Monday, July 6, 2009

Jewish Knowledge(10)

Topic: Jewish Tid-Bits-Brooklyn #4

During the '80s and '90s, large numbers of East European Jews crossed the East River to Williamsburg, where they established their own synagogues and other institutions even before the older communities started to move on to the Bedford, Greenpoint and Stuyvesant Heights sections.

The arrival of hundreds of thousands of additional Jews from Russia. Poland and Rumania after 1900 and the razing of whole blocks of East Side tenements to make way for the Williamsburg Bridge caused another great surge of Jewish migration to Brooklyn, which became part of New York City in 1898.

Newly-built elevated lines and the opening of the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges in the early 1900s, extension of the subway to more distant Brooklyn areas after World War I and the availability of inexpensive one and two-family houses and modern apartment houses within easy reach of New York factories gave impetus to new waves of Jewish migration to Brooklyn as well as to movement within the borough.

From Williamsburg, the Jewish population spilled over into Eastern Parkway and Crown Heights, and then to Borough Park, Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Flatbush, Fort Hamilton and Bay Ridge. Each population shift created new communities as the newcomers organized their own institutions while the older synagogues followed their congregants to the newer neighborhoods.
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