The Jewish Neighborhood

In the 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.

Many such denizens of these communities were fortunate to be able to go to college and get a good education. Those who didn't, wouldn't or couldn't, who remained at home, were often forced to work extremely hard, especially during the Great Depression just to make ends meet.

During 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.

Whichever the 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 imagination.

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...

 

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 The Jewish Neighborhood

 
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