From 1880 to 1924, one third of the Jewish population of Eastern Europe left shtetls and cities for the United States, fleeing persecution and seeking economic opportunity. Most settled on the Lower East Side, making it the most crowded neighborhood in the world. On these shores, Jewish immigrants found themselves in a new kind of densely urban neighborhood. Still, echoes of the old country could be found in the cries of the marketplace, the plaintive tunes of the synagogue, and most of all in the shared Yiddish language of neighbors.
The Jewish Ghetto in Postcards presents rarely seen images of shtetls in Europe that were wiped out during the Holocaust and the "Ghetto" of the old Jewish Lower East Side. In captivating color and stark black and white, these early twentieth-century postcards provide snapshots of vanished places that are at the heart of the Jewish experience. The exhibit will run through February 23, 2017.