About the Bronx Jewish Historical Initiative:
From its early beginnings in the nineteenth century to its ongoing history-in-the-making today, the Jewish community has been an integral part of the story of The Bronx.
This new initiative, in partnership with the Bronx Borough president, is designed to be an interactive community based project which will explore, compile, record, and share the extraordinary history of the Jewish community of the Bronx, and disseminate it for posterity through the web, social media, forums, exhibits and special events. The Initiative will also look forward, enhancing the Jewish spirit that continues to contribute to the borough’s special identity.
In 1948 more Jews lived in the Bronx, about 650,000, than in the new State of Israel. Today, there are about 50,000. In the ensuing decades, as that population has diminished, the history of the Jews of the Bronx, their cultural life, and their contributions to the world at large, has become forgotten according to the organizers of this new project, The Bronx Jewish Historical Initiative.
“We want to bring the extraordinary history of the Jewish Bronx to the attention of people today who may not be aware of it. We want to build bridges between ethnicities, and to honor the cultural contributions of Bronx residents, past and present,” said Howard Teich, the founding organizer of the new initiative.
The Bronx Hall of Fame inaugural inductees join a significant list of Jewish Bronx residents of the past including Nobel laureates, entertainment luminaries, elected leaders who shaped New York and the world, writers, artists, and more.
The Initiative has already run a bus tour of the Jewish Grand Concourse with others to be scheduled, and in the initial planning stages is a free showing in the Bronx of a Yiddish language film that played in the Ascot Theater on the Grand Concourse in the 1940s, with other cultural events to be announced.
Bronx Jewish Historical Initiative (in formation)
Hon. Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Borough President
Howard Teich, The Howard Teich Network
Jeffrey Laufer, Special Asst – Bronx Borough President’s Office
Hon. Jeffrey Dinowitz, NYS Assembly member
Hon. Robert Abrams, Former NYS Attorney General
Hon. Oliver Koppell, Former NYC Councilmember
Asher Abramowitz, Principal, Kinneret Day School, Riverdale
Holly Block, Executive Director, The Bronx Museum of the Arts
Michael Blaustein, Office of State Senator Jeff Klein
Claudia Bonn, Wave Hill, Riverdale
Susan Chevlowe, Derfner Judaica Museum and The Art Collection
Avery Corman, author
Paul Del Duca, Chief of Staff- Bronx BP’s office
John DeSio, Communications Director-Bronx BP’s office
David Edelstein, Jewish Community Council of Pelham Parkway
Michael Eiron, Temple Beth El of City Island
Rabbi Stephen Franklin, Riverdale Temple
Rabbi Moshe Fuchs, Congregation Sons of Israel
Martha Gellens, Wave Hill, Riverdale
Jeff Golland, Riverdale JCRC
Samuel Goodman, Bronx BP’s office
David Greenblatt, Office of Congress member Elliott Engel
Jeffrey Gurock, Yeshiva University
Rabbi Barry Katz, Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale
Hon. Stephen Kaufman, Former NYS Assembly member
Rabbi Leifer, Pelham Parkway
Paco Levine, Web and technical consultant
Ellen Levitt, Author, Lost Synagogues of the Bronx
Alan Oirich, Gold Watch Studios
Danielle Palmisano, JASA
Ana Garcia Reyes, Associate Dean, Hostos Community College
Joel Schnur, Schnur and Associates
Rabbi Asher Lopatin, Yeshiva Chovevei Torah, Riverdale
Peter Shafran, River Spirit Music at Riverdale Temple
Brad Silver, Bronx Jewish Community Council
Wendy Steinberg, Communications Director, RiverSpring Health
Olga Luz Tirado, Executive Director, Bronx Tourism Council
Dr. Ellen Ruth Topol, Temple Beth El
Fredda Tourin, Office of NYC Councilmember Andrew Cohen
Florence G. Wolpoff and Martin Wolpoff, Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale
Rabbi Shmuel Zuckerman, Young Israel of Pelham Parkway