And now we have a new one, "Brooklyn Jew."
Of course, Jews have lived in Brooklyn for over 150 years, since before the American Civil War. And finally, the rich tapestry of their saga — from immigration to assimilation, or not — is being documented for posterity.
Brooklyn Jewish Historical InitiativeLaunched in spring 2012, a new "Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative" has been undertaken in conjunction with Brooklyn Historical Society. Created to document the Jewish past in Brooklyn, it is the first such effort.
It will include:
- Jewish stories relating to Brooklyn
- Jewish Brooklyn sports figures
- famous Jewish Brooklynites
- Brooklyn Jewish neighborhoods, and
- online resources and links.
The result of a three-year planning effort, the Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative's new website is available here..
"The goal of the Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative is to establish a repository for family and institutional archives, books and exhibitions about the rich and complex history of Brooklyn Jews from the nineteenth through the twentieth century," said the Brooklyn Historical Society spokesperson.
Components of the Initiative will eventually include:
- an oral history program
- and a website that will allow interested scholars and the general public to access photos and information about the history of Jewish life in Brooklyn.
Decades of Jewish Life in Brooklyn, Plus Diverse Contemporary Jewish Community
Contemporary Brooklyn has one of the largest Jewish populations outside of Israel, with secular Jews, reform, conservative and orthodox Jews, self-diagnosed "cultural Jews," lapsed and agnostic Jews, expat Israeli Jews, converted Jews, and tens of thousands of Hasidim, Eastern European-descendents who maintain the garb and customs of their Polish ancestors. Brooklyn today is home to Jews from the US, but also from Russia, Europe, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Israel and many other nations. Large pockets of Jewish life — quite different in style and certainly in religiosity — in such diverse neighborhoods as Williamsburg, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Sheepshead Bay, and Midwood among other areas.
In the annals of Jewish Brooklyn history there are movie stars and scientists, writers and politicians, and a few Jewish mobsters as well.
Many of Brooklyn's cultural institutions have deep connections to Jewish Brooklynites of the past, from Brooklyn College to Erasmus Hall High School. And, some of Brooklyn's most famous and accomplished 20th century stars, including Babra Streisand who returns "home" to Brooklyn in 2012 to perform at the Barclays Center, come from humble backgrounds in Brooklyn.
Got a Jewish - Brooklyn Joke? Share Your Stories, Documents, Photos, MemoriesBrooklynites with "memories, photos, and repositories" of Jewish life in Brooklyn are encouraged to share their stories, photos and memories with this project "so that the website will be the go-to place for Brooklyn’s Jewish past."
Have a Brooklyn Jewish joke or story to share? Contact the Brooklyn Historical Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org.