Quirky Menorah Collection Goes on Display at Museum at Eldridge Street This Week

Photos courtesy of the Museum at Eldridge Street.

Photos courtesy of the Museum at Eldridge Street.

Here’s something a little different for the holidays. On Thursday evening, the Museum at Eldridge Street is opening a quirky collection of menorahs — including versions shaped like a baseball diamond, a pink Cadillac and a matchbook.

There are over 100 menorahs, all collected by the Lori and David Moore family on the Upper West Side. The exhibition, Let There Be Light – A Whole Lot of Light, will be on display in the sanctuary at Eldridge Street. There will be a special opening night celebration on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m.

Here’s more from the museum:

Lori and David Moore began buying menorahs as a way to provide their son and daughter with a holiday tradition, mirroring other families’ yearly holiday trips to pick out Christmas trees or special ornaments. Over the years, they have collected more than 150 menorahs. The majority of the family’s collection will be on display in the Museum before and during Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. The Moore’s collection reveals the family’s personality, travels and shared experiences. The sheer diversity of menorah designs speaks to the ways in which these physical pieces of tradition allow the holiday to be celebrated in distinctive and idiosyncratic ways. The collection ranges from the traditional to the very whimsical. Designs include an American flag menorah, which Mr. Moore bought after September 11, 2001; traditional Chanukah designs from around the world; and menorahs that take playful forms, including a shoe, a dog and an oversized book of matches.  A menorah made of mah jongg tiles is a perfect match for the Museum itself, which is located in what is now the heart of Chinatown.

If you’re interested in attending the opening, register here. Hanukkah begins Dec. 12.

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Egg Rolls, Egg Creams & Empanadas Festival – Sunday on Eldridge Street

Museum at Eldridge Street's Facebook Page.

Museum at Eldridge Street’s Facebook Page.

We’re definitely in the midst of prime outdoor festival season. One of the Lower East Side’s most popular summertime events is just around the corner. The Museum at Eldridge Street will be hosting its annual Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival this coming Sunday.

The event is a perfect mashup of Chinese, Jewish and Latino culture in our neighborhood of immigrants. You can tour the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue, take in all sorts of performances (including Chinese opera, klezmer and Puerto Rican bomba music) and, of course, watch egg roll demonstrations and learn how to make a classic egg cream. Just don’t tangle with the ladies playing mah jongg in the center of Eldridge Street.

The festival takes place from noon-4 p.m. on Sunday. More information here.

Museum at Eldridge Street Opens Exhibit of Early 20th Century Postcards From the Lower East Side

Image courtesy of: Blavatnik Archive Foundation.

Image courtesy of: Blavatnik Archive Foundation.

A fascinating exhibition opens tomorrow evening at the Museum at Eldridge Street. Through a collaboration with the Blavatnik Archive, the museum will be showcasing a collection of postcards depicting life on the Lower East Side during the early part of the 20th Century.

“The Jewish Ghetto in Postcards: From Eastern Europe to the Lower East Side,” will be on display at the museum through March 8.

In a statement, Blavatnik Archive founder Len Blavatnik said his organization is, “proud to exhibit for the first time at the Museum at Eldridge Street a selection of its archival postcards highlighting the American Jewish immigrant experience of the early 1900s. Postcards, the visual social media of the early 20th Century, provide a portal to the bustling life of an immigrant community in NYC, as experienced 100 years ago.”

Here’s more about the exhibition from the museum’s press materials:

The Jewish Ghetto in Postcards features fifty postcard images, interpretive texts, oral histories, and a digital component that allows visitors to enlarge and examine the postcards and historic materials. The bulk of the exhibition features images of New York’s Lower East Side, long an immigrant gateway. Images of bustling streets with pushcarts and horse- drawn carriages, a pickle vendor, and a surprisingly beautiful view of tenements with laundry suspended from one tenement to the next recall a by-gone era. The Lower East Side is described on both the front and back of postcards as “The Ghetto” or “Judea.” During the first decades of the 20th Century, the term “the Ghetto” was understood as the place where the Jews lived in New York City. The postcards were collected in albums, sent as a memento from travels, or –as indicated by a message scrawled on one of the featured images – mailed by Progressive-era teachers and workers who wanted to show the atmosphere of the neighborhood where they worked. The postcards of Eastern Europe depict men with long beards, wooden homes along unpaved streets, and other stereotypical scenes of the shtetl, with captions printed on the cards describing them as “Jewish Types” and the “Jewish Quarter.” Some of these images are snapshots taken by passing soldiers during World War I who were struck by the exotic-looking community they encountered.
 Image courtesy of: Blavatnik Archive Foundation.

Image courtesy of: Blavatnik Archive Foundation.

 

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Image courtesy of: Blavatnik Archive Foundation.

Accompanying the exhibition will be a series of programs, including walking tours, lectures and music. More information about these programs can be found here.

The Museum at Eldridge Street is located in a beautifully restored 1887 synagogue, the first constructed by Eastern European Jews in this country. The museum is open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday from a0 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission is $14 adults; $10 students and seniors, $8 children 5-17; free for children under 5 years of age. Mondays are “Pay What You Wish.”

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Egg Rolls, Egg Creams & Empanadas Festival Returns to Eldridge Street Sunday

Guide Book to Jewish Neighborhoods Debuts at Eldridge Street Museum

Photos: Egg Rolls & Egg Creams at the Museum at Eldridge Street 2014

Photo by Sara Feit Krivisky.

Photo by Sara Feit Krivisky.

It was a perfect day Sunday for the 14th annual Egg Rolls & Egg Creams Festival, the Museum at Eldridge Street’s celebration of the Lower East Side’s multi-cultural legacy.  If you missed the big event, here are some photos from the day.

Egg Rolls & Egg Creams, New Visitor Center Herald Big June on Eldridge Street

Triangle Fire Tribute Concert Sunday at Museum at Eldridge Street

Egg Rolls & Egg Creams Festival Returns to Eldridge Street Sunday

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Jewish and Chinese cultures are intertwined this coming weekend when the Museum at Eldridge Street throws a big street party: the Egg Rolls & Egg Creams Festival.  The popular event will feature performances of Peking Opera, klezmer music, Chinese folk music, cantorial singing; demonstrations of Hebrew and scribal art, yarmulke making, tzit tzit and Chinese knot tying, paper folding and papercutting; mah jongg games, a tea ceremony, challah making, tours of the Eldridge Street Synagogue and more.  The free festivities take place from noon-4 p.m. on Eldridge, between Canal and Division street.

 

Craft Beers, Arts & Crafts – “After Hours” at the Museum at Eldridge Street

Photo credit: Museum at Eldridge Street.

Craft beers and arts & crafts inside the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue? Why not!  The Museum at Eldridge Street’s “After Hours” get-together for people in their 20’s and 30’s is coming up next week.  In the past there have been various fun activities, including an intense game of Trivial Pursuit (see above).

Photos: Egg Rolls & Egg Creams on Eldridge Street

It was packed on Eldridge Street yesterday, as locals and visitors alike checked out the annual “Eggs Rolls and Egg Creams” Festival.   The quintessential multicultural event, celebrating the Jewish and Chinese influences on the Lower East Side, is sponsored by the Museum at Eldridge Street.  Click through to see more photos.

Egg Rolls & Egg Creams Festival Coming Up Sunday

Coming up on Sunday, it’s a quintessential Lower East Side event — “Egg Rolls & Egg Creams” at the Museum at Eldridge Street. The celebration of the Jewish and Chinese cultures intermingling on Eldridge Street takes place between noon and 4 p.m. There will be Klezmer music, Chinese opera, Yiddish and Chinese language lessons, mah jongg, crafts and lots of food, inclusing (of course) egg rolls and egg creams.

You’ll also be able to tour the synagogue and museum, which has been so beautifully restored during the past two decades.  The event is free and takes place between Canal and Division streets. The museum itself is located at 12 Eldridge Street.

 

Coming Up Sunday: Find Out How An Old Purse Uncovered a Remarkable Story

Photo credit: The New York Wanderer.

The weathered change purse pictured above was a flea market find but for Benjamin Feldman is turned out to be much more than that.  After purchasing the item for $15, he set out on a six-month personal sleuthing mission.  Who was Sol Goldberg of 71 Canal Street and what became of him?  As the New York Times explained in an article published last year, this remarkable six month project revealed a lot not only about one family but about the Lower East immigrant experience.

“In every grave lies a wonderful story,” Feldman told the Times. On Sunday, you’ll be able to hear him tell that story first-hand.  Feldman will be speaking at the Museum at Eldridge Street (12 Eldridge Street), at 3 p.m.  The event is included in the price of admission ($10/$8 for seniors and students).

You can read much more about Feldman’s historical investigations on his blog, The New York Wanderer.

 

My LES: Amy Stein-Milford

Amy Stein-Milford in front of the Museum at Eldridge Street - photo by thelodownny.com

 

This weekly feature spotlights a wide variety of people who live and work on the Lower East Side. If you know someone you would like to suggest be featured in “My LES,” please email us here.


What do you do?

I’m the Deputy Director for the Museum at Eldridge Street, located in the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue – a magnificent National Historic Landmark on Eldridge Street between Canal and Division streets.

How long have you lived on the LES?

20 years. My grandmother settled on the Lower East Side as a young woman when she immigrated to America in 1921. She lived on Attorney Street. Years later her son, my father, became an attorney and moved to the Upper East Side. We would make monthly pilgrimages to the area to eat and shop.

Hanukkah on the Lower East Side (Updated 4:37 p.m.)

Seniors at the Educational Alliance's Whittacker Center light a menorah.

As we mentioned this morning, Hanukkah begins at sundown tonight.  Here are a few events happening on the Lower East Side in connection with the Festival of Lights.