Scandals, Shandehs, and Lies: The Stories Families Don't Tell
Speaker: Renee Steinig
In the course of decades of genealogical research, Renee Steinig has uncovered many a "skeleton in the closet" – cases of illegitimate birth, infidelity, abandonment, and even murder, all hushed up for decades. A suburban businessman who led two lives; a Romanian immigrant hanged -- or so his family thought -- for "stealing horses;" a Jewish GI's love affair in Belgium during World War II; a young woman who married, had a baby, then vanished.... Renee will talk to us about these family secrets and others, the research tools that uncovered them, and the reunions and reconciliations that followed many of her discoveries.
Renee Steinig began doing genealogical research in the 1970s. Many family trees and some 18 years later, she began to accept client work. She is member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, a past president and longtime trustee of the JGS of Long Island, and a director of Gesher Galicia.
Ticket Info: $5 at the door; free for JGS members
Walking Tour: The Unexpected Story of Jewish Williamsburg (2.5 hours)
It would be fair to call Williamsburg the Lower East Side’s lesser known sibling. Opening in 1903, the Williamsburg bridge, which connects the Lower East Side to Williamsburg, soon came to be known as “The Jewish Highway.” Jewish immigrants, seeking to escape the crowded tenements of the Lower East Side, resettled in Williamsburg in large numbers. They brought with them all of the character of similar enclaves – Yiddish, kosher butchers, and synagogues – as well as the familiar ambition of upward mobility. However, unlike the Lower East Side, Williamsburg was not soon past its heyday.
After the Holocaust, Hungarian survivors, many of whom were Hasidic, became the next wave of immigrants to make their American starter homes in Williamsburg. But this second wave did not want to move on and Americanize. They stayed in Williamsburg, despite the polluted East River, high crime and crumbling infrastructure, and maintained their traditions. Even as North Williamsburg has been reborn as a trendy hipster enclave in recent decades, the fourth generation of Hasidim continue to thrive in South Williamsburg. Our tour will take us through this story by way of the buildings, streets, and synagogues, with a nosh of the famous Hungarian kosher cooking.
About the Tour Guide: Frieda Vizel is a New York City tour guide who specializes in Jewish Williamsburg. She grew up in the Satmar Hasidic community and her four holocaust survivor grandparents lived in Williamsburg. She has since left the fold, but remains drawn to the area‘s rich legacy.
Location and other details: This tour will begin at Congregation Beth Jacob Ohev Sholom (284 Rodney St.). Please plan to arrive at 9:45 AM to check in. We will not wait more than a few minutes for late arrivals. This tour will take place rain or shine. Please dress modestly, wear weather-appropriate clothing/shoes, and bring water. Note: Some tour stops are not wheelchair accessible.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Ticket Info: $30 general; $25 CJH/Partner members, students, seniors at williamsburg.bpt.me or 800-838-3006
Tickets: Available online