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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.

Old Jewish Men

Whether it’s the price of lox or public toilets, one of the latest TikTok trends features old dudes kvetching for a cause. NY Post

Nissim Black

Enjoy an enlightening Brooklyn YouTube conversation that Rabbi YY Jacobson of Crown Heights with the amazing entertainer Nissim Black, who took lead in music video, Brooklyn , that BJHI supported and co-produced.

Rabbi YY & Nissim Black: From Islam, to Christianity, to Judaism
Tour Bklyn Heights

Judith Greenwald , a BJHI Speaker, provides a guided tour of Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill.

We're Brooklyn Book

In order to find out about her family’s Brooklyn roots, Rebecca and her little brother Seth explore the borough with their grandma Sophia. This new book by Cecilia Margules, is in collaboration with BJHI!

We're Brooklyn by Cecilia Margules
Ani Maamin - Shlomo Carlebach

The iconic Shlomo Carlebach and contemporary singer Eli Levin join together in an unforgettable music video transporting viewers to the streets of Jerusalem where the eternal promise of redemption hovers tantalizingly in the air.

Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum

From 1879 to the 1940's the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum was home to thousands of immigrant children, see what stands in its place now!

Hebrew Orphan Asylum, Brooklyn Heights
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. We call it "We're Brooklyn".

Nissim Black

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.

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.

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