat harvest.

Lower East Side History Month "aims to connect our present to our past, exploring how our history can inform and inspire our future." We welcome you to our synagogue and neighborhood in partnership with the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy, which connects our community's historic synagogues to visitors and residents alike.

Popcorn and pretzel snacks will be served.

More Program information can be found on the Over The Rainbow Event Page.

Stanton Street ShulAbout the Stanton Street Shul
Stanton Street Shul is a historic immigrant shul built in 1913 by a small congregation from the town of Brzezan. They were joined by other Galitzianer immigrants from the towns of Rymanov and Blujzhev. All of these towns were in the eastern part of the Austria Hungarian Empire before World War I, and were part of Poland before World War II. The Lower East Side is changing rapidly; today the synagogue has a very young congregation and deeply values its immigrant connections to older congregants who came to the neighborhood after World War II. Check out the Stanton Street Shul Facebook page and website at stantonstshul.com to find out about our many events and weekly services.

Time: 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Meeting Place: Meet in front of the Stanton Street Shul. 180 Stanton Street, between Clinton and Attorney St.

Fees/Info: Adults: $3; children: $2

You Be the Judge: Jewish Courts of Conciliation in Action" - an interactive program with Barry Feldman

Seward Park Library Lower East Side History Month May 13, 2014 - 6:30 PM

"You Be The Judge: Jewish Courts of Conciliation in Action"

Eastern European immigrants to America frequently turned to Jewish courts of arbitration to litigate civil, familial and business disputes. This participatory program presents a brief discussion of justice in Biblical and Talmudic sources followed by a lively presentation of cases brought before the courts in early 20th century New York. You be the Judge!

Time: 6:30 PM

Meeting Place:Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center, 400 Grand Street (between Suffolk & Clinton Streets)

Fees/Info: Free. Pre-registration required. Event limited to 30 - Call to register at (212) 374-4100

LESJC 6th Jewish Heritage Festival

Heritage Festival Leah Raab, Artist Leah Raab, Artist

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Insider's Walking Tours
Vintage Goods Benefit Sale
Launch of new Arts Exhibition – STREETSCAPES OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE: The Paintings of Leah Raab.

This activity-packed day of exploring and learning about the Jewish history of Manhattan's Lower East Side includes three walking tours of the neighborhood, a vintage goods benefit sale and special presentations by renowned guest speakers.

Events kick off at 10:45 AM at the LESJC Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center with walking tours exploring the historic neighborhood, considered by many the starting point of the American-Jewish experience.

10:45 AM is the "Crossing Delancey" tour, which examines three of the oldest synagogues in New York City: Congregation Chasam Sopher (built in 1853); the Orensanz Foundation (formerly Congregation Anshe Chesed, built in 1850); and Congregation B'nei Jacob Anshei Brzezan, one of only two remaining tenement style synagogues left on the Lower East Side.

11:00 AM "Bialystoker the Beautiful" is a 90-minute tour of the magnificent Bialystoker Synagogue, which was built in 1826 as a Methodist church, and its surroundings. The tour also makes stops at Congregation Beth Hachasidim De Polen (a 19th Century shtiebl, or prayer room) and at Beth Hamedrah Hagadol, former home of the largest Russian-Jewish Orthodox congregation in the United States.

2:00 PM Meet the Artist – Reception for Leah Raab, who will address the participants. We are excited to have Artist Leah Raab give a live presentation of her works for her new show on display in our Visitor Center, "STREETSCAPES OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE". Her works will be on view at the festival, and open to the public for a limited time thereafer.

A professional fine artist, Leah holds an MFA from the NY Studio School, and a BFA with highest honors from the acclaimed Bezalel Academy of Arts, Jerusalem, Israel.  She has had numerous solo and collaborative exhibitions and has taught art on 2 continents for over 35 years.

3:00 PM The "Bialystoker the Beautiful" tour is presented a second time. Lower East Side History Month

Tickets for tours are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students. Buy your walking tour tickets in advance online. Children under 8 tour for FREE!

Heroines of the Lower East Side: A Special Mother's Day Historic Walking Tour

Justin Ferate, Tour Guide

Henry Street Playhouse Lillian Wald

Lillian D. Wald

Sunday, May 11, 2014

This two hour walking tour celebrates the lives of women: ordinary, unsung heroines who battled to raise their families and make a life in the New World, as well as nine inspiring women who played leading social, political and artistic roles on the Lower East Side in the early 20th century. The tour of the famed Manhattan neighborhood will examine how the nine women lived and how they each came to effect change in New York City and beyond.

Participants will also enjoy a rare visit to the historic dining room at Henry Street Settlement, where Lillian D. Wald hosted distinguished guests ranging from President Theodore Roosevelt to W.E.B. Du Bois and delegates of National Negro Conference (after several NYC restaurants refused to accommodate the interracial group). Tour will conclude with a light lunch in the LESJC Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center.

Admission is $22. ($25 if purchased after May 7)

Space is limited. Please register by May 7th, 5 PM

Justin Ferate has been on the Board of Directors of the Fine Arts Federation of NYC, the National and Metropolitan chapters of the Victorian Society in America, the LESJC, and the NYC & Company Tour Guide Enhancement Program. Justin Ferate is also active in numerous historic and preservation societies. With a background in Urban and Architectural History, Justin was awarded fellowships to study 19th Century Architecture and Design in Philadelphia, Newport and London.

Some of the women that will be featured on the tour:

Lillian D. Wald (1867-1940), founder of Henry Street Settlement and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. The settlement provided home health care, recreational, cultural and educational programs for immigrants and their families living on the Lower East Side. As a social welfare activist, she was an early leader in the movements for public health, education and labor reform, improved housing, civil rights and world peace.

Emma Goldman (1869-1940), anarchist and self-styled revolutionary. She supported herself by working in sweatshops and, later, as a midwife. In her writings and as a fiery orator, she advocated for workers' rights, free speech, birth control and atheism. Jailed numerous times, she was called "the most dangerous woman in America" and deported to Russia in 1917.

Rose Pastor Stokes (1879-1933), "The Red Yiddish Cinderella." She was a cigar maker turned journalist whose marriage to a son of a wealthy uptown family made headlines in the NY press. Together the Socialist power couple traveled around the country speaking at lectures and rallies in support of social justice and economic equality.

Belle Moskowitz (1877-1933), political strategist and top advisor to NY Governor and presidential candidate Alfred E. Smith. As a young widow and mother, she worked at the Educational Alliance and became involved in liberal causes. She was successful in mobilizing the women's vote for Gov. Smith and framing his progressive legislation that led to F.D.R's New Deal.

Clara Lemlich (1886-1982), union leader. As a youthful shirtwaist maker, she led a strike in 1909 of sweatshop workers known as the "Uprising of the 20,000." The young women marched on pickets lines for 14 weeks, demanding higher pay and safer working conditions. Although they achieved limited concessions, their determination energized the nascent labor movement.

Anzia Yezierska (c. 1880-1970), author. Her novels, short stories and semi-fictional autobiographical writing vividly depict immigrant life on the Lower East Side and the struggles and conflicts of women of her generation assimilating to life in America. In 1920, Samuel Goldwyn invited her to Hollywood, as an advisor for a film based on some of her short stories.

The Lewisohn sisters: Alice (1883-1972) and Irene (1886-1944), theatrical educators and innovators. Daughters of an affluent German-Jewish family, in 1905 they volunteered at Henry Street Settlement to teach classes in drama and dance to children and teenagers. In 1915, they established the Neighborhood Playhouse on Grand Street, one of the early "little theaters" in the city presenting avant-garde stage productions.

Henry Street SettlementAline Bernstein (1880-1955), costume and set designer. She embarked on her theatrical career at the Neighborhood Playhouse in 1915 as chief designer of costumes, props and scenery. There she began her eight-year love affair with Thomas Wolfe on a backstage sofa. She moved on to great acclaim designing for the Broadway stage and was one of the founders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute.

Time: 10:45 AM

Meeting Place: Strauss Square. The small triangle at the intersection of East Broadway, Essex Street and Rutgers Street - across from the Forward Building. map it

Fees/Info: $22 ($25 after May 7)

SORRY THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT

Jews: A People's History of the Lower East Side

March 10, 2014 - 6:30 – 8:00 P.M.

A Panel Discussion co-sponsored with the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

A panel discussion and selected readings from Clayton Patterson's book (Volumes 1 & 2), featuring Laurie Tobias Cohen, (our Executive Director), Suzanne Wasserman, Joyce Mendelsohn, Zia Ziprin, and Steve Wishnia.

Free; reservations required.

An essential history of the great Jewish wave of immigration to Manhattan's Lower East Side, this 3-volume collection covers art, literature, food, religion, and so much more. Topics may include the evolving Jewish Lower East Side, the old public baths, music from klezmer to punk rock, and legendary food establishments such as Russ and Daughters, and so much more.

Time: 6:30 – 8:00 P.M.

Location: Community Synagogue, 325 East 6th Street, between 1st & 2nd Ave.

Fees/Info: FREE; reservations required. To register, please call (212) 475-9585 ext. 35 or email rsvp@gvshp.org.

An Evening of Geneology: Presentation by Jewish Geneologist Michael Pertain

Family Tree StudiesKupishok sceneVillage of Kupishok, Lithuania

February 27, 2014 - 7 PM

Come and enjoy an evening of Genealogy featuring Michael Pertain of the Jewish Genealogy Society. We will watch "The Curious Case of Morris Jaffe," a documentary concerning the tangled history of an immigrant family on the Lower East Side – and learn how Michael untangled the details through his research.

Come learn how you can begin the genealogical exploration of your own family history.

Time: 7:00 PM

Meeting Place: The LESJC Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center 400 Grand St between Clinton & Suffolk Streets

Fees/Info: FREE for LESJC Friend Memberships; $10 all others. Space limited to 30 pre-registration required. Call to reserve free Friend Membership reservations.

LESJC 5th Jewish Heritage Festival

Heritage Festival

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Insider's Walking Tours
Vintage Goods Benefit Sale
New Gallery Opening with a talk from the artist
Special Presentation Planned to Celebrate the Jewish History of the Lower East Side

This activity-packed day of exploring and learning about the Jewish history of Manhattan's Lower East Side includes three walking tours of the neighborhood, a vintage goods benefit sale and special presentations by renowned guest speakers.

Events kick off at 10:45 AM at the LESJC Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center, with two simultaneous walking tours exploring the historic neighborhood, considered by many the starting point of the American-Jewish experience. "Bialystoker the Beautiful" is a 90-minute tour of the magnificent Bialystoker Synagogue, which was built in 1826 as a Methodist church, and its surroundings. The tour also makes stops at Congregation Beth Hachasidim De Polen (a 19th Century shtiebl, or prayer room).

The "Bialystoker the Beautiful" tour is presented a second time at 3:00 PM.

Also beginning at 10:45 is the "Crossing Delancey" tour, which examines three of the oldest synagogues in New York City: Congregation Chasam Sopher (built in 1853); the Orensanz Foundation (formerly Congregation Anshe Chesed, built in 1850); and Congregation B'nei Jacob Anshei Brzezan, one of only two remaining tenement style synagogues left on the Lower East Side. Tickets for either tour are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and free for children under age 8.

The festivities continue at 12:30 PM at the Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center with Gals From the Hood, a presentation about what life was like for Jewish women on the Lower East Side. In this engaging presentation, four women who grew up together on the Lower East Side, and have remained friends for over 50 years, discuss the experiences of their families in the neighborhood. Panelists include Hesta Fortgang, (co-owner of Tag-Along Estate Sales), Marilyn Guss Altman (daughter of the founder of Guss's Pickles), Carol Schneider Margolin (daughter of the K'nish Man) and Carol Hordin (daughter of the founder of Hordin's Deli). The four women will also be sponsoring a benefit sale throughout the day, with vintage goods for the home, fashion jewelry, artifacts and serving ware available for purchase. All sale proceeds will benefit the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy.

Shoshana BrombacherAt 1:30 PM we are proud to have Artist Shoshanah Brombacher give a live presentation of her works for her new show on display in our Visitor Center, "Colors of Chanukah". Her works will be on view at the festival, and open to the public until October 27.

Shoshannah Brombacher (Amsterdam, Holland 1959) studied Semitic Languages, Ancient Middle Eastern Culture and Codicology at the University of Leyden (Holland) and specialized in medieval Sephardic Hebrew poetry. Her Ph.D. thesis is about the Portuguese (Marano) Jewish Community in 17th century Amsterdam. She participated in codicological projects with manuscripts, tombstones and books in Amsterdam, Jerusalem and Germany and lectured at the Free University of Berlin, Germany and participated in international academic congresses and wrote scholarly articles. Though she attended art classes in Leyden and at the Free Art Academy of The Hague in Holland she considers herself mainly self taught. Brombacher sees her academic background and her extensive traveling as an invaluable tool for her paintings, which delve deeply into Jewish lore and legends. After her marriage she moved to New York and devotes all her time to her art, writing and to her husband and two children. She is an author, lecturer and a maggidah (certified Jewish preacher, story teller and spiritual guide) and combines this with her art.

Buy your walking tour tickets in advance online. Children under 8 tour for FREE!

"The Ruins of the Borscht Belt" Photography Viewing with the Artist

Marissa Scheinfeld PhotographySunday, August 11, 2013 at 11 AM

Join us for a photography viewing of "The Ruins of the Borscht Belt" and an intimate conversation with the artist. Marissa Scheinfeld has taken frequent trips back to her hometown region of Sullivan Country to photograph the remains of the Borscht Belt era. The surreal images depict the relics of a bygone and truly cherished time in American-Jewish history - the infamous Catskill resorts.

Light Refreshments and Coffee will be served.

This year's Jewish Heritage Festival marked the opening of the photo exhibit, The Ruins of the Borscht Belt by Marisa Scheinfeld.

Rebecca LepkoffScheinfeld's photographic projects and books are in the collections of The Simon Wiesenthal Center in CA, The La Jolla Athenaeum in CA, The Edmund and Nancy K. Dubois Library at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, and The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Washington DC, California, Kansas and London, and has appeared in publications such as Tablet Magazine, Feature Shoot, Fine Line Magazine, The San Diego Union Tribune, The Washington Post, The Lo-Down, NY Blueprint, Hadassah Magazine, The Jewish Algemeiner (Berlin) & GOLDBERG Magazine (Denmark). Born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in the Catskills, Marisa is currently living in the Lower East Side. More information can be found at www.marisascheinfeld.com.

New for 2013

Jewish Upper West Side Walking Tour

ZabarsExterior of Ohab Zedek

Sunday, May 26, 2013

During the 1930's, a significant number of Jewish refugees escaping Europe moved to Manhattan's Upper West Side to join an already diverse community. The 2.5 square mile neighborhood has some of the most outstanding 19th century row houses in New York City. Bordered by Central Park on one side, and Riverside Park on the other, it contains a wealth of Cultural history, and a variety of architectural styles: Beaux Arts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

The Upper West Side is now home to a cross section of Jewish culture, with dozens of synagogues, Jewish style restaurants, and educational institutions. Accompany Marty Shore, urban historian, who you may have already joined on his beloved Jewish Harlem tour, to explore this fascinating area.

Some of the sites you will see are: Congregations Ohab Zedek, Shaare Zedek, Rodeph Shalom, Young Israel (formerly Temple Israel) & Shearith Israel. Also the venerable upper west side mecca: Zabars.

 

Young Professionals Event: "The Ruins of the Borscht Belt" Photography Viewing with the Artist

Marissa Scheinfeld PhotographyThursday, June 13, 2013

Join us on Thursday June 13th at 7 PM for a photography viewing of "The Ruins of the Borscht Belt" and an intimate conversation with the artist. Marissa Scheinfeld has taken frequent trips back to her hometown region of Sullivan Country to photograph the remains of the Borscht Belt era. The surreal images depict the relics of a bygone and truly cherished time in American-Jewish history - the infamous Catskill resorts.

Light Refreshments and Wine will be served.


LESJC 4th Jewish Heritage Festival

Heritage FestivalRebecca Lepkoff

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Photography Exhibit by Marisa Scheinfeld
Insider's Walking Tours
Vintage Goods Benefit Sale
Special Presentation Planned to Celebrate the Jewish History of the Lower East Side

This activity-packed day of exploring and learning about the Jewish history of Manhattan's Lower East Side includes an exhibit by photographer Marisa Scheinfeld, three walking tours of the neighborhood, a vintage goods benefit sale and special presentations by renowned guest speakers.

Events kick off at 10:45 AM at the LESJC Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center, with two simultaneous walking tours exploring the historic neighborhood, considered by many the starting point of the American-Jewish experience. "Bialystoker the Beautiful" is a 90-minute tour of the magnificent Bialystoker Synagogue, which was built in 1826 as a Methodist church, and its surroundings. The tour also makes stops at Congregation Beth Hachasidim De Polen (a 19th Century shtiebl, or prayer room) and at Beth Hamedrah Hagadol, former home of the largest Russian-Jewish Orthodox congregation in the United States. The "Bialystoker the Beautiful" tour is presented a second time at 3:00 PM.

Also beginning at 10:45 is the "Crossing Delancey" tour, which examines three of the oldest synagogues in New York City: Congregation Chasam Sopher (built in 1853); the Orensanz Foundation (formerly Congregation Anshe Chesed, built in 1850); and Congregation B'nei Jacob Anshei Brzezan, one of only two remaining tenement style synagogues left on the Lower East Side. Tickets for either tour are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and free for children under age 8.

The festivities continue at 12:30 PM at the Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center with Gals From the Hood, a presentation about what life was like for Jewish women on the Lower East Side. In this engaging presentation, four women who grew up together on the Lower East Side, and have remained friends for over 50 years, discuss the experiences of their families in the neighborhood. Panelists include Hesta Fortgang, (co-owner of Tag-Along Estate Sales), Marilyn Guss Altman (daughter of the founder of Guss's Pickles), Carol Schneider Margolin (daughter of the K'nish Man) and Carol Hordin (daughter of the founder of Hordin's Deli). The four women will also be sponsoring a benefit sale throughout the day, with vintage goods for the home, fashion jewelry, artifacts and serving ware available for purchase. All sale proceeds will benefit the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy.

This year's Jewish Heritage Festival also marks the opening of the photo exhibit, The Ruins of the Borscht Belt by Marisa Scheinfeld. Marisa will be on hand to answer questions at the exhibit's opening reception at 2:00 PM with light refreshments served.

Over the past two and a half years, Marisa Scheinfeld has been making frequent trips back to her hometown region of Sullivan County to photograph the remains of the Borscht Belt era. This exhibit will present selections of the eighty photographs in the series. The surreal images depict the relics of a bygone and truly cherished time in American-Jewish history - the infamous Catskill resorts.

Rebecca LepkoffScheinfeld's photographic projects and books are in the collections of The Simon Wiesenthal Center in CA, The La Jolla Athenaeum in CA, The Edmund and Nancy K. Dubois Library at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, and The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Washington DC, California, Kansas and London, and has appeared in publications such as Tablet Magazine, Feature Shoot, Fine Line Magazine, The San Diego Union Tribune, The Washington Post, The Lo-Down, NY Blueprint, Hadassah Magazine, The Jewish Algemeiner (Berlin) & GOLDBERG Magazine (Denmark). Born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in the Catskills, Marisa is currently living in the Lower East Side. More information can be found at www.marisascheinfeld.com.

NEW FOR 2013

The Past Becoming The Future: Repurposed Historic Sites on the Lower East Side

Presented by Michael Bolla

Michael Bolla

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The LESJC is thrilled to offer this unique tour, featuring visits to two historic buildings whose adaptive reuse has ensured their relevance in today's LES landscape:

Jarmulowsky Bank (1911): Founded by immigrant financier Sender Jarmulowsky, this imposing Beaux-Arts edifice is being transformed into a boutique hotel;

The Yiddish Daily Forward Building, (1912) For decades, home to the most popular and influencial Yiddish daily, this magnificent landmark was converted to high end condominiums;

Michael Bolla, a Managing Director of Douglas Elliman. with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the Manhattan real estate and development industries, has amassed an impressive portfolio of buildings in Soho, Tribeca, Lower East Side, Chelsea, and the Upper East Side. Having created an unparalleled network of talent specializing in everything related to Manhattan Real Estate, Mr. Bolla is frequently referred to as a "brilliant strategic analyst" by his clients. We are thrilled to have him share his expertise of these unique spaces on this very special tour. Please read more about Michael at www.michaelbolla.com to browse his portfolio of architectural design work, as well as a list of numerous clients and buildings that he has represented.

NEW IN 2013

Grit, Graft & Grandeur: The Bowery - A Walking Tour with Eric Ferrara (including the Five Points)

Greenpoint SynagogueSunday, April 14, 2013

Broadway gets all of the glory but the Bowery is arguably the most important thoroughfare in New York City history. Yes, the Bowery -- often associated with its 20th century reputation as "Skid Row," this under-appreciated avenue was, for a brief time, one of the most fashionable addresses in America. That was before class divisions, gangs, dirty politics and risqué entertainment sealed the Bowery's fate as the city's most historically nefarious vice district. Despite (or because of) its complex past, the Bowery's contributions to popular culture, counter-culture, politics, labor, social service and entertainment is immeasurable.

At the foot of the Bowery is the former Five Points district; the Irish, German, Jewish, African, Chinese and Italian melting-pot which has inspired so many myths and legends. Explore this fabled neighborhood and over four centuries of important New York City history -- from Native Americans to modern gentrification -- as told through the exciting story of our city's oldest street.

Eric Ferrara, founder & director of the award-winning non-profit, Lower East Side History Project (leshp.org) and author of several New York City History books, including The Bowery: A History of Grit, Graft & Grandeur. He occasionally writes a history column for The Villager newspaper and has consulted on several movie and television projects for HBO, Warner Brothers, National Geographic, History Channel and many more.

SPECIAL FUNDRAISING EVENT

Heroines of the Lower East Side: A Historic Walking Tour

Presented by Joyce Mendelsohn, Historian, Preservationist & Author of The Lower East Side Remembered & Revisited

Chatham square Cemetery Henry Street Playhouse Lillian Wald

Lillian D. Wald

Sunday, November 11, 2012

From immigrant girls to uptown reformers, homemakers and community activists, women played a large role in the life of the Lower East Side. Explore the neighborhood and see the tenements, settlement houses and other significant places in the lives of outstanding women.

Participants on the tour will visit to the historic dining room at Henry Street Settlement where Lillian D. Wald hosted such distinguished guests as Eleanor Roosevelt and Jane Addams, financiers and philanthropists Jacob Schiff and Felix Warburg, journalist and photographer Jacob Riis and prominent elected officials including Gov. Alfred E. Smith, President Theodore Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald. In 1909, Wald invited delegates from the National Negro Conference (which later led to the founding of the NAACP) to a reception in the dining room after several restaurants refused to accommodate an interracial group.

Some of the women that will be featured on the tour:

Lillian D. Wald (1867-1940), founder of Henry Street Settlement and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. The settlement provided home health care, recreational, cultural and educational programs for immigrants and their families living on the Lower East Side. As a social welfare activist, she was an early leader in the movements for public health, education and labor reform, improved housing, civil rights and world peace.

Emma Goldman (1869-1940), anarchist and self-styled revolutionary. She supported herself by working in sweatshops and, later, as a midwife. In her writings and as a fiery orator, she advocated for workers' rights, free speech, birth control and atheism. Jailed numerous times, she was called "the most dangerous woman in America" and deported to Russia in 1917.

Rose Pastor Stokes (1879-1933), "The Red Yiddish Cinderella." She was a cigar maker turned journalist whose marriage to a son of a wealthy uptown family made headlines in the NY press. Together the Socialist power couple traveled around the country speaking at lectures and rallies in support of social justice and economic equality.

Belle Moskowitz (1877-1933), political strategist and top advisor to NY Governor and presidential candidate Alfred E. Smith. As a young widow and mother, she worked at the Educational Alliance and became involved in liberal causes. She was successful in mobilizing the women's vote for Gov. Smith and framing his progressive legislation that led to F.D.R's New Deal.

Clara Lemlich (1886-1982), union leader. As a youthful shirtwaist maker, she led a strike in 1909 of sweatshop workers known as the "Uprising of the 20,000." The young women marched on pickets lines for 14 weeks, demanding higher pay and safer working conditions. Although they achieved limited concessions, their determination energized the nascent labor movement.

Anzia Yezierska (c. 1880-1970), author. Her novels, short stories and semi-fictional autobiographical writing vividly depict immigrant life on the Lower East Side and the struggles and conflicts of women of her generation assimilating to life in America. In 1920, Samuel Goldwyn invited her to Hollywood, as an advisor for a film based on some of her short stories.

The Lewisohn sisters: Alice (1883-1972) and Irene (1886-1944), theatrical educators and innovators. Daughters of an affluent German-Jewish family, in 1905 they volunteered at Henry Street Settlement to teach classes in drama and dance to children and teenagers. In 1915, they established the Neighborhood Playhouse on Grand Street, one of the early "little theaters" in the city presenting avant-garde stage productions.

Aline Bernstein (1880-1955), costume and set designer. She embarked on her theatrical career at the Neighborhood Playhouse in 1915 as chief designer of costumes, props and scenery. There she began her eight-year love affair with Thomas Wolfe on a backstage sofa. She moved on to great acclaim designing for the Broadway stage and was one of the founders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute.


LESJC THIRD Annual Jewish Heritage Festival

Heritage FestivalRebecca Lepkoff

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Photography Exhibit by Rebecca Lepkoff
Insider's Walking Tours
Vintage Goods Benefit Sale
Special Presentation Planned to Celebrate the Jewish History of the Lower East Side

This activity-packed day of exploring and learning about the Jewish history of Manhattan's Lower East Side includes an exhibit by acclaimed photographer Rebecca Lepkoff, three walking tours of the neighborhood, a vintage goods benefit sale and special presentations by renowned guest speakers.

Events kick off at 10:45 AM at the LESJC Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center, with two simultaneous walking tours exploring the historic neighborhood, considered by many the starting point of the American-Jewish experience. "Bialystoker the Beautiful" is a 90-minute tour of the magnificent Bialystoker Synagogue, which was built in 1826 as a Methodist church, and its surroundings. The tour also makes stops at Congregation Beth Hachasidim De Polen (a 19th Century shtiebl, or prayer room) and at Beth Hamedrah Hagadol, former home of the largest Russian-Jewish Orthodox congregation in the United States. The "Bialystoker the Beautiful" tour is presented a second time at 3:00 PM.

Also beginning at 10:45 is the "Crossing Delancey" tour, which examines three of the oldest synagogues in New York City: Congregation Chasam Sopher (built in 1853); the Orensanz Foundation (formerly Congregation Anshe Chesed, built in 1850); and Congregation B'nei Jacob Anshei Brzezan, one of only two remaining tenement style synagogues left on the Lower East Side. Tickets for either tour are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and free for children under age 8.

The festivities continue at 12:30 PM at the Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center with Gals From the Hood, a presentation about what life was like for Jewish women on the Lower East Side. In this engaging presentation, four women who grew up together on the Lower East Side, and have remained friends for over 50 years, discuss the experiences of their families in the neighborhood. Panelists include Hesta Fortgang, (co-owner of Tag-Along Estate Sales), Marilyn Guss Altman (daughter of the founder of Guss's Pickles), Carol Schneider Margolin (daughter of the K'nish Man) and Carol Hordin (daughter of the founder of Hordin's Deli). The four women will also be sponsoring a benefit sale throughout the day, with vintage goods for the home, fashion jewelry, artifacts and serving ware available for purchase. All sale proceeds will benefit the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy.

This year's Jewish Heritage Festival also marks the opening of "On the Cusp of Change: The LES, 1935-1975," an exhibit by renowned street photographer Rebecca Lepkoff. Lepkoff, who has been chronicling the changes on the Lower East Side through her photography since the late 1930's, will be on hand to answer questions at the exhibit's opening reception at 1:30 PM. Lepkoff will be introduced by New York City historian, documentary filmmaker and author Suzanne Wasserman.

Sukkah Hop: Evening Event For Young Professionals 21-35

Lower East Side Community GardenLibrary Building in the Lower East Side

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Visit two Sukkahs on the Lower East Side, as well as tour the beautiful Bialystoker Synagogue. Tour with community leader Judge Martin Shulman who will talk about the Bialystoker's extraordinary history and his key role in its survival.

Live Jazz, Wine, cheese & other goodies!

Experience exhibitions in the Visitor Center featuring the photo exhibit, "Before The Change": Intimate portraits of the Lower East Side from the 1970's by Paul Weissman.

Time: 6:15 PM to 9 PM

Meeting Place: Meet at the LESJC Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center 400 Grand St between Clinton & Suffolk Streets

THIS HAS BEEN SOLD OUT
New for 2012

"Frankfurt on the Hudson": Jewish Washington Heights Walking Tour

Yeshiva UniversityYeshiva UniversityTemple of IsraelCong. K'hal Adath Jeshurun for Shavuot

Sunday, September 9, 2012

This comprehensive tour will focus on the distinctive history and contemporary Jewish community of Washington Heights. 

Our tour will begin on the campus of .Yeshiva University  The inauguration, in 1928, of an imposing Moorish Revival building on Amsterdam Avenue (architect Charles B. Meyers) finalized YU's relocation from the overcrowded, impoverished neighborhood of the Lower East Side to the then bucolic Washington Heights. We will tour this dynamic, urban campus and visit Zysman Hall and the Shottenstein Center (1921). 

Making our way west, we will view the major facilities of K'hal Adath Jeshurun, (1939) the unique German tradition kehilla, (centralized religious community) on Bennett Avenue (pictured at right decorated for the holiday of Shavuot). We will discuss the legacy of Rabbi Sampson Raphael Hirsch who founded the original community that bore this name in Frankfort, 1851, and his grandson, Rabbi Dr. Joseph Breuer, who revived it on these shores.  

Our next stop is Chabad of Washington Heights, the most recent addition to communal life in Wash. Hts, and then on to Bennett Park. Built on the site of Fort Washington, from which  the Continental Army delayed the advance of British troups in 1776, the park was names for James Gordon Bennett, Sr., the publisher who launched the New York Herald in 1835.  Bennett Park is located at the highest natural point in Manhattan.

Tour concludes with viewing of Cong. Hebrew Tabernacle, founded in 1906. Fee includes  traditional 'nosh' from local German bakery.

THIS TOUR HAS BEEN SOLD OUT

New for 2012

Yeshiva University"We're Movin' on Up - to the (Jewish) East Side" -- A Walking Tour

Sunday, July 22, 2012

For Lower East Side Eastern European immigrants and their children, the Upper East Side became a desired location of 2nd settlement. Just 30 minutes north, the Upper East Side offered better tenements, more space, and charming small apartment houses with modern amenities.

Urban historian Barry Feldman will lead us past the Beaux Arts mansions of the Fifth Avenue 'Gold Coast' to the east end at York Avenue. We will discuss the evolution of this significant Jewish community: its prestigious sacred sites - Central and Park East Synagogues & Temple Emanuel; the unique 92nd Street Y, and glamorous architecture.

Our conversation will contrast the the serenity of life on the tree lined Upper East Side with the tenement and pushcart congested LES.

2nd Annual Heritage Festival

Heritage Festival 2011Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gallery opening for Paul Weissman, Photographer;
Lower East Side Walking Tours;
Jewelry + Vintage Tchotchkes Sale;
Meet the "Gals from the Hood"

Join us for a day of photography, touring, shopping and reminiscing with the Gals from the Hood - four women who grew up on the Lower East Side and have been friends for more than 50 years. We are pleased to have them be a sponsor and a big part of the festivities.

Once upon a time, Manhattan's Lower East Side was not home-to-the-hip; it was where turn-of-the-century European immigrants settled, crowded into tenements, speaking a Babel of languages, bringing their food, culture, religion with them and spawning generations of successful Americans. The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy invites you to glimpse their world at its 2nd Annual Heritage Festival. Admission is free, except as noted.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

11:30 AM - 2:30 PM: Gals from the 'hood Tchotchkes & Jewelry Benefit Sale!

Hesta FortgangBeginning at 11:30, we welcome the Gals from the 'Hood, women who grew up on the Lower East Side and have been friends for more than 50 years. Who are they? Marilyn Guss Altman is the daughter of the iconic Guss's Pickles, a Lower East Side institution. Carol Hordin's father ran a local Jewish deli. Carol Schneider Margolin's "tatte" (father) was the "knish man," selling the definitive New York street food from a cart. Hesta Fortgang will be displaying and selling mid-century vintage tchotchkes and her own line of era-inspired fashion jewelry (all proceeds benefit the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy).

11:30 AM and 1:00 PM: Bialystoker the Beautiful/Lower East Side Insider mini-tour

BialystokerView the exterior of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, former home of the largest Russian-Jewish Orthodox congregation in the U.S.

Visit the beautiful Bialystoker Synagogue, the largest active orthodox congregation on the Lower East Side today.

Learn about Shtiebl Row and visit Congregation Beth Hachasidim De Polen, an original 19th century shtiebl (a one room prayer or study hall). We'll also discuss the significance of the Henry Street Settlement and Lower East Side mikvah.


1:30 PM: Gallery Opening featuring the photography of Paul Weissman (free)

Paul Weissman"Before The Change": Intimate portraits of the Lower East Side from the 1970'sPaul Weissman

Veteran LESJC tour leader and 2nd generation Lower East Sider, Paul Weissman is an award-winning photographer, whose work chronicles the reality of the streets and its citizens during the 70's and 80's. While his photographs have artistic merit individually, when taken together, they become an important document; a record with a nod to the great Jacob Riis and a chronological explanation point to the work of Helen Levitt & Rebecca Lebkoff. His intimate images mark the passing of the old world immigrants prior to the gentrification in the neighborhood of the 1990s.

Mr. Weissman's photos have been displayed at: The New School for Social Research; Modern Age Gallery; Soho Photo Gallery & the Camera Club of New York. He was awarded the first place ribbon at the Brooklyn Heights Arts Exhibition, sponsored/judged by the Brooklyn Museum.

Stanton Street Shul2:30 PM: "Crossing Delancey" Insider mini-tour

We pass by and talk about Congregation Chasam Sopher (1853), the oldest continually operating synagogue in New York City.

We'll be touring The Orensanz Foundation, a.k.a. Congregation Anshe Chesed, the oldest existing synagogue (1850) in NY, and the cozy, tenement style Stanton Street Shul (1923).

Enter Congregation B'nei Jacob Anshei Brzezan (AKA The Stanton Street Shul, 1923). One of only 2 remaining tenement style shuls left on the LES.

Check out Economy Candy, and revisit the world of the Ellis Islander.

New for 2012

Tenement Chic: Ornamentation and Architectural Walking Tour of the Lower East Side

Greenpoint SynagogueSunday, April 22, 2012

Garish gargoyles – Greek & Roman mythical beasts -- beautiful botanicals in terra cotta …. Why do these architectural sculptures adorn otherwise drab 19th century tenements?  Who were the anonymous artisans that created these treasures, and what motivated the building developers to employ them?

These and other topics will be engaged as you journey with urban historian Barry Feldman through the Lower East Side. Trace the development of the typical tenement – a mid-19th century windowless box- to  contemporary housing styles.   Explore a middle class area which pre-dates the Civil War, and learn how building ornamentation influenced  residential architecture in this ever evolving immigrant enclave.
Participants will receive a packet of primary sources documenting the sites visited.

Meeting Place: The LESJC Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center 400 Grand Street (between Clinton & Suffolk Streets)

A Distinctive Brooklyn Neighborhood Bus Tour: Greenpoint and Chasidic Williamsburg

Greenpoint SynagogueSunday, March 25, 2012

REGISTRATION REQUIRED BY MARCH 21

Join us for this unique bus and walking tour. You will have an opportunity to get in some pre-Passover shopping while in the Chasidic community of Williamsburg, where we will view schools, shuls, & more.

Visit Congregation Ahavas Israel, a.k.a. The Greenpoint Shul, sole survivor in a unique, residential landmark neighborhood. Time allotted for lunch & shopping.

Williamsburg'Additional tour sites include: The Domino Sugar Factory - long shuttered, now undergoing conversion to high end condos; The Williamsburg Public Library, featured in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; the breakaway "Miracle Shul;" a Flaishgesheften & Refuah pharmacies, and the best Hungarian delicacies this side of the Atlantic!

Meeting Place: The LESJC Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center 400 Grand Street (between Clinton & Suffolk Streets)

Book Discussion: Travel in Time with Eric Ferrara, Author

Sunday, March 11, 2012The Bowery

BOOK DISCUSSION AND SLIDE LECTURE
The Bowery: A History of Grit, Graft and Grandeur

(History Press 2011)

Originally a Lenape Indian trail, the Bowery has become one of the most notorious thoroughfares in America. It has experienced periods of popularity, poverty & Prosperity. It’s been home to bums, bohemians, criminals, artists; rich & poor alike. Once denigrated as New York’s "skid row". Explore over a thousand years of Bowery history and discover what made this under-appreciated thoroughfare so important to the cultural, political, and economic development of NYC.

Eric Ferrara, a fourth generation native New Yorker, is the Executive Director of The Lower East Side History Project, and the author of 2 other books. He is also a consultant for dozens of movie & TV projects, including HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, and the Warner Brothers upcoming film The Great Gatsby.

DUE TO OVERWHELMING DEMAND THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT.

Delancey to Doughnuts: A Chanukah Walking Tour

soufganiotSunday, December 25, 2011

Join us for our last public tour of 2011!

The tour starts at the LESJC Kling and Niman Family Visitor Center with a look at the photo exhibit, "If You Live in New York..." On display through New Year's Eve we are proud to display the works of photojournalist Julian Voloj. In this show he captures the vibrancy of the Lower East Side.

From there we move on to the incomparable Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum presented by resident scholar and museum director, Marcia Haddad Ikolomopolis.

The last stop on our tour brings us to Congregation Bnai Jacob Anshe Brzezan (Stanton Street Shul) a site of old world warmth and tradition. Shul 'elder' and board member Elyssa Sampson will be on hand to share the dramatic history of this charming site.

Our program concludes with lighting the menorah, soufganiot (doughnuts) and coffee.

Jewish Harlem walking tour Jewish Harlem Walking Tour

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Join Marty Shore, urban historian, as he leads you through the sites of Jewish religious life in the remarkable urban settlement of Harlem, once the second largest Jewish community in the United States. In 1917, it was home to more than 175,000 Jews. Delight in the exteriors of grand synagogues that remind us of Harlem's Jewish past. Including the Ethiopian Hebrew Synagogue called "The Commandment Keepers."

You will walk by the former homes of Temple Israel of Harlem, Congregation Shaarei Zedek, The Oheb Zedek Synagogue-home to Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt in the 1910-1920's.

Lower East Side Arts and Architecture Festival

Julian VolojSunday, October 30, 2011

Opening for Julian Voloj, Photographer;
Jewish Heritage Tours;
Jewelry + Vintage Tchotchkes Sale;
Meet the "Gals from the Hood"

Join us for a day of art, photography, touring, shopping and reminiscing with the Gals from the Hood. Gallery opening and tours throughout the day. Admission to gallery and talks are free - tours are $10 adults; $8 seniors; $6 students; children under 8 are free.

Visit our Special Events page for tour schedules and more information.

 

Jewish Williamsburg Distinctive Brooklyn Neighborhoods I: Greenpoint and Chassidic Williamsburg — Bus and Walking Tour

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Travel by bus over the Williamsburg Bridge to visit the Satmar Hasidic community of Williamsburg. Time will be allotted for shopping and lunch on the bustling streets of this unique neighborhood.

From Williamsburg ride to Greenpoint for a very special visit to the Greenpoint Shul, a charming survivor of a once thriving working-class Jewish community. Visit with synagogue leaders and hear about the resurgence of the Shul as an influx of Jewish families settles in the neighborhood.

Additional tour sites include: The Domino Sugar Factory - long shuttered, now undergoing conversion to high end condos; The Williamsburg Public Library, featured in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; the breakaway "Miracle Shul;" a Flaishgesheften & Refuah pharmacies, and the best Hungarian delicacies this side of the Atlantic!

On the return the tour will split. You can choose to take the bus back to the Visitor Center, or you can choose to join us for a guided tour across the famed Williamsburg bridge back to the Visitor Center.

We've Got Mazel!!! — presentation and panel discussion Bialystoker Mazel Ceiling

April 10, 2011

A presentation exploring Mazalos, a sacred Jewish art form featuring zodiac symbols.

At the turn of the century, there were dozens of these paintings on the Lower East Side, today only two examples remain. A panel of experts will discuss the history and preservation of this endangered tradition.

This unique presentation explores Mazalot, a sacred Jewish art form featuring zodiac symbols. A panel of experts including conservator Beth Edelstein and urban historian Elyssa Sampson will discuss the history and preservation of Mazalot.

While few examples of Mazalot remain, two prime examples can be found on the Lower East Side: the Bialystoker Synagogue and Congregation B’nei Jacob & Anshei Brzezan (a.k.a. The Stanton Street Shul).

The zodiac tradition is discussed in the Talmud, and in the writings of Medieval Jewish scholars, including Nachmanides, and the 16th century Kabbalist Isaac Luria. Earliest examples are the floor mosaics of second to sixth century Roman synagogues in ancient Palestine. In Eastern Europe, the Jews revived the ancient tradition of depicting the zodiac by painting the motifs on the walls and ceilings of their wooden synagogues. The destruction unleashed by World War II resulted in the elimination of many of these synagogues or their conversion for general use.

This program will trace the history of this endangered 2,000 year old synagogue art tradition which made its way to the Lower East Side via immigrants from Galitzia, a region on the borders of modern-day Poland and Ukraine.

Ms. Beth Edelstein, Objects Conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art, received her degree in Art Conservation from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. Ms. Elyssa Sampson, urban historian, LESJ Conservancy tour leader, and PH.D candidate in Urban Geography (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), will discuss the significance of the mazelot and the way in which they made their way to the Lower East Side via Galitzia.

SLIDESHOW: View our our related slideshow, Mazalot of the Lower East Side.

Twice Weekly Insider Public Walking Tours of the Lower East Side

LESJC Insider Walking ToursJune 17 - December 30, 2010 Thursdays: Crossing Delancy, 1:45 PM Sundays: Bialystoker the Beautiful, 11:45 AM

To accommodate tourists and visitors interested in experiencing the sacred sites and rich history of the Lower East Side, the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy (LESJC) is initiating a program of mini-tours that will begin on Thursday, June 17th, and continue through Friday, December 30, 2010.

Two insider walking tours are planned. The tour based on highlights of the LESJC's public tour "Crossing Delancey" and a mini-tour based on highlights of the LESJC's "Bialystoker the Beautiful" tour. Read more about the insider walking tours on our Public Tours page.

NOTE: Due to holidays there will be no Crossing Delancy tours on September 9th, 23rd and 30th, and November 25th. There will be no Bialystoker the Beautiful tour on July 4th.

Meeting Place: All public tours start at the Kling-Niman Visitor's Center of the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy, 400 Grand Street (between Clinton and Suffolk Streets) across from CitiBank.

Fees/Info: Adults: $12; seniors and students: $10. Children under 6 are free.

Rugelach and other noshes will be served! 7th Annual Noshing Tour Extravaganza

Sunday, December 26, 2010 SOLD OUT!

When does noshing (snacking in Yiddish) combine with visiting magnificent sacred sites on the Lower East Side?

On the annual Noshing Tour Extravaganza of the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy (LESJC). This unique tour and eclectic eating experience continues to be one of the most popular and eagerly awaited events presented by the Conservancy each year.

Join us as we visit and eat at unique historic sites. Start with Rugelach, and coffee then end with a sample of foods from a classic Eastern European kiddish of herring, arbis, potatonick, schnapps, dried fruit and halvah.

During the tour we will marvel at the stunning interior of the Angel Orensanz Cultural Foundation, the oldest surviving structure built as a synagogue in NYC. This building housed the former Congregation Anshe Chesed, the third Jewish Congregation founded in New York, and the second reform congregation.

Next we will soak in the surroundings at Congregation B’nai Jacob Anshei Brzezan (also known as The Stanton Street Shul), one of the few remaining tenement style synagogues left today.

Congregation Chasam Sopher, NYC’s oldest continuously operating active synagogue building will also be visited (exterior only) .

Crossing Delancey Walking Tour

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Enter sacred sites that reveal the Lower East Side of the early 20th century and how it has evolved to reflect today’s changing culture north of Delancey Street.

The remarkably restored Congregation Chasam Sopher, the oldest continually operating synagogue in New York City, will be included on your tour.

Marvel at the stunning interior of the Angel Orensanz Cultural Foundation (formerly Congregation Anshe Chesed), the oldest synagogue building in New York City, and one of Manhattan’s most popular event spaces.

Tour Congregation B’nei Jacob Anshe Brzezan (also known as the Stanton Street Shul) – one of the few remaining tenement-style synagogues on the Lower East Side. Learn about the renaissance taking place in this warm, old-world space.

When Harlem Was Jewish: Slide Lecture

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Enjoy a fascinating slide lecture on Harlem’s Jewish past delivered by Yeshiva University History Professor, Jeffrey S. Gurock, Ph.D., author of When Harlem Was Jewish: 1870-1930. In 1917, Harlem was home to more than 175,000 Jews.

A distinguished scholar of this remarkable era will discuss the historical forces that shaped Jewish Harlem.

Yiddish Theater Brunch: “The Essence” Yiddish Theater Brunch: “The Big Bupkis” Performed by the New Yiddish Rep Company

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Join the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy (LESJC) for a unique Yiddish Theater Brunch program, "The Big Bupkis! A Complete Gentile's Guide to Yiddish Vaudeville." This irreverent performance will include comedy, magic, ukulele music, hypnotism, stories about Sophie Tucker, a Yiddish bullfight poem, and other theatrical rarities. For those who may have attended last year's Yiddish Theater Brunch and enjoyed Shane Bertram Baker's show, this will be a different and more elaborate performance.

There will be an ample, strictly kosher, dairy brunch served which includes bagels, bialys, spreads, dried fruit, coffee and pastries.

In the lead role will be Shane Bertram Baker, Yiddish vaudeville actor extraordinaire. A Kansas City native, he is acknowledged to be the first Gentile to perform Yiddish vaudeville. How he escaped life in a trailer park in rural Missouri to gain renown in New York's booming Yiddish vaudeville community is richly described and illustrated in this fascinating performance. Mr. Baker will be accompanied by the legendary Steve Sterner, New York's premiere silent film accompanist. Rimshots, bells, and whistles will be delivered by the remarkable klezmer drummer, Matt Temkin. Allen Lewis Rickman, who has extensive experience in Yiddish theater, co-conceived and directed "The Big Bupkis!" The show combines English and Yiddish, with English supertitles projected over the stage.

LESJC Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Centennial Events

History of the Needlecraft IndustryDetail, History of the Needlecraft Industry (1938), by Ernest Fiene, High School of Fashion and Industry. A mural commissioned by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGW). New Deal Network.

SATURDAY, MARCH 26, 2011 A Lower East Side Shul Remembers

Rabbi Yuter and the Stanton Street Shul invite the public to services the weekend of the centennial and offer these words:

"We are a rather poor tenement synagogue whose Galitzianer congregation started in 1894. We are in an old building that is located at the heart of the Lower East Side, near where most of the Fire’s immigrant victims lived. We would like to incorporate into the Shabbes (Sabbath) services a commemoration for the victims and also have El Molei Rachamim (another memorial prayer recited only on special dates) chanted. We know of no others commemorating this yurtzeit (anniversary of death) in the traditional language of prayer."

Traditional food and drink will be served!

SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011 Triangle Factory Fire: A Walking Tour Through Time

Join GVSHP and the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy in a walking tour that will highlight some of the sites associated with the disaster by exploring the various ways in which the Fire, and the lives it claimed, have been memorialized over the past 100 years. Sites will include Cooper Union, the NYU Brown Building, and an East Village synagogue.

This event is free.

Rabbi RommSUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011 The Jewish Response to Tragedy: An Interactive Study Session

Join us for a presentation & study session with Rabbi Zvi David Romm, spiritual leader of the Bialystoker Synagogue, in commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the Triangle Factory Fire.

Rabbi Romm, a professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University, will lead a study session (in English), to which all are welcome. Our program will explore how the horrendous loss of life in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire raised age-old questions about G-d's goodness and omnipotence. In this interactive workshop, Rabbi Romm will examine Jewish texts - both classic and modern - attempting to understand the spiritual strategies proposed by Jewish tradition for coping with disastrous loss.

Paul Weissman Portraits at Essex Street Market

Paul Weissman Photo

Veteran LESJC tour leader and 2nd generation 'Lower East Sider' Paul Weissman is an award-winning photographer, whose work chronicles the reality of the streets and its citizens during the little-seen decades of the 70's and 80's. Fourteen of this series of one hundred portraits will be on display in the Essex Street Market (12 Essex Street, by Delancey ) through November 3rd.

While each of these photographs have artistic merit, taken together, they become an important document, a record with a bow to the great Jacob Riis and Helen Levitt, representing the people of the neighborhood prior to gentrification. Mr. Weissman thinks it entirely appropriate that the photos be displayed at Jeffrey's, a Lower East Side institution in its own right, as the "oldest original family owned butcher shop in NYC since 1920," currently operating out of the Essex Street Market.

Mr. Weissman's photos have been displayed at: The New School for Social Research; Modern Age Gallery; Soho Photo Gallery; Camera Club of New York (April 1978). He was awarded a second (1976) and first place ribbon (1977) at the Brooklyn Heights Arts and Crafts Exhibition sponsored and judged by the Brooklyn Museum.

Joyce Mendelsohn Book Launch at Angel Orensanz FoundationJoyce Mendelsohn Book Launch at Angel Orensanz Foundation

September 23, 2009

"Thank you for treating my congregation to a wonderful day on the Lower East Side." ~ J.L.
"The recent trip to the Lower East Side was wonderful. The docents provided by the Conservancy were well informed and most professional." ~ R.G.
"Our guides were passionate, knowledgeable, informative, and entertaining... in short we had such a memorable day! We expect to come back for more!!!!! " ~ L.L.
"I and a group of friends had the Bialystoker walking tour with Jay Zion and I wanted to give him a big thank you. We had a really wonderful experience. We saw places that we never would have noticed or been allowed in to on our own. We'll probably be taking another tour in the future." ~ M.P., Alexandria, VA
"Your work is very important, highlighting our beginnings in the U.S. and some of the many trials and tribulations faced by our people. We must learn, remember and tell the stories for those generations after us. Your organization keeps those stories alive. We all thank you for our wonderful experience." ~ L.L.

Related Links

Our Sacred Sites and More

Custom Group Tours

Tour FAQs

Kling & Niman Visitor Center

Visitor Center Directions and Hours

Past Programs

Join Our Mailing List

 

Find us on Facebook

February 27, 2014 - 7 PM