THE STREETS WERE PAVED WITH GOLD:
A Journey Through The Jewish Lower East Side of New York
Part I begins with the pogroms and poor economic conditions in Europe, driving over two million Jews to America from 1880 - 1921. This hour tells the story of the East European immigrant Jews who found harsh living in the crowded tenements of the Lower East Side. No gold. Jerry Stiller and Zero Mostel read from the "bintel briefs," letters to the editor of the Jewish Daily Forward seeking advice on how to adapt to strange American customs. Stories are told using a montage of oral histories, enriched with music from the period.
Read by Isaiah Sheffer, Jerry Stiller, Barbara Rosenblat, Jasmine Petraru, Stacey Brass, Fritz Weaver and Ollie Wyman.
Host and Series Producer: Larry Josephson for the Radio Foundation.
This program was produced by Sarah Elzas, Sara Porath and Larry Josephson.
The interviews were recorded by Bill Siegmund and Robert Auld.
Post production by Robert Auld and David Rapkin.
Archival material supplied by The Ellis Island Oral History Collection, The Tamiment Library at NYU, The Pittsburgh Jewish Oral History Project, The Dorot Jewish Division and the Performing Arts Division of the New York Public Library, The Judaica Collection at Florida Atlantic University, The Unite Here Archives at Cornell University, Yivo, The Eldridge Street Synagogue Project and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.
Special Thanks to Nicki Newman Tanner.