JEWS: A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE
A Nonfiction project in Lower East Side
Edited by Clayton Patterson and Dr. Mareleyn Schneider | New York 2012
Contributors: Steve Dalachinsky, A.J. Weberman, Suzanne Wasserman,
|ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS VOLUME 1 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS VOLUME 2+3
FUNDINGS PREVIEW BY MAURER PREVIEW BY SHAPIRO REVIEWS
ABOUT THE PROJECT COMMENTS EDITORS AUTHORS
VOLUME 1 — VOLUME 2 — VOLUME 3 — IMPRINT
|click here to buy the books|
TABLE OF CONTENT | VOLUME #1
|PART 1: INVOKING THE LOST PAST|
| Suzanne Wasserman: The Disappearing Jewish Lower East Side, circa 1935, p.3
Laurie Tobias Cohen: Lower East Side Conservancy, p. 9
Shulamith Z. Berger & Jai Zion: Ritz with a Shvitz: Luxury on the Lower East Side, p. 12
Joyce Mendelsohn: Public Baths on the Lower East Side, p. 16
Lee Stein Rubins: The Good Old Days on the Lower East Side, p. 23
Eleanor B. Itzkowitz &Joan Israel: 275 East 7th Street: An Enduring Family Legacy, p. 33
David Stein: A 1966 Journey through the Lower East Side, p. 39
Shulamith Z. Berger: The Forward's Edifice Complex, p. 45
David Stein: Hot Lead Is Dead, 1979, p. 49
|PART 2: PRESERVING A LEGACY OF VALUES|
| Shlomo Stein: Selection from Ethical Will (1958), p. 52
Mareleyn Schneider: Ethical Will (2000), p. 54
Mareleyn Schneider: How to Write Your Own Ethical Will, p. 57
Clayton Patterson: Hidden Treasures: The Danny Stein Archives, p. 60
Mareleyn Schneider: Documenting the Jewish Lifecycle and Presence on the Lower East Side:
The Daniel Stein Collection, p. 66
Marvin Greisman: The Morality Police on the Lower East Side, p. 83
David Stein: The Heart of the Father and the Heart of the Son Shall Beat as One, p. 88
|PART 3: DISOBEDIENT JEWS?|
| Joeseph Kraus: Swinging at Shadows: Toward a History of the Lower East Side Tough Guy, p. 91
Mareleyn Schneider: Jewish Presence in the Essex Market Court: What Happened There, p. 96
Juda Engelmayer: Without an Eruv, Gentrification Is Useless to Save the Traditional Jewish
Lower East Side, p. 104
A.J. Weberman: The Story of the Jewish Defense Organization and the Lower East Side,
Actually the Bowery, p. 109
Robert Dannin: Early Communitarian Experiments on the Lower East Side: Social Reform
Practices in New York City During the Gilded Age, p. 112
|PART 4: SCHOOLING IN A BYGONE ERA|
| Rabbi Marvin Schick: The Yeshiva on Henry Street, p. 138
Phillip Rothman: ESHI, p. 143
Suellyn Friedel Ben-Zvi: Bais Yaakov, In Our Hearts Forever More, p. 145
Celia Plotkin: Purim Streamlined: a Play with Incidental Music (1941), p. 150
Mareleyn Schneider: Yemenite Version of Adir Hu from the Passover Haggadah:
The Lyrics Transliterated, p. 165
|PART 5: GROWING UP AS AN ADVENTURE|
| Jennifer Oh & David Leslie: Jewish Boxing in the Lower East Side, p. 168
Avraham Issac Weisberg: A Cultural Icon: Weisberg Religious Articles, p. 170
Mareleyn Schneider: Lessons Learned by Growing up on the Lower East Side: Some of Our
Adventures in Wonderland, p. 173
Mareleyn Schneider & Marvin Greisman: Two Inconspicuous Mitzvos: Blessing on the Trees
& Blessing of the Sun, p. 185
|PART 6: LIFE-LONG LOWER EAST SIDERS|
| Mareleyn Schneider: Tribute to a Forgotten Leader: Congressman Leonard Farbstein
(1902-1993), p. 190
Vicki Brower: Hon. Sheldon Silver, Speaker of New York State Assembly, p. 193
Mareleyn Schneider: The World in Which Sheldon Silver Grew Up, p. 197
David Sands: A Ladino Story, p. 199
|PART 7: HATH NOT A JEW FED WITH THE SAME FOOD?
(SHAKESPEARE'S SHYLOCK IN THE MERCHANT OF VENICE) SOMETIMES NO.
| Ilka Scobie: Bagels Are Eternal, p. 202
Ann Binlot: Streit's, p. 205
Suzanne Wasserman: Russ and Daughters, p. 207
Ann Binlot: 2nd Avenue Deli, p. 211
Yura Dashevsky: "Katz's: That's All!", p. 214
Mareleyn Schneider: To Modern American Jews, They're Simply Offal (Organ Meats) or
Other Awful Animal Inedibles, p. 219
Steve Dalachinsky: Gardens of Earthly Delights, p. 221
David Huberman: Candy Store, p. 223
Claude Solnik: Katz's: A Landmark's New Lease on Life, p. 225
Mareleyn Schneider: Symbolic Foods for Rosh Hashanah, p. 234
|PART 8: SYNAGOGUE LIFESTYLE|
| David Stein: Benjamin Koenigsberg and the Birth of the Young Israel Movement, p. 238
Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos: Kehila Kedosha Janina: The Holy Congregation of Janina, p. 243
Joan Moossy: Congregation Chasam Sopher: Moses Weiser's Years of Struggle Pay
Off for "Everyone in the Community", p. 252
Dovie Gelerinter: Looking for my Great-Grandfather, the Second Bialystoker Synagogue Rabbi, p. 258
Cliff Fyman: Description of a Shtiebel on the Lower East Side, p. 262
Toby Moskovitz: A Letter to Rabbi Joseph Singer, p. 264
Rabbi Yossi Pollak: Stanton Street Shul, p. 267
Anthony Robins: Congregation Bnai Jacob Anschei Brzezan (The Stanton Street Shul), p. 269
Jennifer Blowdryer: The Saga of the 8th Street Shul: One of Religion, Righteousness, and
Real Estate, Not Necessarily in That Order, p. 276
Clayton Patterson: 8th Street Shul, p. 285
Elissa Sampson: Rabbi Pesach Ackerman and the Mesritcher Shul: The Interview, p. 306
Klara Palotai: Through the Light of the Past - 172 Norfolk Street: Conflicting
Memories of New York's East Side, p. 321
Al Orensanz: Angel Orensanz and the Temple of Solomon near You, p. 332
Mareleyn Schneider: Answering Curious Questions about the Lower East Side Societies'
Cemetery Practices, p. 340
|PART 9: BACK IN A JEW'S WORLD|
| Tsaurah Litzky: The People That Made Me: A Love Story of the Jewish Lower East Side, p. 345
Ingrid Hughes: Ancestors, p. 349
C.O. Moed: The Land of the Quartchyard, p. 352
Allegra Lucier: Lower East Side Mecca, p. 355
Ron Ross: The Peddler from Norfolk Street, p. 358
Dorothy Friedman August: The Bastard Heirs, p. 362
Helen Garber: Community, p. 375
Melissa Caruso Scott: Small Town with an Elevator, p. 384
Matt Kohn: My East Village, p. 387
Joanee Freedom: Jewish Roots in the Lower East Side, p. 398
Michael Rosen: Lower East Side: A Silk Road, p. 403
TABLE OF CONTENT | VOLUME #2
|PART 1: ROOTS
Michael Weiner: Seeking Refuge from Life's Dissonance: The Disparate Echoes of a Father's
and Son's Experiences on the Lower East Side, Decades Apart, p. 2
Roberta Faith Levine: My Father, p. 11
Sheila Alson & Susan L. Yung: Excerpts from The Ring, p. 14
Pearl Gluck: The Betsy Ross of Avenue C, p. 19
Steven Lack: Lower East Side, p. 26
David Rosenberg: The Holocaust Behind the Counter: B&H Dairy, L&G Luncheonette,
and the Myth of the East Village, p. 29
Jennifer Blowdryer: A Brief Family History of the Non-Gadget-Oriented, p. 35
Suzannah B. Troy: Stream of Consciousness, My Grandfather, 92 Reasons I Love the Lower
East Side, p. 38
Sur Rodney Sur: Black Sheep Sur: a discreditable member of an irredentist group, p. 41
Zia Ziprin: Zia Between the Spaces, p. 43
PART 2: SHOPS, GARDENS, BUILDING
Roberta Faith Levine: LES Tour from My Memory, p. 60
Julian Voloj: A Walk Through the Jewish Lower East Side, p. 65
Bob Holman: Inside the Synagogue is Mars. Inside Mars Is Your Apartment. A poem
for the opening of Angel Orensanz's installation Flying NASA Lab, p. 74
Garrick Beck: Gardenopolis, p. 76
Rob Hollander: Architecture of the Jewish Ghetto, p. 83
Steve Zeitlin: Sharing the Lower East Side, p. 90
Chris Stein: Style and the Lower East Side, p. 95
PART 3: COLORFUL CHARACTERS
Ann Binlot: A-Ron, p. 99
Anne Apparu: Word for Maman Le Poeme, p. 104
Amy Shapiro: Repairing the Lower East Side, p. 106
Deborah Freeman: A Couple of Hard Bop Holdouts, East of Eden, p. 109
Roni Jesselson: I Got a Great Idea for a Movie, p. 131
PART 4: POETRY AND PROSE
Steve Dalachinsky, Jim Feast & Yuko Otomo: Tuli Kupferberg: The Meaning of the Jew in the
Dictionary of Anarchism, p. 135
Jim Feast: Morris Rosenfeld and H. Leivick: Jewish Titans at War on the Lower East Side, p. 166
Sparrow: The Jews and the Unbearables; The Unbearables and the Jews, p. 185
Sabina Theijs: Alien Ginsberg's Ideal Society, p. 188
Eliot Katz: Planet News and Futuristic Greetings from the Lower East Side;
Recalling Allen Ginsberg, p. 195
Tom Savage: My Alien Ginsberg, p. 199
Jerome Poynton: Sister and Brother from Savannah, Georgia: Helen Oliver Adelson
and Edgar Oliver, p. 203
Romy Ashby: An Interview with Edgar Oliver, edited by Foxy Kidd, p. 213
Edward Sanders: Yiddish Speaking Socialists of the Lower East Side, p. 219
Steve Dalachinsky: The Sorrows of Young Worthless - A Conversation with Myself or:
An Abbreviated History of a Young Jewish Dropout's Adventures in the Lower East Side, p. 227
Steve Dalachinsky: The First Cemetery of Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue (1656-1833), p. 235
Bob Holman: A Jew in New York, p. 237
Erik La Prade: On the Streets of the Lower East Side: An Interview with Harry Nudel, p. 238
Harry Nudel: DD..Death of the Deli, p. 243
Harry Nudel: The Last Yid Poets, p. 243
Valery Oisteanu: The Lion of the Beats, and two other poems, p. 245
Jim Feast: Hal Sirowitz: Last of the Lower East Side Poets by Ron Kolm with a note, p. 249
Richard Kostelanetz: Categories: A Self-Retrospective on a Different Kind of Literary Life
Around the Lower East Side, p. 255
Lionel Ziprin: Math, p. 275
Valery Oisteanu: Strolling with the Non-Kosher Jewish Beats on the Loisaida, p. 278
Alexander Rubchenko: An Interview with Leonard Abrams, p. 284
Nico Ponce de Leon Dios: On Ira Cohen, p. 296
Alan Kaufman: The Ghost of Abraham Cahan Meets the Rebels of Spoken Word, p. 304
Romy Ashby: Marty Matz, Poet, p. 309
Jim Feast: Barney Rosset: Outsider on the Inside, p. 313
Miriam Stanley: The Yiddish Poets of the Lower East Side, p. 319
PART 5: MUSIC
Sara Levin: Frank London, p. 325
John Zorn: Musings on the East Village, p. 330
Ronen Landa: John Zorn: Sanctifying the New, p. 335
Bonny Finberg: Three Kings and Uncle Charlie, p. 338
Elliot Sharp: Near & Far, p. 347
Mary Rinebold: Reflections, p. 350
Steven Wishnia: Wie Bist Die Gewesen Vor Punk-Rock?, p. 362
Avram Fefer: LE.S. is Less, p. 366
Gary Lucas: East Side, Far Side - All Around the Sound; aka It's Not Where
You're Frum, It's Where You're At, p. 378
Steven Lee Beeber: The Immigrants, p. 384
Handsome Dick Manitoba: Handsome Dick Manitoba, p. 392
PART 6: PERFORMANCE
Michael Carter: Howard Seligman, Covert Agent of Cultural Subversion ("Hillel Feival"), p. 397
Bonnie Sue Stein: Basha Detroit: A 28-year History of a Jewess in NY, 1979-2007, p. 402
Roberta Levine: A Brief History of a Performer, p. 405
PART 7: DANCE
Jordan Levin: The Village, p. 414
Misha Gutkin: An Autobiographical Sketch, p. 421
TABLE OF CONTENT | VOLUME #3
|PART 1: ILLICIT
Eric Miller: Some Meanings of Mj in Lower East Side Jewish Culture, p. 2
David H Katz: Jews With Guns: The Jewish Gangster On The Lower East Side, p. 16
Ben Essex: My Name is Ben, p. 67
Anntelope: One Hundred Forsythe Street (a famous shooting gallery), p. 84
PART 2: BUSINESS
Keith Staskiewicz: Jerry Cohen, p. 88
Ben Kaplan: Memoirs Of The Abogado, p. 91
Deborah Fries: Transformations, p. 95
Gerry Visco: Dr. Dave of the Lower East Side, p. 99
Alan Jay Gerson: The Rivington Street Rav, p. 105
Jennifer Blowdryer: How I Came to Be Here, p. 110
Margaret Santangelo: In Memoriam of a Mensch?, p. 118
Keith Staskiewicz: Alan Dell, p. 124
PART 3: POLITICS
Malav Kanuga: The Many Recurring Dreams of Reason: the Motherfuckers and the Art
of Rebellion, p. 131
Tsaurah Litzky: Emma Goldman First Slum Goddess of the Lower East Side, p. 145
Elissa Sampson: Yiddishe Bread & Roses Stories of the Jewish Left on the Lower East Side, p. 150
Romy Ashby: An Interview with Carole Ramer edited by Foxy Kidd, p. 160
Chris Brandt: Frances Goldin and Miriam Friedlander, p. 166
PART 4: ART
Merry Fortune with John Farris: Shalom Tomas Neuman - Celebration Of A Fusion Artist, p. 173
Robert C. Morgan: Shalom Amerika: Humanism in Exile, p. 184
Sharon Newfeld: High Art in the Lower East Side: The Early Days, p. 188
Jerome Poynton: June Leaf, Hands at War, p. 201
BJ De Guzman: On Steven Marcus, p. 202
Paul Buhle: From The Masses to World War 3 Illustrated: New York art as political
street commentary; or, Seth Tobocman and the Lower East Side, p. 205
Seth Tobocman: This Neo-Expressionist -Comic-Book-Artist So Far, p. 215
Clayton Patterson: Boris Lurie, p. 226
Dr. Sonja Staar: Boris Lurie, NO! art and The Buchenwald Memorial, p. 248
Dr. Max Liljefors: The Power and Challenges of Boris Lurie's Work, p. 257
Romy Ashby & Foxy Kidd: An Interview with Tasha Robbins, p. 267
Richard Kostelanetz: Walking Tour, p. 272
Kathleen Osborn: Claw Money, p. 273
Ilka Scobie: Martha Diamond, Artist and Bowery Pioneer, p. 281
Efroim Snyder: Jewish History and the LES, p. 283
Elissa Sampson: Stanton Street Shul, p. 286
Mary Blair Taylor: Lady Island, Agathe Snow, p. 288
Donna Cameron: Allure: The Circle Bait of Angel Orensanz, p. 292
Julius Klien: His Son was a Disappointment, p. 296
Eddy Portnoy: Cartoon Jews on the Lower East Side, p. 302
PART 5: THEATRE
Caraid O'Brien: Under the World with Sholem Asch (with a one act adaptation of
his play The Dead Man), p. 319
Eve Packer: Cafe Royal, p. 334
Tom Walker: Some Thoughts on The Lower East Side and the Jewish Community,
Julian Beck and The Living Theatre, and Me, p. 341
Judith Malina: Memories of a German Jew on the Lower East Side, p. 344
Steve Dalachinsky and Jim Feast: Judith Malina and the Miracle, p. 347
Gerrick Beck: Return of the Theatre, p. 370
PART 6: FILM
Margot Niederland & Merry Fortune: Was, p. 376
Rick Wirick: The Dream Life: The Lower East Side Jews In Hollywood, p. 381
Ken Jacobs: The Given Word, p. 388
Jacob Burckhardt: On Being a Jew On The Lower East Side, p. 393
PART 7: PHOTOGRAPHY
Jerome Poynton: Robert Frank, Gunslinger with Camera, p. 397
Richard Sandler: Untitled, p. 402
Rik Little: Maurice Narcis - East Village Jewish Artist, p. 406
Sid Kaplan: NY Photographer, p. 409
PART 8: LOOSE ENDS
Eddy Portnoy: Lew the Jew: Tattooist of the Mosiac Persuasion, p. 412
Anne Loretto: Bill Heine and Anne Spitzer Remember Thorn deVita, Richard Tyler, and
The First Gnostic Lyceum Phalanstery Temple as told to Anne Loretto, p. 415
Clayton Patterson and David H. Katz: Jewish Ink: A Telephone Interview with Stanley Moskowitz,
February 18, 2006, p. 419
Eliot Katz: Abbie Hoffman: American Dissident and Political Organizer Extraordinaire, p. 433
|Jews: A Peoples History of the Lower East Side
CLAYTON BOOKS, LLC, TRADE PAPERBACK EDITION OCTOBER 2012
Jews: A People's History of the Lower East Side, VOLUMES I, II AND III
copyright © 2012 by Clayton I. Patterson; Volume II by Clayton I. Patterson
All rights reserved under Internationaland Pan-American Copyright Conventions.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage
and retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher.
Published in the United Statesby Clayton Books, LLC,
161 Essex Street, New York, NY 10002.
Library of CongressCataloging-in-Publication Data
Patterson, Clayton I.
Jews: A People's History of the Lower East Side, VOLUMES I, II AND III
First Edition/First Printing
Printed in Canada
ISBN978-0-9857883-0-8 Vol. I
ISBN 978-0-9857883-1-5 Vol. II
ISBN 978-0-9857883-2-2 Vol. Ill
book design byMonica Ponomarev
copyright © 2012 byClayton I. Patterson
Authors of original articles retain rights of copyright.
Reprinted articleshave permission of the original publishers.
Suzannah B. Troy speaks with Clayton Patterson about the books
|Video 21:28 min|
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Clayton Patterson & Friends Celebrate Release of LES Jewish History Project
By Ed Litvak
|Publihed in: THE LO-DOWN, New York, on February 19, 2013|
|Clayton Patterson with co-editors and contributors at the launch
of “Jews: A People’s History of the Lower East Side.”
Last week, a group of people with a passion for the Lower East Side came to one of the neighborhood’s most magnificent spaces, the Angel Orensanz Center, for a celebration. The occasion was the official unveiling of Clayton Patterson’s sweeping three-volume project chronicling Jewish life on the LES.
“Jews: A People’s History of the Lower East Side,” was edited by Patterson, the neighborhood documentarian, and sociologist Mareleyn Schneider. It consists of more than 1500 pages and 150 chapters, covering such varied topics as Jewish boxing, Allen Ginsberg, the destruction of LES synagogues and the 2nd Avenue deli. The books were published with the help of a Kickstarter campaign.
Many of the authors contributing to the project were on hand last Wednesday for the book party inside the 1849 synagogue building on Norfolk Street. We chatted with Al Orensanz, who is among the contributors, as well as Yura Dashevsky, who wrote the chapter on Katz’s Deli. LES historian Joyce Mendelsohn was there, as was Gary Shapiro, who wrote about Patterson’s decade-long undertaking in the Jewish Daily Forward last summer.
|Clayton Patterson Speaking at Angel Orensanz.|
Patterson made brief remarks, but mostly he said, the evening was about guests interacting with one another “salon style,” in small groups scattered in the sanctuary. “This group of people might never be brought together again,” Patterson observed. It was a memorable evening, for sure, which celebrated not just Jewish culture but the artists, activists, visionaries and misfits who defined the Lower East Side for generations.
ABOUT THE PROJECT:
|Dr. Mareleyn Schneider explains the project|
JEWS, A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE is a three volume anthology edited by Clayton Patterson and Dr. Mareleyn Schneider. The first volume addresses the social history of Judaism in the neighborhood. The second and third volumes follow these threads into modern culture, examining contributions to art, business, and community in downtown New York. Compiling more than 150 chapters contributed by an international host of writers, these three volumes investigate individuals, movements, and institutions that have impacted the city, the country, and the entire planet.
With respect to the vast history and cultural diversity that makes up the Jewish experience on the Lower East Side, the editors have engaged an equally vast group of essayists. Contributors include historians, neighborhood preservationists, artists, rock stars, activists, poets, filmmakers, and more. Through their words, familiar subjects and individuals are re-examined, historic moments are considered, and unknown agents of change are brought to light. This is perhaps best illustrated by a sample of different chapters:
“Allen Ginsberg’s Ideal Society”
“Architecture of the Jewish Ghetto”
“Barney Rosset: Outsider on the Inside”
“Early Communitarian Experiments on the Lower East Side:
“Emma Goldman - First Slum Goddess of the Lower East Side”
“Jewish Boxing in the Lower East Side”
“June Leaf, Hands at War”
“Public Baths on the Lower East Side”
“Reflections [on Philip Glass]”
“Tuli Kupferberg: The Meaning of the Jew in the Dictionary of Anarchism”
JEWS, A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE is a one-of-a-kind document, with a depth and understanding that spans more than two hundred years. A true people’s history, the text allows a huge cross section of thinkers to articulate their experience and knowledge, unfettered by an external narrative.
All of the essays are complete and ready to be published. Conventional publishing schedules would separate the release of these three volumes over a number of years, but a successful Kickstarter campaign will ensure the release of the complete three-volume set within the next 12 months. A small portion of the funds raised will be used to cover pre-production costs (final editing and the creation of an index) but the majority of the money will go to printing.
ABOUT THE EDITORS:
Canadian-born Clayton Patterson is a photographer, artist, outlaw historian, and community activist. He lives and works on the Lower East Side of New York City. The film version of his book Captured was released in 2009 by Snag Films to wide acclaim.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT | VOLUME 1
Volume I could not have been produced without the invaluable contributions of its authors, its copy editors, and my co-editor Clayton Patterson. Ahda Stein, Barbra Imberman, Dotty Stein, Simi Strum, and Marilyn Greisman - whose family members have provided articles for this volume - have been superb friends, listeners, sources, and critics. Billie Stein, a friend since childhood, has finally taught me the value and joy in genealogical research. She continues to be an invaluable resource.
Babette (Bobbe) Friedman has laughed aloud with me when we recounted the funny stories of life and living.
My students at Yeshiva University have inspired me and have shared their research experiences related to the Lower East Side. Eventually, their findings will make their way into a follow-up book. Their energy and their questions have intrigued and sustained the long and hard hours of discovering the LES's past.
My near and distant cousins - in America and in Israel - have continued to tell me the stories of our departed family members, many of whom have propelled my continuing research about the Lower East Side.
My close family - the Cohens and the Engelmayers - have remained my primary challengers in the quest for knowledge. They have always supported me in my efforts to educate people, to make the world a better one, and to find amusement, delight, good humor, hilarity, pride and love in this world. They are my nachas.
I thank them all.
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I could never have gotten volume one together if not for a number of people. First and foremost, Dr. Mareleyn Schneider. Without Dr. Mareleyn Schneider's help, volume one would never have been so complete. Then, in terms of editing and preparing the documents, Dr. Jim Feast, to me, was the backbone. Assisting Jim edit was Monica Uszerowicz, sometimes with the help of her father Professor Uszerowicz. I am indebted to Monica Ponomarev, the designer, for her patience as we struggled through the changes and she stayed with the project. This anthology would have never made it to completion without the help of Ethan Swan who guided me through the Kickstarter process, which allowed me to make the money needed to produce this book. Without the able of assistance of Suzanna Wasserman Kickstarter may not have ever gotten kickstarted. Then there was Joyce Mendelsohn, always there ready with a kind word as well as an intelligent response to solving a problem. Elissa Sampson's help was invaluable for navigating different aspects of the LES Jewish Left and Orthodox shul history. I am thankful that Kenny Petricig took it upon himself to learn how to make an index and then made this one. I appreciate the Solo Foundation who held the money between Kickstarter and paying the bills and continues on. Thanks to Ron Kolm for his guidance on how to finish the project. I am indebted to all the people who contributed to Kickstarter, without them this project would never have happened. For the noticeable contributions by Aaron Sosnick, Michael Rosen, and Robert Perl, and then later, a needed contribution from Serge Hoyda. And Aishling Labat for helping with the finishing touches. Julius Klein the cover artist. Then came the team of Jody Carl Weiner and Nancy Sue Calef. Jody providing the legal intelligence and expertise which got this book into production and Nancy for getting the logo done.
Of course, none of this would be possible to even exist if not for the support and love from Elsa Rensaa my partner since 1972, and now my wife.
Clayton Patterson August 22, 2012
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT | VOLUME 2 + 3
I could never have gotten volume II and III together if not for a number of people. In terms of editing and preparing the documents, Dr. Jim Feast, to me, was the backbone. Assisting Jim edit was Monica Uszerowicz, and sometimes with the help of her father Professor Uszerowicz. I am indebted to Monica Ponomarev the designer for her patience as we struggled through the changes and she stayed with the project. This anthology would have never made it to completion without the help of Ethan Swan who guided me through the Kickstarter process which allowed me to make the money needed to produce this book. Without the able of assistance of Suzanna Wasserman Kickstarter may not have ever gotten kickstarted. Without the assistance of Steve Dalachinsky a number of hard to get to creative individuals would not be in this anthology. Then there was Joyce Mendelsohn always there ready with a kind word as well as an intelligent response to solving a problem. Elissa Sampson's help was invaluable to navigating different aspects of the LES Jewish Left and Orthodox shul history. I am thankfully that Kenny Petricig took it upon himself to learn how to make an index and then indexed all three volumes. Kenny was also invaluable with final editing and helping us cross the finish line. I say a thank you to Julius Klein the cover artist. I appreciate that Howie Seligman, and the Solo Foundation, held the money between Kickstarter and paying the bills. Thanks to Ron Kolm for his guidance on how to finish the project. And to Aishling Labat for helping with the finishing touches. I am indebted to all the people who contributed to Kickstarter without them this project would never have happened. For the noticeable contributions by Aaron Sosnick, Michael Rosen, and Robert Perl, and then later, a needed contribution from Serge Hoyda. Then came the team of Jody Carl Weiner and Nancy Sue Calef. Jody providing the legal intelligence and expertise which got this book into production and Nancy for her help getting the logo done.
Of course, none of this would be possible to even exist if not for the support and love from Elsa Rensaa my partner since 1972, and now my wife.
There are numerous others who made countless silent contributions to the making of this anthology and to all of them I say thank you.
In terms of paying respect to the people who contributed to the making of this anthology, it somehow seems fitting that I am wrapping this up on the eve of September 11, 2012. It brings to mind how much we have to be grateful for and no matter the trials and hardships we face "We the People" can overcome whatever adversity gets thrown into our path.
My last note of thanks, gratitude, respect, and honor, is wrapped up in my one political statement. A statement which was extremely important to me: Made In the USA.
Forever grateful to all who made this book possible.
thanks Clayton Patterson
APPENDIX: But beyond over coming these immense problems along the way -- as I faced each new problem-- I was so blessed with such amazing talent who helped me through all of this. I mean really- blessed as in blessed.
Could never have done KICKSTARTER without the help of Ethan Swan and Suzanne Wasserman- Monica Ponomarev designer-- editors Jim Feast and Monica Uszerowitz- Ron Kolm- Lawyer Jody Wiener- Nancy Calef- logo- Julius Klien & Jeffrey Rubin cover art- Howie Seligman accounting- Kenny Petricig index- then look at all the work Dietmar Kirves in Berlin did with the website information-- as I am coming to the final stages in steps Klara Palotai.
I am sure I am missing some but- you will see in the acknowledgements all the others I owe a debt of gratitude to- without these people the book would never have gotten done- without them the book and I would have been nothing.
And BTW- if anyone knows a member of PEN. I need some help with votes. I am pushing to get Jim Feast the magazine editor award- if anyone needs details let me know- thanks Clayton Patterson
”As an archetypal New York Jew, with three generations on the Lower East Side, I must say that these books comprehensively pick up precisely at the point where my Bubbe and Zeyde got off the boat from the Old Country!“ —HOWIE SELIGMAN
“This book represents a Herculean effort on the part of its editors, to tell the story of Jews on the Lower East Side. It re-introduces readers to familiar and fascinating subjects such as Emma Goldman and Allen Ginsberg and places such as Katz’s Deli and also includes more obscure yet important Lower East Side figures, such as Daniel Stein and Congressman Leonard Farbstein and places like the Essex Market and Stanton Street Shul. Three volumes, it covers everything; from religion to food to music, poetry, dance and crime.” —SUZANNE WASSERMAN, Director, Gotham Center for NYC History/CUNY Graduate Center
“A collection of provocative and insightful writings capturing the essence of a vibrant community that formed the heart of the American Jewish experience. This is a valuable book of great importance, especially since historic sites in the neighborhood are disappearing as rampant gentrification continues to erase the visible presence of people and places from the past.” —JOYCE MENDELSOHN, author of The Lower East Side, Remembered and Revisited (Columbia University Press 2009)
“An encyclopedia of remembering in an age of forgetting; it rolls back the thin veneer of gentrification to reveal the true roots of the Lower East Side of New York City.” —RON KOLM, co-author, with JIM FEAST, of the novel Neo Phobe, and a member of the literary collective The Unbearables
“Jews: A People’s History of The Lower East Side is not simply a monumental contribution to the City of New York, the Jewish People, the field of History, but a singular tribute to the heroic collective vision of Clayton Patterson who, in everything from art to urban anthropology has embodied the urgent necessity to document our human experience for the sake of the past as well as the future. The voices gathered in these three volumes stand not only in tribute to the genius of the Jewish immigrant experience of the Lower East Side but that of Clayton Patterson as well.” —ALAN KAUFMAN, author of the memoirs Jew Boy & Drunken Angel; co-editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Literature
PREVIEW BY GARY SHAPIRO
Unlikely Chronicler of Jewish Neighborhood
|Published in The Jewish Daily Forward | New York | June 08, 2012, issue of June 15, 2012|
The president of the New York Tattoo Society is an unlikely figure to launch what may be the most ambitious publishing venture ever to cover the Jewish Lower East Side. Clayton Patterson, a non-Jew whose long beard could be mistaken for that of a biblical patriarch, is the editor of the three-volume “Jews: A People’s History of the Lower East Side,” a project now nearing completion.
Patterson, who has been a fixture of the neighborhood since moving to New York City in 1979, has been working on the book since 2005. While the Lower East Side is known for having been home to millions of Jewish immigrants in the early 20th century, his book focuses on the life of the neighborhood after most of those immigrants left, and on the effects of recent gentrification.
“The genius of most of America was attached to cheap rent and an inexpensive lifestyle,” Patterson told the Forward on a rainy Thursday afternoon. “Whether it be Madonna or Jackson Pollock or Jimi Hendrix or Rabbi Moshe Feinstein — all of these people were able to develop their ideas and their theories and their work because they had the time to deal with it. At $3,000 a month, you just don’t have time to grow and develop.”
In Patterson’s sprawling and raucous 1,300-odd pages, Feinstein and other legendary Jewish figures rub shoulders with lesser-known characters. Someone looking for Allen Ginsberg might stumble upon Lionel Ziprin, a poet who studied the Zohar, fell in love with the same woman as Marlon Brando, entertained Thelonius Monk, received a flattering letter from T.S. Eliot and was the grandson of mystic rabbi Nuftali Zvi Margolies Abulafia. Ziprin’s friend was musicologist Harry Smith, best known for his seminal Anthology of American Folk Music, who donated the world’s largest paper airplane collection to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
A still unknown Philip Glass is described as directing movers to carry musical equipment to and from his sixth-floor walk-up. Educational Alliance students, like sculptor Louise Nevelson and artist Ben Shahn, make cameo appearances, as do film titans Louis B. Mayer and Samuel Goldwyn, on their way to transforming American popular culture.
“I’m not sure if most Jews are aware of how diverse the Jews are,” Patterson said of the characters that fill his history. “Individuals who came through here changed the history of America countless times.”
Though Patterson finished compiling most of the book’s content in 2007, he has been trying to raise money for its design, printing and distribution. In November 2011 he succeeded in netting $13,000 from 72 backers by using the fundraising website Kickstarter.com, and now he is in negotiations with printers to produce the work. He hopes to have it completed in the next couple of months.
Patterson distinguishes his project from the landmark book “World of Our Fathers: The Journey of the East European Jews to America and the Life They Found and Made,” published in 1976. He said that the work, by Irving Howe with principal researcher Kenneth Libo, had a narrative point of view, while his own volumes allow more recent voices to speak for themselves. And speak they do: In about 160 essays, artists, rabbis and writers cover subjects ranging from shtieblekh to the shvitz.
PREVIEW BY DANIEL MAURER
Clayton Patterson on His Epic People’s History of the Lower East Side
|Published in: THE LOCAL EAST VILLAGE | New York Times on September 14, 2011|
Since 2007, Clayton Patterson, the photographer, documentarian and gallery owner who is the subject of the film “Captured,” has been collecting essays for an anthology, “Jews: A People’s History of the Lower East Side.” Earlier this week, he launched a Kickstarter campaign to get the book published - with 57 days to go, his promotional video (which you can see above) has raised almost $2,500. We spoke to Mr. Patterson about the project, which he says currently totals 160 essays and 1,500 manuscript pages. In case you’re curious to see which East Village and Lower East Side luminaries will be featured, we’ve posted the table of contents below.
Q. How did this project get its start?
Q. Are you Jewish yourself?
Q. When you first conceived this, who were some of the people you had to get for it?
Q. Who are the biggest unsung heroes or forgotten artists in this book?
Q. What do you think about the state of Judaism in the neighborhood today.
Q. So who’s keeping the spirit alive these days?
Q. What writers did you secure who were just perfect for their subject?
People’s history of L.E.S. ready for your support
|By Clayton Patterson|
|Published in: THE VILLAGER, New York on September 29, 2011|
I need support in getting “Jews, a People’s History of the Lower East Side” into print. The three-volume, 1,500-page book is getting to the end.
Howard F. Seligman, finance and taxation specialist, is the head of the nonprofit Solo Foundation, which is managing the money for the project.
By donating to this campaign, you can preorder copies of the book. Other rewards include photo prints drawn from my archive; out-of-print books; even a DVD of my complete footage of the 1988 Tompkins Square Park police riot, available for the first time and only through this Kickstarter. For more information and to donate, go to Kickstarter, http://kck.st/o2bVzz.
“Jews, a People’s History of the Lower East Side,” is the story of New York City’s Lower East Side, once a largely Jewish neighborhood, and now unrecognizable after years of urban gentrification.
Volume I of the current project is the story of a “holy water” spring buried beneath the foundation of the Jewish Daily Forward building on East Broadway and of a six-month prison sentence from Essex Market Court for throwing snowballs. It is the story of cheap rents, knishes from Russ & Daughters and children screaming at tour buses to “stop telling lies about them.” It is the story of tent cities in Tompkins Square Park.
The second and third volumes focus more on cultural activities, such as art, theater and film and, for the most part, concentrate more on the area above Delancey St.
|Don't want to forget? We'll remind you by email 48 hours before funding ends.
This project will only be funded if at least $15,000 is pledged by Thursday Nov 10, 6:41pm EST.
Back This Project $1 minimum pledge
Pledge $1 or more | A personalized thank you email from the editors. | Estimated Delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $15 or more | A copy of UP FROM THE URBAN TRENCHES: ARTISTS AND ART SPACES ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE (2005). This 80 page, fully-illustrated out-of-print examination of art spaces includes essays on ABC No Rio, Rivington Sculpture Garden, Clayton Gallery & Outlaw Art Museum, FusionArts Museum, and Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts. Created on the occasion of the exhibition “Then and Now - Lower East Side Art from a Fusion Perspective” (2005), the catalogue was produced in a limited run and has not been available for 15 years. | Estimated Delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $15 or more | A copy of THURSDAY, SEPT. 14: A NIGHT OF ART, FILM, AND ULTRAPERCEPTION (2006). This 40 page, full color catalogue accompanied an exhibition of sculptural works by Clayton Patterson and a screening of film works by Harry Smith. Includes contributions from Clayton Patterson, Jeremiah Newton, Bob Holman, Lionel Ziprin, and many more. | Estimated Delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $25 or more | Front Door Photo: For 30+ years, Clayton Patterson has been taking photos of Lower East Side residents, graffiti artists, and musicians framed in the front door of his gallery. Many of these photos were compiled in the 2009 book FRONT DOOR BOOK (more info here: http://store.oh-wow.com/item.html/47538). Backers at this level will have their photo taken by Clayton in this legendary doorway and will receive a hi-res digital file of the image. | Estimated Delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $35 or more | A copy of CAPTURED: A FILM & VIDEO HISTORY OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE (2005), signed by editor Clayton Patterson. This 600-page examination of 50+ years of creativity and art investigates movements such as No Wave and the Cinema of Transgression, and individuals including Allen Ginsburg, Andy Warhol, Jonas Mekas, and Steve Buscemi. With over one hundred contributors, Captured tells the story of film and video in the Lower East Side in the artists’ own words. | Estimated Delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $35 or more | A copy of RESISTANCE: A RADICAL SOCIAL AND POLITICAL HISTORY OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE (2007), signed by editor Clayton Patterson. This collection of writings and images documents the political history of the Lower East Side, describing the lives and the struggles of radicals, artists, and immigrants including Emma Goldman, Dorothy Day, Christopher Mele, Jim Feast, Lynn Stewart, and many others. Topics range from the early settlement houses and sweatshops to squatters, rioters, artists, activists, and organizers. | Estimated Delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $75 or more | A 10 x 14” C-print of a photo from Clayton Patterson’s three decade archive of Lower East Side photography. Backers at this level receive their choice of one signed print from a selection made especially for this project. Images are on view here | Estimated Delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $100 or more | All three volumes of Jews, A People’s History of the Lower East Side signed by Clayton Patterson. The volumes will be shipped to backers directly from the presses, in advance of the official release date, at the retail cost of the finished set. | Estimated Delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $100 or more | A copy of WILDSTYLE AND TATTOO: HISTORY OF A NEW IDEA (2003) signed by Clayton Patterson. This hardcover, full-color book, edited by Clayton Patterson and Jochen Auer, has never been for sale in the US and was produced in a limited run of 800 copies. | Estimated Delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $300 or more | The backer’s name (or a name of his/her choice) listed in the acknowledgments of JEWS, A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE. In addition, backers at this level will receive all three volumes of JEWS, delivered before the book’s official release date. | Estimated Delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $500 or more | DVD copy of the never released, 3 hour 1988 Tompkins Square Park Police Riot video as documented by Clayton Patterson. This unique footage of one of the pivotal moments in Lower East Side history was the subject of a fierce court battle and subsequent hunger strike by Clayton and has never been available in its entirety in any form. | Estimated Delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $1,000 or more | One of a kind custom Clayton cap designed in collaboration with Clayton Patterson. Hand embroidered by Clayton and Elsa Rensaa, Clayton caps have been worn by David Hockney, HR of Bad Brains, and Gus Van Sant. Less than 500 Clayton caps exist in the world, and Clayton and Elsa stopped production in 2008—this is the only way to receive a Clayton cap in 2011. For images of past Clayton Caps: http://claytonpattersoncaptured.com/2009/07/02/clayton-caps/ | Estimated Delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $2,500 or more | For this level of patronage, backers will help share the information contained within JEWS: A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE. 10 copies of the three-volume set will be donated to libraries of the backer’s choice, with custom bookplates acknowledging this generosity.
|Estimated Delivery: Sep 2012|
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