Lower East Side Still Vibrant


Ari Goldman is correct (“Only the Subway Stop Remains,” Directions, Dec. 28)

when he describes much of the iconic shopping of the Lower East Side — Bernstein’s, Ratner’s, Spitzer’s — as no longer present along Essex, Delancey and Rivington streets.

It is equally true, however, that a vibrant Jewish community still exists and thrives along Grand Street and East Broadway, slightly south and east of the shopping mecca of yesteryear. That community, in which my wife and I are proud to be raising our four children, includes two excellent Jewish day schools, some 15 synagogues, an active mikveh and eight kosher food establishments. We have numerous local chesed organizations, crowned by our amazing Hatzalah volunteer ambulance corps. It is an intergenerational community, with five generations of some families currently living in the neighborhood, while we continue to welcome new young couples who have chosen to make the Lower East Side their home.

Rabbi Bialystoker Synagogue
President, United Jewish Council of the East Side