past, as there
are to a lesser degree today, in whatever towns and cities Jews may have lived,
there were many neighborhoods whose inhabitants were primarily
Jewish. Some examples of such prototypical Jewish neighborhoods were the
ones that once existed in the Lower East Side of Manhattan,
or in Brooklyn or the Bronx during the 1920s and 1930s,
during the pre-World War II years.
From these neighborhoods rose many men and women of renown, who
have succeeded in all walks of life, sometimes against very great odds.
such denizens of these communities were fortunate to be able
to go to college and get a good education. Those who didn't,
couldn't, who remained at home, were often forced to work extremely
hard, especially during the Great Depression just to make
those arduous times, many husbands, then generally the
breadwinners in the family, might have lost their jobs and struggled
mightily to find new ones.
Their children were often left unsupervised. Some joined
gangs and committed crimes wantonly. If a family was
fortunate, they achieved some form or financial success and were able to put their children through
college and perhaps have enough money to bring over one or more family
member who were still residing in Europe. Others were able to move
"greener pastures," away from the "concrete" of the
crowded city. This, of
course, was made more difficult due to the great financial strain
and poor economic conditions that were brought on by the many years of the Great Depression.
case, no two families had the same exact experience. There
were so many unique experiences, and there are so many interesting stories to tell,
of family life then, of the many experiences growing up in
the boroughs of New York City. The Museum of Family
History, in its own way, strives to give the visitor a glimpse
of what the Jewish experience was like, living in America,
and attempts to present a representative picture of what
life might have been like by presenting their stories. The rest is up to you and your
There are no stories available, here, at present, though they
soon will be...
More stories will continue to be added over time. You will simply
be able to click
on any of the numbers below and read or listen to a personal story...