About

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

Marti Michael, retired Exec Dir, Riverdale YM-YWHA & Riverdale JCRC

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

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