Welcome to The Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative (BJHI) Exhibit Page. BJHI serves to promote access to information, documentation, and understanding related to the diversity of the Brooklyn Jewish community currently and in the past, and to provide opportunities for communicating, disseminating, preserving, and celebrating Brooklyn Jewish life and culture.
In partnership with the Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative, the American Society for Jewish Music has developed this exhibit of the history and singing by important Brooklyn cantors, from the “Golden Age Cantorial Singing,” in the early and middle 20th century, to the present day.
From the Lower East Side to Brownsville, Brooklyn: Late in the nineteenth century in New York City, a transformation had begun in earnest. No longer would the immigrant have to live in one of the many crowded, dilapidated tenements on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Advances in bridge building and improvements in the transportation system provided the immigrant with options not available to them before. What would occur over the next couple of decades would change the face of Jewish demographics, and at least for a short period of time, give the immigrant a chance to pay a lower rent and live in a more healthy and bucolic environment. Many moved eastward to Brooklyn, which at that time was not very developed. One of the first areas to receive an influx of new residents was what would be called Brownsville.