Tomorrow Morning: Relive the Yiddish Theater

Sixth Street Community Synagogue.

Here’s a last minute idea for your weekend. Tomorrow morning the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy is offering, “Second Hand Rose, A Journey Down the Jewish Rialto.”

Longtime LES resident and neighborhood historian Elissa Sampson will lead a fascinating tour of historic 2nd Avenue. Among the centerpieces of the three hour program —  a visit to Community Synagogue on East 6th Street, originally St. Marks Lutheran Church, spiritual home of the German congregation that lost one-thousand parishioners in the General Slocum disaster. You’ll meet Herb Latner, a senior officer of the synagogue, and hear his charming description of life as a choir boy in a Yiddish theater.

The tour will also make stops at several East Village community gardens, hotbeds of citizen activism through the decades. And you’ll see the names of many famous performers of the Yiddish theater on the Second Avenue “Starwalk.”

The tour begins on the southwest corner of 2nd Avenue and 12th Street, at 10:45 a.m. It costs $18.


LES Heritage Film Series to Screen “The Golden Age of Second Avenue”

Village East Cinemas, Formerly the Yiddish Art Theatre via Lost City (

This month’s screening (tomorrow night) at the Seward Park Library’s L.E.S. Heritage Film Series looks to be another fascinating gem of historical footage:  In the documentary, The Golden Age of Second Avenue (1968, 56 min, 16 mm), director Morton Silverstein documents the Yiddish theater in America from its beginnings to the late Sixties.