Mornings at the Stanton Street Shul Debuts at the Angel Orensanz Center & Receives Booklist Review

Author Jonathan Boyarin at the Angel Orensanz Center

Mornings at the Stanton Street Shul: A Summer on the Lower East Side by Jonathan Boyarin invites us to share the intimate life of the Stanton Street Shul, one of the last remaining Jewish congregations on New York’s historic Lower East Side. This narrow building, wedged into a lot designed for an old-law tenement, is full of clamorous voices—the generations of the dead, who somehow contrive to make their presence known, and the newer generation, keeping the building and its memories alive and making themselves Jews in the process. Through the eyes of Boyarin, at once a member of the congregation and a bemused anthropologist, the book follows this congregation of “year-round Jews” through the course of a summer during which its future must once again be decided.

As absorbing as a good cinema verité documentary, Boyarin’s personal ethnography may make Lower East Side tourists of many readers hooked by its abundant charm.–Booklist

Releasing last week, at the Angel Orensanz Center, an enthused Jonathan Boyarin thanked some of the familiar faces from the Shul and read a few excerpts from the book.

Booklist gave this favorable review.

Mornings at the Stanton Street Shul: A Summer on the Lower East Side
Boyarin, Jonathan (Author)
Nov 2011. 208 p. Fordham, hardcover, $24.95. (9780823239009). 296.097.

Academic Boyarin goes popular with a journal of the 12 weeks in 2008 that he faithfully attended morning prayers at the 90-plus-year-old synagogue—the shul—of his Modern Orthodox home congregation on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Besides the daily suspense over whether enough men for a minyan will show up, he records the regulars and others who do; their personalities, concerns, relations, and life in the congregation; the congregation’s history, relations with other Orthodox synagogues and institutions, and efforts to keep its historic character and building intact; and the ever-changing face of the neighborhood, now as obviously part of Chinatown as it once was a locus of East European Jewish immigrants. He mentions his dreams, as long as they’re pertinent to the shul, and family events within the context of shul life. The big congregational to-do during the period is over one rabbi’s departure and the search for his successor. As absorbing as a good cinema verité documentary, Boyarin’s personal ethnography may make Lower East Side tourists of many readers hooked by its abundant charm.–Ray Olson

Mornings at the Stanton Street Shul: A Summer on the Lower East Side by Jonathan Boyarin invites us to share the intimate life of the Stanton Street Shul, one of the last remaining Jewish congregations on New York’s historic Lower … Full Story

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As Seen in Martha Stewart Living, December 2011 Gift Guide

Martha Stewart Living has featured New York’s Golden Age of Bridges, Paintings by Antonio Masi, Essays by Joan Marans Dim in the magazine’s Gift Guide for December 2011. The magazine hits stands today!

Gay Talese, author of A Writer’s Life says, “This book pays artistic tribute to the existence of great bridges—a wonderful achievement.”

We may be biased, but we’re certain this beautiful book is on everyone’s holiday wish list!

Martha Stewart Living has featured New York’s Golden Age of Bridges, Paintings by Antonio Masi, Essays by Joan Marans Dim in the magazine’s Gift Guide for December 2011. The magazine hits stands today! Gay Talese, author of A Writer’s Life … Full Story

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Raised by the Church picked up by NYT

Raised by the Church

by Edward Rohs and Judith Estrine

The New York Times
BOOKSHELF

By SAM ROBERTS
Published: November 4, 2011

In “Raised by the Church: Growing Up in New York City’s Catholic Orphanages” (Fordham University Press), Edward Rohs, a state mental health worker, recalls an odyssey that began when he was 6 months old and his unwed parents left him at the Angel Guardian Home in Brooklyn to be raised by the Sisters of Mercy. He couples a moving first-person account of coping with a system that separated orphans by age and gender with a historical perspective on child care in the 19th and 20th centuries.

“I remember being lonely,” he writes, “but I was never alone — not ever.” Being an orphan was Mr. Rohs’s secret until he shared his experience at an alumni awards ceremony at Fordham University, where he was honored for his social work. He “saw jaws drop and tears shed” and decided to make his unpublished memoir public with the help of a writer friend, Judith Estrine.

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The New York Times BOOKSHELF By SAM ROBERTS Published: November 4, 2011 In “Raised by the Church: Growing Up in New York City’s Catholic Orphanages” (Fordham University Press), Edward Rohs, a state mental health worker, recalls an odyssey that began … Full Story

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