Last week, students in the MBS Jewish Affinity Group traveled to New York City, to explore the rich history and culture of Jewish people in America during the early twentieth century. They visited the Tenement Museum, which opened in 1988, that focuses on telling the stories of working-class tenement residents who moved to NYC in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
During the "Tenement Women: 1902" tour, students entered the Levine family's apartment to learn about the challenges faced by Jewish immigrant mothers in 1902. The interactive tour highlighted how women like Jennie Levine managed households, oversaw family finances, and asserted their rights, even before they had legal rights as citizens. The tour covered events such as the Kosher Meat Boycott of 1902 organized by these women, who became inspirations for future generations and movements.
After the tour, students visited Katz's Deli, a family-owned establishment founded in 1888 and owned by Jews throughout its existence. In the early 20th century, Katz's Deli played a central role for newly immigrated Jewish families, similar to those residing in the nearby tenement apartments.