Private Tour of the Jewish Lower East Side
A Fascinating tour of the first and most famous Jewish neighborhood in America.
A fascinating tour of the first and most famous Jewish neighborhood in America. The first Jewish settlers to America came to New Amsterdam from Recife Brazil in 1654. They were Sephardic (“Spanish”) Jews who established America’s first congregation, Shearith Israel. It is still known as the Spanish and Portugese Synagogue.
The next wave were German and Central European Jews who arrived in the Mid 19th Century. This community was mostly urban, educated Reform Jews and assimilated easily into the elite of NY society and become known as “Our Crowd.” They were followed, in the late 1800s and early 1900s by millions of Eastern European Ashkenazi Jews from Poland, Russia, Lithuania, and Rumania who flooded the Lower East Side to make it the largest Jewish community in America.
So nu? What Jewish tour would be complete without a nosh? From bagels and bialys to pastrami and pickles, keeping kosher in this strange new land wasn’t always easy, but these Jewish immigrants worked hard to pass their culinary culture onto future generations.
This two-hour Lower East Side Walking Tour includes:
- The Eldridge Street Synagogue/Museum
- Forward Building
- Loews Canal Street Theater
- Beth Madras Hagadol
- East Broadway Mikvahs and other Jewish-Service buildings
- Stanton Street Shul
- The Last NYC Public Baths
- Orchard street Tenement Buildings
- The visitors center of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum
- The former Streit’s Matzoh Factory building
- First Warsaw Synagogue
- Site of the First Romanian Synagogue (aka Cantor’s Carnegie Hall)
- Landmark Sunshine Movie Theater, formerly a Yiddish Theater
- The Williamsburgh Bridge (aka the Jewish Gangplank)
- Strauss Square and the Essex Street Market
- And we can certainly include some awesome and exciting stories about the Jewish Gangsters of the Lower East Side – Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, and the rest of the “Kosher Nostra”
- Noshing costs are pay-as-you-go