Old Photographs of Jewish Life in The Bronx

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It’s hard to imagine for many that at one point, The Bronx was the most Jewish borough of NYC with almost 50% of the population of our borough identifying as Jewish in 1930.

To this day no borough has even come remotely close to those numbers.

As we were sifting through a catalog of old images of The Bronx, we came across several depicting Bronx daily life but what immediately stood out was that in many photographs you can see storefronts advertising in Yiddish.

Mrs. Max Hochfield, a prospective New Jersey homesteader, now living in the Bronx, New York/1936

When we did a little further research we found out that these images are from a set of images documenting poor and low-income families living in the, “…slums, tenements, and apartment housing in The Bronx” according to the Library of Congress.

These images documented this segment of the population of which many had been accepted for a resettlement program that would take them from the slums to New Jersey homesteads in Hightstown during the Great Depression in what would be come the America’s only government funded Jewish commune with hopes of creating a Utopia.

Since we know many of our readers are from this bygone era or are products of that generation, we thought we’d share them with you.

Check them out. All images are from the Library of Congress and their captions have been used accordingly.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.