Putting his feet to the test, he decided that the only way to truly understand New York was to walk virtually every block of all five boroughs—an astonishing 6,000 miles. His journey took him to every corner of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Helmreich spoke with hundreds of New Yorkers from every part of the globe and all walks of life. He finds that to be a New Yorker is to struggle to understand the place and to make a life that is as highly local as it is dynamically cosmopolitan.
Truly unforgettable, The New York Nobody Knows will forever change how you view the world's greatest city.
Helmreich has examined over four hundred scientific studies and comÂbines hard facts with humor, anecdotes, and common sense in his courageÂous attempt to understand and explain stereotypes. He contends that we should discuss this topic openly and recognize the tendencies and traits, negative and positive,-that are rooted in a group's history and culture rather than pretend that there are no differences among the members of multiracial America.
Grounded in documentary research, the volume makes extensive use of interviews and oral histories. The author traces the growth of the Jewish population in the pre-Revolutionary period to its settlement of German Jews in the 1840s and Eastern European Jews in the 1880s. Helmreich delineates areas of contention and cooperation between these groups and relates how an American identity was eventually forged within the larger ethnic mix of the city. Jewish population in politics, the establishment of Jewish schools, synagogues, labor unions, charities, and community groups are described together with cultural and recreational life. Despite the formal and emotional bonds that formed over a century, Jewish neighborhoods in Newark did not survive the postwar era. The trek to the suburbs, the erosion of Newark's tax base, and deteriorating services accelerated a movement outward that mirrored the demographic patterns of cities across America. By the time of the Newark riots in 1967, the Jewish presence was largely absent.
This volume reclaims a lost history and gives personalized voice to the dreams, aspirations, and memories of a dispersed community. It demonstrates how former Newarkers built new Jewish communities in the surrounding suburbs, an area dubbed "MetroWest" by Jewish leaders. The Enduring Community is must reading for students of Jewish social history, sociologists, urban studies specialists, and readers interested in the history of New Jersey. The book includes archival photographs form the periods discussed.