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From 1880 to 1924, one third of the Jewish population of Eastern Europe left shtetls and cities for the United States, fleeing persecution and seeking economic opportunity. Most settled on the Lower East Side making it the most crowded neighborhood in the world. On these shores, Jewish immigrants found themselves in a new kind of densely urban neighborhood. Still, echoes of the old country could be found in the cries of the marketplace, the plaintive tunes of the synagogue, and most of all in the shared Yiddish language of neighbors. 

The Jewish Ghetto in Postcards presents rarely seen images of shtetls in Europe that were wiped out during the Holocaust, and the “Ghetto” of the old Jewish Lower East Side. In captivating color and stark black and white, these vintage postcards provide snapshots of vanished places that are at the heart of the twentieth-century Jewish experience. 

Presented by the Blavatnik Archive and the Museum at Eldridge Street. With support from Humanities New York and the Blavatnik Family Foundation.  


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The Museum at Eldridge Street’s 2016-17 winter programs focus on the American Jewish immigrant experience on the Lower East Side and are inspired by The Jewish Ghetto in Postcards exhibition.


HOLIDAY CELEBRATION

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25  |  12 - 5 PM

Looking for something fun to do on Christmas Day – also the second day of Chanukah? Visit a landmark synagogue in Chinatown! Join the Museum for tours, scavenger hunts, and an art activity inspired by Chanukah cards featured in the Blavatnik Archive collection (12-3 pm).  At 3 pm, the Museum screens the 1925 silent film His People with an original score created and performed live by saxophonist Paul Shapiro and his sextet.  Young and old will be on the edge of their seats, riveted by this century old story of a Lower East Side immigrant family. At 4:30 the Museum conducts a Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony.

 

HOT CIDER WALKING TOUR OF THE JEWISH
LOWER EAST SIDE

MONDAY, DECEMBER 26  |  1 PM
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28  |  1 PM

Take a tasty trip back in time to the early twentieth century when the Lower East Side was home to the largest Jewish population in the world. This walking tour visits streets and sites featured in The Jewish Ghetto in Postcards exhibition, and includes a toasty tour of our landmark sanctuary, hot cider, and treats from The Pickle Guys and other local vendors.

 

CANDLELIGHT TOUR AND SOIRÉE

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27  |  7 - 9 PM
$30 PER PERSON  |  INCLUDES WINE & REFRESHMENTS

We recreate the gas-lit interior of the synagogue’s early days to celebrate the fourth night of the Jewish Festival of Lights – Chanukah! Join us for a tour of the Eldridge Street Synagogue including our new exhibition of Lower East Side postcards from the Blavatnik Archive. Then enjoy a spread of wine and latkes, light the menorah, and share other holiday traditions.

 

TENEMENT SONGS: POPULAR MUSIC OF THE
JEWISH IMMIGRANTS

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12  |  3 - 5 PM

Ethnomusicologist Mark Slobin discusses the rise of Yiddish popular music in vaudeville dives, at the Yiddish theater and on parlor pianos in tenement homes during the era of mass migration to the United States.  Sing along as Miryem-Khaye Seigel, Lauren Brody and Jake Shulman-Ment bring this music to life. 

 

CLAIRVOYANT HOUSEWIVES, COOKBOOK MAVENS & OTHER ADVICE GIVERS

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5  |  2 PM

Dr. Annie Polland discusses the transition from Eastern European shtetls and cities to the crowded streets of the Lower East Side with a focus on Jewish immigrant women's pivotal roles in both shaping their homes and New York’s growing economy. Polland is the Senior Vice President for Programs & Education at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and the co- author, with Daniel Soyer, of City of Promises: Emerging Metropolis, winner of the National Jewish Book Award and Landmark of the Spirit: The Eldridge Street Synagogue

 

SECRETS OF THE SYNAGOGUE: AFTER HOURS TOUR

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23  |  6:30 - 8:30 PM

Tour our landmark sanctuary after hours and enjoy a wine reception. We'll share historical secrets of our century old-synagogue, point out some of the building's most surprising architectural details and hear from archivist Nancy Johnson, co-curator of The Jewish Ghetto in Postcards exhibition.

 

PUSHCARTS & POSTCARDS: A HOT CIDER WALKING TOUR

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12  |  11 AM - 1 PM
$20 PER FAMILY  |  RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

One hundred years ago, before there was Snapchat, postcards were a wonderful way to share views of new places with friends and family – and the Lower East Side was no exception! To celebrate our exhibit of historic postcards we’ll take to the streets and visit the spots where pickles and pushcarts reigned supreme. Afterwards we’ll warm up with hot cider and treats as we create our own postcards.