Jews: A People's History
of the Lower East Side

JEWS: A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE is a virtually unprecedented 1,349-page treasure trove of carefully researched histories of the people who made Manhattan’s Lower East Side a crucial fulcrum of the Jewish experience. This three-volume set, edited by Clayton Patterson and Dr. Mareleyn Schneider, is now available for the first time in a set for institutional use.

The first volume addresses the social history of Judaism in the neighborhood. The second and third volumes follow these threads into modern culture, examining contributions to art, business, and community in downtown New York. Compiling more than 150 chapters contributed by an international host of writers, these three volumes investigate individuals, movements, and institutions that have impacted the city, the country, and the entire planet. With respect to the vast history and cultural diversity that makes up the Jewish experience on the Lower East Side, the editors have engaged an equally vast group of essayists. Contributors include historians, neighborhood preservationists, artists, rock stars, activists, poets, filmmakers, and more. Through their words, familiar subjects and individuals are re-examined, historic moments are considered, and unknown agents of change are brought to light. This is perhaps best illustrated by a sample of different chapters:

“Allen Ginsberg’s Ideal Society”
“Architecture of the Jewish Ghetto”
“Barney Rosset: Outsider on the Inside”
“EarlyCommunitarian Experiments on the Lower East Side:
Social Reform Practices in New York City During the Gilded Age”
“Emma Goldman– First Slum Goddess of the Lower East Side”
“Jewish Boxing in the Lower East Side”
“June Leaf, Hands at War”
“Public Baths on the Lower East Side”
“Reflections [on Philip Glass]”
“Tuli Kupferberg: The Meaning of the Jew in the Dictionary of Anarchism”

Clayton Patterson with co-editors and contributors at the launch of
“Jews: A People’s History of the Lower East Side.”

JEWS: A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE is a one-of-a-kind document, with a depth and understanding that spans more than two hundred years. A true people’s history, the text allows a huge cross section of thinkers to articulate their experience and knowledge, unfettered by an external narrative.

Canadian-born Clayton Patterson is a photographer, artist, outlaw historian, and community activist. He lives and works on the Lower East Side of New York City. The film version of his book Captured was released in 2009 by Snag Films to wide acclaim. Life-long Lower East Sider Mareleyn Schneider is an award-winning professor of sociology at Yeshiva University (Bronx, NY), and the author, co-author, or editor of eight previous books. Jews is her first project with Clayton Patterson.