The Synagogues of New York’s Lower East Side: A Retrospective and Contemporary View, Second Edition
Gerard R. Wolfe; Joseph Berger, fwd.
REVIEW by Carol Poll
The eminent architectural historian Gerald R. Wolfe captures early synagogue and community life on the Lower East Side and recent synagogue restoration efforts in his fascinating book The Synagogues of New York’s Lower East Side: A Retrospective and Contemporary View (Fordham University Press 2012, 232 Pages $29.95, ISBN: 978-0-8232-5000-4). The history of American Jews is very much entwined with the history of New York City’s Lower East Side. Four out of five Eastern European Jews can “trace their ‘roots’” to the Lower East Side. Close to 500,000 Jews came to the United States in the 1880s to be followed by another 1.5 million in the period between 1990 and 1924 and the majority settled on the Lower East Side. The passage of the National Origins Act in 1924, with its tiny quotas for Southern and Eastern Europe immigrants, put an end to large scale Jewish immigration. READ MORE