New York’s East Side is No Longer Immigrant Quarter, Survey Shows
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New York’s East Side is No Longer Immigrant Quarter, Survey Shows

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New York’s lower East Side is no longer the “alien quarter,” according to a survey of population changes recently completed by the Jewish Welfare Board. South of Fourteenth Street and east of the Bowery the native-born population now equals that of the foreign born.

Congestion of population in the East Side is also decreasing every year, the report shows, and accompanying the decrease of population there has been a cessation of tenement house building in this district. There has been a drop of from 9,913 tenements in 1914 to 9,267 in 1923, with a proportionate drop between 1920 and 1923, and an increase of 40 per cent in the number of office buildings and mercantile structures, indicating a change to a commercial district.

According to United States census reports, population on the East Side has decreased from 542,061 in 1910 to 416,108 in 1920, a decrease of 23 percent. Estimates of population figures for 1926, the report declares, place the present population of the lower East Side around 300,000.

In 1920 this district, which covers only. 0052 per cent of the total area of New York, had 7.4 of its population, the density of population then having been estimated at 416 persons to the acre. This has been reduced to an average present density of 300 persons to the acre.

Reduction of immigration since the war, the decreasing housing facilities and the desire of the people to improve their social status with economic advancement by moving to more desirable sections of the city have been the principal causes for the steady depopulation of the East Side, says the survey.

The most striking changes have taken place in the racial composition, according to the report. In 1910 the foreign born in greatest numbers from Russia, Poland, Austria, Hungary and Roumania, had made up 68 per cent of the population. This proportion is reducing at the rate of 1 per cent a year.

Judge Irving Lehaman, president of the Jewish Welfare Board, said that the results of this survey indicate the necessity of a wide change in the character of activities of social agents engaged in work on the East Side.

“We no longer have the acute need for ministering to the unassimilated and maladjusted foreign born,” declared Judge Lehman. “The demand for Americanization work is diminishing. Emphasis in the future must be placed on the youth work. A generation of young Americans is growing up on the East Side today.”

Ever since the great waves of Jewish immigration started in 1882, the lower East Side has been the place where the great majority of the newly arrived Jewish immigrants settled. Most of the immigrants regarded the East Side as a temporary home. As their economic condition improved the immigrants moved to other sections of the city until in 1923 only about 20 per cent of the Jewish population of Greater New York lived on the lower East Side. In 1892, approximately 75 per cent and in 1903 over 50 per cent of all New York Jewry were to be found here. The average rate of decrease of the Jewish population on the lower East Side from 1916 to 1923 was found to be 24.

The survey also makes a detailed study of Jewish and non-sectarian educational and recreational organizations, and estimates that there are 100,000 Jewish young people between ten and this number 30,000 are members of Jewish recreational organizations and 14,000 of non-sectarian recreational agencies.

“The public recreational facilities on the lower East Side,” it reports, “while numerically large, are inadequate to meet the needs of the great mass of population still living in this area. Philanthropic institutions have therefore been developed under non-Jewish as well as Jewish auspices to supplement the efforts of public agencies. But these too have proven inadequate to meet the need. Less than half of the total number of Jewish young people are members of well organized recreational agencies. Jewish education on the lower East Side is inadequately provided, as only one out of every six Jewish children of school age attends well organized religious schools. On the other hand, Jewish boys and girls are reported to be attending Christian missions which also conduct recreational activities. Americanization work in citizenship classes has also been found to reach only one-fifth of the unnaturalized Jewish adults living in this section. Finally, the lower East Side has a larger proportion of Jewish juvenile delinquents than any other part of the city,” the survey stated.


The cantors in the Synagogues in Chicago and physicians employed by the Chicago Health Department have joined the ranks of organized labor. Both received charters as local unions by the Chicago Federation of Labor.

Spokesmen for the physicians, who hereafter will be known as the diagnostician’s Union, said hoped to better their financial status. The cantors expect to exclude the unqualified from their ranks.

Leon Trotzky, who recently was ousted from the Communist Central Bureau, was removed from the presidency of the scientific and technical department attached to the Supreme Economic Council, despatches from Moscow state. Only one state post is left to him. He remains head of the Concessions Committee.

The new store of Gimbel Brothers in Philadelphia was dedicated on Monday by Governor Nellie Taylor Ross of Wyoming.

Isaac Gimbel told in his address how his father came to America ninety years ago with less than $25 as his whole fortune and laid the foundations of a business representing an investment of $35,000,000.

Mark Goldberg, former Assemblyman, who represented the Fourteenth District in New York for thirteen consecutive terms, beginning in 1907, died Saturday night. He was born forty-eight years ago in the New York district that he represented at Albany for so long.

Mr. Goldberg was educated at the public schools in New York and prepared for the bar at the law school of New York University. He had for year presented a medal for excellence at Public School 82, from which he graduated.

During his legislative career Assemblyman Goldberg introduced and fought for many bills of great interest to New Yorkers. Some of the objects these measures were designed to secure were better service and lower rates for telephone subscribers, free street car transfers, improvement in the handling of motor vehicles. He sponsored, in 1913, the “blue-sky laws,” to limit the activities of salesmen of worthless stock. Three years later he urged an investigation of the State Board of Charities.

Mrs. Henry Moskowitz presided at the annual luncheon of the Association to Promote Proper Housing for Girls, held at the Hotel Pennsylvania.

The Training School for Jewish Social Work in New York is offering in its Extension Department an evening course “Problems of Jewish Adjustment to American Life.” This course is being given by Dr. Mordecai M. Kaplan and is attended by a large number of social workers and teachers.

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