This article, by Suzanne Spellen, was published by the Brownstoner, Sep 13, 2012. In 1878, a group of German Jewish philanthropists gathered at Temple Beth Elohim on Kean Street to do something to protect and shelter Jewish orphans. Before that time, Brooklyn’s Jewish orphans were being taken care of by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of the City of New York, in Manhattan, in an orphanage on East 77th St. In 1878,… Read More »Saving Abraham’s Children – Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum
By Warren Adler
For Brooklyn Daily Eagle – may 23, 2013
It is remarkable that Brooklyn has become synonymous with cultural ferment, artistic innovation and an unstoppable surge of gentrification that is attracting a growing horde of super achievers. Although these two strains of environment changers are often in conflict with one another, both are prospering, radically changing the reputation of the borough from what was once an object of both pride and ridicule to one of the most culturally dynamic places in America.
The fact that I no longer recognize it as ‘my Brooklyn’ does not in any way impugn its current significance, but looking at it from the vantage point of the Brooklyn of my childhood and youth, roughly within a sixteen year span from 1932 to 1948, I can only conclude that the present, despite its glorious trappings of culture and prosperity does not come close to the wonder, excitement and exultation that captured my adolescent soul and never let go of it.
I have recapitulated those old Brooklyn days in a number of my novels like Funny Boys, Banquet Before Dawn and the New York Echoes short story collections, which offer the most details of that halcyon experience, but allow me to open the spigot of memory with some brief images of that bygone moment of urban joy.
My life in Brooklyn was lived betwixt two neighborhoods, Brownsville and Crown Heights, both Jewish enclaves then. Irish and Italian neighborhoods were contiguous. Of course, there were other Brooklyn neighborhoods for every ethnic group under the sun, racial, national and religious. There were also wide economic and class distinctions easily identified by house sizes and the usual trappings of wealth.
In my Brooklyn days these other places seemed to reside in another country, perhaps another planet. We were very aware of our boundaries by look, smell, dress, religion and customs and we knew that when we crossed those lines we had invaded a somewhat hostile foreign land.
published on Apr 29, 2014 at 12:00 AM By:Mitch Stern on www.vosizneias.com Creative Soul, founded by Yitzchok Moully, is a group of Orthodox Jewish artists who offer exhibitions, dance groups and open mic nights. Moully, 35, is a Hasidic rabbi and artist who works with photo silkscreen works that portray important symbols of Jewish life. Monthly art exhibitions are shown at the Mayan Center, a newly renovated community space rented by Creative… Read More »Brooklyn, NY – New Art Gallery Aimed At Jewish Artists Opens In Crown Heights
Originally published on Chabad.org/NEWS Mrs. Gita Gansburg, a longtime role model and mentor to thousands of young Jewish women returning to Jewish tradition, passed away in Brooklyn, N.Y. She was 86 years old. As “dorm mother” at Machon Chana-Women’s Institute for the Study of Judaism in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, Mrs. Gansburg served as a living example of Chabad-Lubavitch life as a wife, mother and friend—influencing generations of young women… Read More »Gita Gansburg, 86, Role Model, Mentor to Thousands of Young Jewish Women
One day during Hanukkah 26 years ago, the grand rabbi of the Lubavitch-Chabad Hasidim briefly turned away from the hundreds of men gathered before him in synagogue to cast his eye toward the women’s balcony. Then he extended an arm, offering someone there a roll of nickels. That recipient, in turn, was meant to fulfill the rabbi’s design by giving the coins to charity.
It was rare enough for Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson to direct his attention to the women’s section, which was kept separate in accordance with Orthodox practice. Rarer still was the rabbi’s target: a female photographer who was not Lubavitch, not Hasidic, not Jewish, not religious, not even American.
That photographer, Chie Nishio, stood in the lobby gallery of the Brooklyn Public Library one morning last week, regarding the picture she took of Rabbi Schneerson’s long-ago gesture. She is 84 now, a widow, living by preference without a cellphone or email account. Yet an extraordinary collection of her visual art is now receiving its belated recognition.Read More »Brooklyn’s Lubavitch Community: A Culture Captured by the Ultimate Outsider