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Welcome to The Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative (BJHI)

Welcome to The Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative (BJHI). We maintain this interactive website, organize public programs and events, maintain records and archives both online and in their original state, create oral and video histories which will be accessible online, and make a range of resources available to the public. It’s a community project and we need your help to do it right! Share your stories, pictures, and memories of Jewish Life in Brooklyn here.

Nissim Black

BJHI asked for it, we got it! An upbeat rap ballad sung by internationally famous Chassidic African-American Nissim Black for and about Brooklyn's Jewish community, and we're told it will be released this week. We call it "We're Brooklyn".

Nissim Black
Shir Chadash: The Brooklyn Jewish Community Chorus

Shir Chadash: The Brooklyn Jewish Community Chorus

Now in their 22nd season, they are a four-part chorus with over 40 members of various ages and Jewish affiliations. Their repertoire is inspired by the richness and diversity of Jewish music from around the globe, ranging from moving liturgical pieces to contemporary compositions and updated arrangements of world folk music in many languages.

Shir Chadash
Marty Levitt

Marty Levitt was born into a musical family. His father and uncles were active on the Jewish music scene and had worked with many of the well known musicians of that time, as well as with giants of the Yiddish Theatre.

Marty Levitt
Living in Brooklyn - The Jewish Experience

From the Lower East Side to Brownsville, Brooklyn
Advances in bridge building and improvements in the transportation system provided the immigrant with options not available to them before.

Williamsburg Bridge
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Brooklyn Life

Neighborhood Scenes
Religious Life
Jewish Religious Life
Jewish Holidays and Food
Jewish Holidays & Food
Customs and Traditions
Culture and Traditions

Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame

“BJHI was created to tell the extraordinary story of the Jewish community of Brooklyn, and the BJHI Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame recognizes the leading Brooklynites who have truly made a difference in the world, and there are many. You will note that we have a representative balance, from the Russian community, the Syrian community, the Chassidic community and so forth, as well as business leaders, social activists and entertainers.”

Discover Brooklyn with us

Brooklyn is the most dynamic center of Judaism outside of Israel.

walking
tours, bicycling tours and bus/ van tours

The Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative is now offering tours – walking tours, bicycling tours and bus/van tours – that cover various aspects of Jewish life in Brooklyn, past and present. Those who join our BJHI Tours will see up close the cultural, historical and artistic facets of Jewish Brooklyn, offering opportunities to learn in an informal manner, Our tour guides are experts, just see their bios below, so you can be sure of a wonderful experience. And to paraphrase an old TV ad, you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy our tours.

Any inquiries?

We are here for you, to help you and reply within 24 hours.​

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