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[Garment district executives eating and reading Yiddish newspapers, Hirsch's Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant, West 35th Street, New York]

Date early 1940s (printed 2012)
Location New York United States
Dimensions Image: 10 x 9 3/8 in. (25.4 x 23.9 cm)
Print medium Photo-Digital-Inkjet

Between 1880 and 1920, more than 2 million Yiddish-speaking Jews from eastern Europe came to New York. Living in close quarters on the Lower East Side, they invented a new kind of eating establishment based on German delicatessens, but which offered foods from across their former homelands. By the early 1900s, Jewish delicatessens had spread across the city, and could soon be found in many major American cities with large Jewish populations, often springing up around the garment districts where Jewish immigrants worked and ran the clothing trade. New York’s immigrant Jews essentially invented kosher delicatessens (nothing like them had existed in Eastern Europe), contributing to and fostering a sense of community and Jewish American identity throughout the twentieth century.


© Mara Vishniac Kohn

Credit line

International Center of Photography

Feedback Accession No. 2012.80.39