14. Jews in New York

New York is the largest Jewish city in the world; more Jews live there than in Tel Aviv. To give tourists and students an overview of its Jewish heritage, this map was commissioned by the board of orthodox, reform, conservative and reconstructionist rabbis. The complete history from 1654, when Sephardic Jews arrived in New Amsterdam from Brazil, through orthodox and Hasidic synagogues of the nineteenth and twentieth century, to renowned Jewish shops of today was to be illustrated.

After years of discussion in an executive committee, about questions such as ‘what does being Jewish mean?’, this poster map was designed with 75 illustrations of monuments and individuals who are ‘kosher’ enough for one group and ‘secular’ enough for another. Thus Alan Ginsberg and Emma Goldman are not on the map, but the house where Woody Allan lived as a teenager and the first female rabbi, Sally Priesand, is. The map only sketchily shows places of Jewish remembrance; fortunately the information on the back is more precise. As Rabbi Potasnik said: ‘Perfect maps do not exist, but some maps are more perfect than others’.

New York Board of Rabbis, Jewish New York: A History & Heritage Map, New York 2007

New York Board of Rabbis, Jewish New York: A History & Heritage Map, New York 2007