The Lower East Side of New York
Jewish Life in America

Home       l       Site Map      l      Exhibitions      l     About the Museum       l      Education      l     Contact Us       l      Links

For a period of time in the early twentieth century, more than 540,000 people lived within an area of one and a half square miles that was then called the Lower East Side. Though the borders of this section of Manhattan might have changed somewhat, upon strolling among many of its historic streets, one can easily imagine that once their streets were filled with such hustle and bustle. There were the many pushcarts from which vendors sold their wares, the stores and shops run by immigrants who had come from many parts of the world in order to begin a new life, the denizens of the Lower East Side and others, who would stroll along the avenues, perhaps pushing a baby carriage or with a child in hand...There are so many images that may come to mine, based on our own personal experiences, from what we've seen or heard through film or books or television documentary.

Whichever the case, we know that approximately seventy percent of immigrants who came to America did so through Ellis Island, and that most of these stayed in New York City on  the Lower East Side. Upon their arrival, they might have been met by family members who found them a place to live; if they were fortunate, a job too. Life on the Lower East Side was not easy for our family members who were part of this experience, and we must be thankful to them as they strove to earn enough of a living to ensure their own survival, the survival of their children, and perhaps earned enough money to send for a family member living in a country that they desperately wished to leave...more to come.....

The Lower East Side of Manhattan
Hester Street

cir 1900-1909

You can read more than two dozen articles published in various New York City newspapers between 1887 and 1906, that deal with life, especially Jewish life, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Here is a current list, though you may wish to peruse the entire Museum's Newspaper Archive listings at
Photo courtesy of the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.






Home       |       Site Map       |      Exhibitions      |      About the Museum       |       Education      |      Contact Us       |       Links

Copyright © 2008-9. Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved. 
Image Use Policy.