May Is Jewish History Month and Asian American/Pacific Islander History Month

Spring is a time for rebirth and rediscovery, and that’s especially true when it comes to our history and our neighborhoods’ rich heritage as a place of welcoming and progressive change. May is also both Jewish History and Asian American/Pacific Islander History Month, and we have lots of resources to help explore important sites connected to both.

While the nearby Lower East Side may be more prominently associated with Jewish history, did you know that the cemetery containing the remains of some of the very first Jewish settlers of North America is located in our neighborhood? That some of our neighborhoods‘ most iconic and beloved landmarks were built by the direct descendants of these first Jewish immigrants to North America? That the greatest concentration of Yiddish theaters in the world was once located in the East Village, home to a “Yiddish Renaissance” in the early 20th century? Here are some great resources to learn more:

And while nearby Chinatown has an unrivaled collection of sites connected to Asian American history, our neighborhoods have been home to an incredibly rich array of Asian American artists, writers, and activists, as well as organizations dedicated to fighting for equality for Asian Americans. Our neighborhoods are where the term “Chinese American” was first coined; where the harshness and cruelty of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II was fought and memorialized; and where Asian American women helped lead the fight for suffrage. And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg!

You can learn about even more of our neighborhoods’ diverse histories on our Civil Rights and Social Justice Map.

May 6, 2022