Heritage Walk in New York – Greenwich Village

My posts of New York generally follow the stops in Oscar Israelowitz’s:

Jewish Heritage Trail of New York

Click below for American Jewish music. More on bottom of the right hand side panel  # 1 to 11


Using the book as a guide and entering the address provided into Google Maps, I was able to plan and enjoy without wasting time and energy, and so had an amazing experience.

I have used and edited Wikipedia to provide you with background info.

Greenwich Village

Stop 119: Joseph Papp’s  Public Theatre

425 Lafayette Street



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

HIAS (which stands for Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) is an American charitable organization originally founded in response to the late 19th- and early 20th-century exodus ofJewish emigrants from Imperial Russia. The organization assists Jews and other groups of people whose lives and freedom are believed to be at risk to relocate. Since its inception HIAS has helped resettle nearly 4.5 million people. HIAS offices throughout the world (United StatesIsrael, the Russian FederationUkraineAustriaArgentina,EcuadorVenezuelaKenyaPanama and Chad) provide an array of legal and support services.

According to HIAS itself, the acronym HIAS was first used as a cable address and eventually became the universally used name of the organization. A 1909 merger with theHebrew Sheltering Aid Society resulted in the official name Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society, but the organization continued to be generally known as H.I.A.S.or HIAS,[1][2] which eventually became the official name.

My images:


Stop 120: Hebrew Union College

One West 4th Street

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Established 1875
Type Private
President Rabbi Aaron Panken
Location CincinnatiNew York CityLos AngelesJerusalem
Affiliations Reform Judaism
Website www.huc.edu

The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (also known as HUCHUC-JIR, and The College-Institute) is the oldest extant Jewish seminary in the Americas[1] and the main seminary for training rabbiscantors, educators and communal workers inReform Judaism.

HUC-JIR has campuses in Cincinnati, New York, Los Angeles and Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem campus is the only seminary in Israel for training Reform Jewish clergy


HUC was founded in 1875 under the leadership of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise in Cincinnati, Ohio.[2] The first rabbinical class graduated in 1883.[3] The graduation banquet for this class included food that was not kosher, such as clamssoft-shell crabsshrimpfrogs’ legs and dairy products served immediately after meat. This feast was known as thetreifah banquet. At the time, Reform rabbis were split over the question of whether the Jewish dietary restrictions were still applicable. Some of the more traditionalist Reform rabbis thought the banquet menu went too far, and were compelled to find an alternative between Reform Judaism and Orthodox Judaism. This was a major cause of the founding of American Conservative Judaism.[3]

In 1950, a second HUC campus was created in New York City through a merger with the rival Reform Jewish Institute of Religion. Additional campuses were added in Los Angeles, California in 1954, and in Jerusalem in 1963.[4]

As of 2009, the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is an international seminary and university of graduate studies offering a wide variety of academic and professional programs. In addition to its Rabbinical School, the College-Institute includes Schools of Graduate Studies, Education, Jewish Communal Service, sacred music,Biblical archaeology and an Israeli rabbinical program.[5]

The Los Angeles campus operates many of its programs and degrees in cooperation with the neighboring University of Southern California, a partnership that has lasted over 35 years.[6] Their productive relationship includes the creation of the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement, an interfaith think tank through the partnership of HUC, USC and Omar Foundation. CMJE[7] holds religious text-study programs across Los Angeles. Ironically, no classrooms on this campus have windows.

Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk was appointed as HUC’s sixth president, following the death of Nelson Glueck. As president, Gottschalk oversaw the growth and expansion of the HUC campuses, the ordination of Sally Priesand as the first female rabbi in the United States, the investiture of Reform Judaism’s first female hazzan and the ordination of Naamah Kelman as the first female rabbi in Israel.[8]

Hebrew Union College campus in Jerusalem

HUC Greenwich Village, New York



La Guardia Place, Greenwich Village

Fiorello H. La Guardia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fiorello H. La Guardia
Fiorello LaGuardia.jpg
99th Mayor of New York City[1]
In office
January 1, 1934 – December 31, 1945
Preceded by John P. O’Brien
Succeeded by William O’Dwyer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York‘s 20th district
In office
March 4, 1923 – March 3, 1933
Preceded by Isaac Siegel
Succeeded by James J. Lanzetta
10th President of the New York City Board of Aldermen
In office
January 1, 1920 – December 31, 1921
Preceded by Robert L. Moran
Succeeded by Murray Hulbert
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York‘s 14th district
In office
March 4, 1917 – December 31, 1919
Preceded by Michael F. Farley
Succeeded by Nathan D. Perlman
Personal details
Born Fiorello Enrico LaGuardia
December 11, 1882
Greenwich VillageManhattan,New York, United States
Died September 20, 1947 (aged 64)
BronxNew York, United States
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Thea Almerigotti (1919-1921; her death)
Marie Fisher (m. 1929; 2 children)
Profession Politician
Religion Episcopalian


Early life and career

LaGuardia was born in Greenwich Village in New York City to an Italian father and an Italian-Jewish mother. His father, Achille La Guardia, was a lapsed Catholic from Cerignola, and his mother, Irene Coen, was a Jewish woman from Trieste, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; his maternal grandmother Fiorina Luzzatto Coen was a Luzzatto, a member of the prestigious Italian-Jewish family of scholars, kabbalists, and poets and had among her ancestors the famous rabbi Samuel David Luzzatto. It was in Trieste that Achille La Guardia met and married Irene.[6] Fiorello La Guardia was raised an Episcopalian and practised that religion all his life. His middle name “Enrico” was anglicized to “Henry” when he was a child.

He moved to Arizona with his family, where his father had a bandmaster position at Fort Whipple in the U.S. Army. LaGuardia attended public schools and high school inPrescott, Arizona.[7] After his father was discharged from his bandmaster position in 1898, Fiorello lived in Trieste.[8]

La Guardia joined the State Department and served in U.S. consulates in Budapest, Trieste (Austria-Hungary, now Italy), and Fiume (Austria-Hungary), now Rijeka (Croatia), (1901–1906). He returned to the United States to continue his education at New York University. From 1907 to 1910, he worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Bureau of Immigration at the Ellis Island immigration station.

He graduated from New York University School of Law in 1910, was admitted to the bar the same year, and began a law practice in New York City.[7]

Ethnic politics

LaGuardia governed in an uneasy alliance with New York’s Jews and liberal WASPs, together with Italian and German ethnics.[26]

LaGuardia was not an orthodox Republican. He also ran as the nominee of the American Labor Party, a union-dominated anti-Tammany left-wing group that supported Franklin D. Roosevelt for president beginning in 1936. LaGuardia supported Roosevelt, chairing the Committee of Independent Voters for Roosevelt and Wallace with Senator George Norris during the 1940 presidential election.

LaGuardia was the city’s first Italian-American mayor, but was not a typical Italian New Yorker. He was a Republican Episcopalian who had grown up in Arizona, and had a Triestine Jewish mother[6] and a Catholic-turned-atheist father. He reportedly spoke several languages, including HebrewCroatian, German, Italian, and Yiddish.[citation needed]LaGuardia was also a very active Freemason.[citation needed]

Fiorello LaGuardia statue at LaGuardia Placein Greenwich Village, NYC


He was an outspoken and early critic of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. In a public address in 1934, LaGuardia warned that “part of Hitler’s program is the complete annihilation of the Jews in Germany”. In 1937, speaking before the Women’s Division of the American Jewish Congress, LaGuardia called for the creation of a special pavilion at the upcoming New York World’s Fair, “a chamber of horrors” for “that brown-shirted fanatic”.[30]

Gemma LaGuardia Gluck

LaGuardia’s sister, Gemma LaGuardia Gluck (1881–1962),[31] and brother-in-law, Herman Gluck (a Hungarian Jew whom she met while teaching English in Europe), were living in Hungary and were arrested by the Gestapo on June 7, 1944,[32] when the Nazis took control of BudapestAdolf Eichmann and Heinrich Himmler knew Gemma was Fiorello’s sister and ordered her held as a political prisoner. She and Herman were deported to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, where he died, as Gemma learned from reading a newspaper account a year following her release.[33][34] She was transferred from Mauthausen to the notorious women’s concentration camp at Ravensbrück, located 50 miles from Berlin, where unbeknownst to Gemma at the time, her daughter Yolanda[31] (whose husband also died in the camps[35]) and baby grandson were also held for a year in a separate barrack.[36] Gemma, who was held in Block II of the camp and assigned prisoner #44139,[32] was one of the few survivors of this camp[37] and wrote about her time at Ravensbrück. [38][39] She also wrote that the Soviets were “violating girls and women of all ages”, and about her, her daughter’s and grandson’s suffering as displaced persons in postwar Berlin, where the Germans abandoned them for a possible hostage exchange in April 1945, as the Russians were advancing. Gemma and her family did not speakGerman, and had no identity papers, money, or means of documenting where they had been. Gemma finally managed to get word to the Americans who contacted Fiorello, who had no idea where they were. He worked to get them on the immigration lists, but asserted in a letter, included in the appendix of Gemma’s memoir, that her “case was the same as that of hundreds of thousands of displaced people” and “no exceptions can be made”. Thus, despite Gemma’s intimate connection with a powerful American politician, who was then director of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), it took two years to be cleared and sent to the United States. She returned to New York in May 1947, where she reunited with Fiorello four months before he died. As he had made no provision for her, she lived in very reduced circumstances, in a LaGuardia public housing project in Queens, New York, until her death in 1962.[31][40] Gluck is believed to be the only American-born woman interned by the Nazis.[citation needed]

My images


Stop 121: Triangle Fire Site

Washington Place corner Greene Street

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates40°43′48″N 73°59′43″W

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire
Image of Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire on March 25 - 1911.jpg
Time 4:40 PM (local time)
Date March 25, 1911
Location Asch Building
ManhattanNew York CityU.S.
Deaths 146
Injuries 71

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in ManhattanNew York City on March 25, 1911 was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city, and one of the deadliest in U.S. history. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers – 123 women and 23 men [1] – who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or falling or jumping to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women aged sixteen to twenty-three;[2][3][4] of the victims whose ages are known, the oldest victim was Providenza Panno at 43, and the youngest were 14-year-olds Kate Leone and “Sara” Rosaria Maltese.[5]

Because the owners had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits, a common practice used to prevent workers from taking unauthorized breaks and pilferage,[6] many of the workers who could not escape the burning building jumped from the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors to the streets below. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, which fought for better working conditions for sweatshopworkers.

The factory was located in the Asch Building, at 23–29 Washington Place in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, now known as the Brown Building and part of New York University. The building has been designated a National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark.[7]


A horse-drawn fire engine en route to the burning factory

The Triangle Waist Company[8] factory occupied the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors of the 10-story Asch Building on the northwest corner of Greene Street and Washington Place, just east of Washington Square Park, in the Greenwich Village area of New York City. Under the ownership of Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, the factory produced women’s blouses, known as “shirtwaists.” The factory normally employed about 500 workers, mostly young immigrant women, who worked nine hours a day on weekdays plus seven hours on Saturdays,[9] earning for their 52 hours of work between $7 and $12 a week,[6] the 2014 equivalent of $166 to $285 a week, or $3.20 to $5.50 per hour.[10]

As the workday was ending on the afternoon of Saturday, March 25, 1911, a fire flared up at approximately 4:40 PM in a scrap bin under one of the cutter’s tables at the northeast corner of the eighth floor.[11] The first fire alarm was sent at 4:45 PM by a passerby on Washington Place who saw smoke coming from the eighth floor.[12] Both owners of the factory were in attendance and had invited their children to the factory on that afternoon.[13] The Fire Marshal concluded that the likely cause of the fire was the disposal of an unextinguished match or cigarette butt in the scrap bin, which held two months’ worth of accumulated cuttings by the time of the fire.[14] Beneath the table in the wooden bin were hundreds of pounds of scraps which were left over from the several thousand shirtwaists that had been cut at that table. The scraps piled up from the last time the bin was emptied, coupled with the hanging fabrics that surrounded it; the steel trim was the only thing that was not highly flammable.[15] Although smoking was banned in the factory, cutters were known to sneak cigarettes, exhaling the smoke through their lapels to avoid detection.[16] A New York Times article suggested that the fire may have been started by the engines running the sewing machines, while The Insurance Monitor, a leading industry journal, suggested that the epidemic of fires among shirtwaist manufacturers was “fairly saturated with moral hazard.”[13] No one suggested arson.[citation needed]

The building’s south side, with windows marked X from which fifty women jumped

The building’s east side, with 40 bodies on the sidewalk. Two of the victims were found alive an hour after the photo was taken.

Within three minutes, the Greene Street stairway became unusable in both directions.[21] Terrified employees crowded onto the single exterior fire escape, which city officials had allowed Asch to erect instead of the required third staircase.[15] It was a flimsy and poorly anchored iron structure which may have been broken before the fire. It soon twisted and collapsed from the heat and overload, spilling about 20 victims nearly 100 feet (30 m) to their deaths on the concrete pavement below. Elevator operators Joseph Zito[22] and Gaspar Mortillalo saved many lives by traveling three times up to the ninth floor for passengers, but Mortillalo was eventually forced to give up when the rails of his elevator buckled under the heat. Some victims pried the elevator doors open and jumped into the empty shaft, trying to slide down the cables or to land on top of the car. The weight and impacts of these bodies warped the elevator car and made it impossible for Zito to make another attempt. William Gunn Shepard, a reporter at the tragedy, would say that “I learned a new sound that day a sound more horrible than description can picture — the thud of a speeding living body on a stone sidewalk “.[23]A bookkeeper on the eighth floor was able to warn employees on the tenth floor via telephone, but there was no audible alarm and no way to contact staff on the ninth floor.[17] According to survivor Yetta Lubitz, the first warning of the fire on the ninth floor arrived at the same time as the fire itself.[18] Although the floor had a number of exits, including two freight elevators, a fire escape, and stairways down to Greene Street and Washington Place, flames prevented workers from descending the Greene Street stairway, and the door to the Washington Place stairway was locked to prevent theft by the workers; the locked doors allowed managers to check the women’s purses.[19] The foreman who held the stairway door key had already escaped by another route.[20] Dozens of employees escaped the fire by going up the Greene Street stairway to the roof. Other survivors were able to jam themselves into the elevators while they continued to operate.[citation needed]

A large crowd of bystanders gathered on the street, witnessing 62 people jumping or falling to their deaths from the burning building.[24] Louis Waldman, later a New York Socialist state assemblyman, described the scene years later:[25]

One Saturday afternoon in March of that year — March 25, to be precise — I was sitting at one of the reading tables in the old Astor Library… It was a raw, unpleasant day and the comfortable reading room seemed a delightful place to spend the remaining few hours until the library closed. I was deeply engrossed in my book when I became aware of fire engines racing past the building. By this time I was sufficiently Americanized to be fascinated by the sound of fire engines. Along with several others in the library, I ran out to see what was happening, and followed crowds of people to the scene of the fire.

A few blocks away, the Asch Building at the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street was ablaze. When we arrived at the scene, the police had thrown up a cordon around the area and the firemen were helplessly fighting the blaze. The eighth, ninth, and tenth stories of the building were now an enormous roaring cornice of flames.

Word had spread through the East Side, by some magic of terror, that the plant of the Triangle Waist Company was on fire and that several hundred workers were trapped. Horrified and helpless, the crowds — I among them — looked up at the burning building, saw girl after girl appear at the reddened windows, pause for a terrified moment, and then leap to the pavement below, to land as mangled, bloody pulp. This went on for what seemed a ghastly eternity. Occasionally a girl who had hesitated too long was licked by pursuing flames and, screaming with clothing and hair ablaze, plunged like a living torch to the street. Life nets held by the firemen were torn by the impact of the falling bodies.

The emotions of the crowd were indescribable. Women were hysterical, scores fainted; men wept as, in paroxysms of frenzy, they hurled themselves against the police lines.

The remainder waited until smoke and fire overcame them. The fire department arrived quickly but was unable to stop the flames, as there were no ladders available that could reach beyond the sixth floor. The fallen bodies and falling victims also made it difficult for the fire department to approach the building.

Bodies of the victims being placed in coffins on the sidewalk

People and horses draped in black walk in procession in memory of the victims


Although early references of the death toll ranged from 141[26] to 148,[27] almost all modern references agree that 146 people died as a result of the fire: 123 women and 23 men.[28][29][30][31][32][33][34] Most victims died of burns, asphyxiation, blunt impact injuries, or a combination of the three.[35]

The first person to jump was a man, and another man was seen kissing a young woman at the window before they both jumped to their deaths.[36]

Bodies of the victims were taken to Charities Pier (also called Misery Lane), located at 26th street and the East River, for identification by friends and relatives.[citation needed] Victims were interred in sixteen different cemeteries.[28] Twenty-two victims of the fire were buried by the Hebrew Free Burial Association in a special section at Mount Richmond Cemetery. In some instances, their tombstones refer to the fire.[37] Six victims remained unidentified until 2011.[28][29] The six victims who remained unidentified were buried together in the Cemetery of the Evergreens in Brooklyn. Originally interred elsewhere on the grounds, their remains now lie beneath a monument to the tragedy, a large marble slab featuring a kneeling woman.[38]The six unknown victims were finally identified in February 2011[28] and a grave marker placed in their memory.[39]

Consequences and legacy

The company’s owners, Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, who survived the fire by fleeing to the building’s roof when the fire began, were indicted on charges of first- and second-degree manslaughter in mid-April; the pair’s trial began on December 4, 1911.[40] Max Steuer, counsel for the defendants, managed to destroy the credibility of one of the survivors, Kate Alterman, by asking her to repeat her testimony a number of times, which she did without altering key phrases. Steuer argued to the jury that Alterman and possibly other witnesses had memorized their statements, and might even have been told what to say by the prosecutors. The prosecution charged that the owners knew the exit doors were locked at the time in question. The investigation found that the locks were intended to be locked during working hours based on the findings from the fire,[41] but the defense stressed that the prosecution failed to prove that the owners knew that. The jury acquitted the two men, but they lost a subsequent civil suit in 1913 in which plaintiffs won compensation in the amount of $75 per deceased victim. The insurance company paid Blanck and Harris about $60,000 more than the reported losses, or about $400 per casualty. In 1913, Blanck was once again arrested for locking the door in his factory during working hours. He was fined $20.[42]

Rose Schneiderman, a prominent socialist and union activist, gave a speech at the memorial meeting held in the Metropolitan Opera House on April 2, 1911, to an audience largely made up of the members of the Women’s Trade Union League. She used the fire as an argument for factory workers to organize:

Tombstone of fire victim at theHebrew Free Burial Association‘s Mount Richmond Cemetery

I would be a traitor to these poor burned bodies if I came here to talk good fellowship. We have tried you good people of the public and we have found you wanting…. We have tried you citizens; we are trying you now, and you have a couple of dollars for the sorrowing mothers, brothers and sisters by way of a charity gift. But every time the workers come out in the only way they know to protest against conditions which are unbearable, the strong hand of the law is allowed to press down heavily upon us.

Public officials have only words of warning to us—warning that we must be intensely peaceable, and they have the workhouse just back of all their warnings. The strong hand of the law beats us back, when we rise, into the conditions that make life unbearable.

I can’t talk fellowship to you who are gathered here. Too much blood has been spilled. I know from my experience it is up to the working people to save themselves. The only way they can save themselves is by a strong working-class movement.[43]

Others in the community, and in particular in the ILGWU,[44] drew a different lesson from events. In New York City, a Committee on Public Safety was formed, headed by Frances Perkins, a noted social worker, to identify specific problems and lobby for new legislation, such as the bill to grant workers shorter hours in a work week, known as the “54-hour Bill”. The committee’s representatives in Albany obtained the backing of Tammany Hall‘s Al Smith, the Majority Leader of the Assembly, and Robert F. Wagner, the Majority Leader of the Senate, and this collaboration of machine politicians and reformers – also known as “do-gooders” or “goo-goos” – got results, especially since Tammany’s chief, Charles F. Murphy, realized the advantage to be had from being on the side of the angels.[6]

The New York State Legislature then created the Factory Investigating Commission to “investigate factory conditions in this and other cities and to report remedial measures of legislation to prevent hazard or loss of life among employees through fire, unsanitary conditions, and occupational diseases.”[45] The Commission, which became Al Smith’s priority,[6] held public hearings in the major cities of the state, distributed questionnaires to a wide variety of people, and hired field agents to do on-site inspections of factories.[46] New York City’s Fire Chief John Kenlon told the investigators that his department had identified more than 200 factories where conditions made a fire like that at the Triangle Factory possible.[47] The State Commissions’s reports helped modernize the state’s labor laws, making New York State “one of the most progressive states in terms of labor reform.”[48][49] New laws mandated better building access and egress, fireproofing requirements, the availability of fire extinguishers, the installation of alarm systems and automatic sprinklers, better eating and toilet facilities for workers, and limited the number of hours that women and children could work.[46] In the years from 1911 to 1913, sixty of the sixty-four new laws recommended by the Commission were legislated with the support of Governor William Sulzer.[6]

As a result of the fire, the American Society of Safety Engineers was founded in New York City on October 14, 1911.[50]

My images:


 Stop 122: Washington Square Arch

Washington Square Arch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates40.73099°N 73.99805°W

The south face of the Washington Square Arch

The Washington Square Arch — or more properly Washington Arch — is a marble triumphal arch built in 1892 in Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan in New York City. It celebrates the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as President of the United States in 1789 and forms the grand southern terminus of Fifth Avenue.


Washington Square Arch, constructed of white Tuckahoe marble (Westchester marble), was modeled by Stanford White on the Arc de Triomphe, built in 1806, in Paris (itself modeled on the Arch of Titus). It stands 77 feet (23 m) high. The piers stand 30 feet (9.1 m) apart and the arch opening is 47 feet (14 m) high. The iconography of the Arch centers on images of war and peace. On the frieze are 13 large stars and 42 small stars interspersed with capital “W’s”. The spandrels contain figures of Victory. The inscription on the attic story reads:

let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. the event is in the hand of god.— washington

The north side of the eastern pier bears the sculpture George Washington as Commander-in-Chief, Accompanied by Fame and Valor (1914–16) by Hermon A. MacNeil in which the President is flanked by Fame (left) and Valor (right). The western pier has George Washington as President, Accompanied by Wisdom and Justice (1917–18) by A. Stirling Calder (father of Alexander Calder) with flanking Justice (right) and Wisdom (left) figures.[1] In the latter sculpture, a hand holds a book bearing the Latin phrase Exitus Acta Probat (“the end justifies the deed”). These sculptures are commonly referred to as Washington at War and Washington at Peace, respectively.


In 1889, a large plaster and wood memorial arch was erected over Fifth Avenue just north of Washington Square Park by local businessman and philanthropist William Rhinelander Stewart (1852-1929). Stewart lived at 17 Washington Square North and he collected $2,765 from his friends to finance the work. The temporary arch was so popular that three years later the permanent stone arch, designed by architect Stanford White, was erected.[2]

During the excavations for the eastern pier, human remains, a coffin, and a gravestone dated 1803 were uncovered 10 feet (3.0 m) below ground level.[3] The Arch was dedicated in 1895. In 1918 two statues of Washington were added to the north side.

Formerly, the Washington Square Arch was extensively defaced with spray-painted graffiti. It was cleaned and restored in the 1980s.[citation needed]

My images


CHABAD House Washington Square – NW corner


Stop 123: Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

Center for Jewish History

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Center for jewish history)
The Center for Jewish History
Center for Jewish History NYC 14.JPG
Established 2000
Location 15 West 16th Street, Manhattan,New YorkUSA
Coordinates 40.738047°N 73.993821°WCoordinates40.738047°N 73.993821°W
Public transit access Subway14th Street – Union Square
Website The Center for Jewish History

ContentsThe Center for Jewish History is a partnership in New York City of five Jewish history, scholarship and art organizations:American Jewish Historical SocietyAmerican Sephardi FederationLeo Baeck Institute, New YorkYeshiva University Museum, and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. It is also an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.[1]


The Center is a 125,000 square feet (11,600 m2) facility created from four existing buildings and two new buildings. The partners’ collections include more than 100 million documents, 500,000 books and thousands of art objects,[2] most of which had been poorly housed in the member institutions and were at risk of damage or destruction.[3] The Center is heavily involved with the preservation of records that define moments in Jewish immigration to New York City.[4] A $670,000 grant awarded in 2007 helped with the cataloging of these materials.[5]

The partners’ collections include the original handwritten copy of Emma Lazarus‘ 1883 “Give me your tired, your poor” poem that was later inscribed on the base of the Statue of LibertySandy Koufax‘s Brooklyn Dodgers jersey;[6] a letter from Thomas Jeffersonto New York‘s oldest Jewish congregation; and the first Hebrew prayer books printed in America. The collections range from the early modern era in Europe and pre-colonial times in the Americas to present-day materials from across the globe. The Center provides access to a comprehensive collection of historic archival materials, including Franz KafkaTheodor HerzlMoses MendelssohnSigmund Freud and Albert Einstein[7]


The Center officially opened in Manhattan’s Union Square in 2000 after six years of construction and planning with a goal of creating synergy among the five member organizations, each offering a different approach to Jewish history, scholarship and art. This was one of the first attempts at uniting differing views on Jewish culture[8] and resulted in the largest repository documenting the Jewish experience outside of Israel[1] leading some to refer to it as the Jewish Library of Congress.[6]

When it opened its doors to the public in October 2000, the Center struggled with financial problems. In 2007, there were preliminary talks about a partnership with NYU‘s Skirball Department for Hebrew and Judaic Studies to the benefit of both organizations.[9] In the end, the Center and Skirball decided not to move forward. In 2010, the Center for Jewish History was able to raise $30 million to retire its construction debt.[10] The amount was raised and donated by the chairman and founder of the center, Bruce Slovin; co-chairmen William Ackman and Joseph Steinberg; the Fairholme Foundation; and 19 other donors.[11] In 2012, the Center received a top rating of four stars from the Charity Navigator non-profit evaluation service.[12]

My images

 Lecture at Center by Tomasz Jankowski

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