Jewish Book Council Recommended Reading

The Synagogues of New York’s Lower East Side: A Retrospective and Contemporary View, 2nd Edition by Gerard R. Wolfe was included on the most recent JBC recommended reading list. Here is what they had to say:

It has often been said that nowhere in the United States can one find a greater collection of magnificent and historic synagogues than on New York’s Lower East Side. As the ultimate destination for millions of immigrant eastern European Jews during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it became the new homeland and hoped-for goldene medinah (promised land) for immigrants fleeing persecution, poverty, and oppression, while struggling to live a new and productive life. Yet to many visitors and students today these synagogues are shrouded in mystery, as documentary information on them tends to be dispersed and difficult to find.

With The Synagogues of New York’s Lower East Side, Gerard R. Wolfe fills that void, giving readers unparalleled access to the story of how the Jewish community took root on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Originally published in 1978, The Synagogues of New York’s Lower East Side became the authoritative study of the subject. Now completely revised and updated with new text, photographs, and maps, along with a glossary, Wolfe’s book is an accessible source for those who want to understand the varied and rich history of New York’s Lower East Side and its Jewish population.

Fordham University Press, 2012. 232 pp. $29.95

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