Chewy everything bagels, fresh out of the oven, smeared with cream cheese and topped with lox. Giant deli sandwiches piled high with pastrami and corned beef. Piping hot potato knishes from street corner vendors. So much of what is quintessentially New York comes from the city’s Jewish population.
This guide brings you right into the thick of Jewish New York – a part of the city even most New Yorkers don’t get to see.
This itinerary is for you if:
- You’ve been to New York before, run the tourist circuit, and now want something different and unique;
- You’re a first-time visitor but less interested in the “postcard” side of the city and more in nuanced, cultural experiences;
- You’re a New Yorker who’d like to get to know your Jewish neighbors a little better; or
- You’re simply interested in Jewish history and culture.
In two days, this itinerary will take you across Manhattan and Brooklyn. You’ll travel in the footsteps of late 19th and early 20th century Jewish immigrants, see their homes, taste their food, shop in their shops, and visit their synagogues.
You’ll also experience contemporary Jewish New York, getting an up-close view of some rarely-seen Hasidic communities, visiting the enclaves of Jewish Middle Eastern immigrants, and taking part in some of the city’s cutting-edge secular Jewish programming and arts. You will do a fair amount of walking, so be sure to dress accordingly.
Each day includes step-by-step directions, local’s tips, as well as historical and cultural explanations. My email address is also included in the itinerary. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions or suggestions!
Before using this itinerary, please note that many Jewish sights around the city are closed on Friday evenings and Saturdays (the Jewish Sabbath). For optimal Jewish New York sightseeing, it is advised that you do not use this guide on Fridays or Saturdays, particularly for Day 2. For Day 1, Saturday-friendly alternate activities are included.