The first comprehensive history of the development of early Jewish life on Long Island.
In an engaging narrative, The Jews of Long Island tells the story of how Jewish communities were established and developed east of New York City, from Great Neck to Greenport and Cedarhurst to Sag Harbor. Including peddlers, farmers, and factory workers struggling to make a living, as well as successful merchants and even wealthy industrialists like the Guggenheims, Brad Kolodny spent six years researching how, when, and why Jewish families settled and thrived there. Archival material, including census records, newspaper accounts, never-before-published photos, and personal family histories illuminate Jewish life and experiences during these formative years. With over 4,400 names of people who lived in Nassau and Suffolk counties prior to the end of World War I, The Jews of Long Island is a fascinating history of those who laid the foundation for what has become the fourth largest Jewish community in the United States today.
Brad Kolodny is president and founder of the Jewish Historical Society of Long Island and the author of Seeking Sanctuary: 125 Years of Synagogues on Long Island.
"Brad Kolodny's extensive work is a scrupulous masterpiece about the early years of Jews in Long Island. It gives a new life, background and understanding to how people, who are no longer among the living, used to be connected to each other … His deep research and understanding bring an important treasure to the Jewish world." — AJL News and Reviews
"At its core, the book is a work of investigative journalism that gives new life to people long gone." — Dan's Papers
"A well-illustrated and painstakingly researched chronicle that teaches us more than we have ever known about the early Jews of Long Island." — Jonathan D. Sarna, University Professor and Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University
"Brad Kolodny exhibits his thorough research and engaging narrative in detailing the origins of our Jewish community. His knowledge and dedication showcased in this book is a gift for Jews everywhere." — Rabbi Joel Levenson, President, Long Island Board of Rabbis
"Kolodny's blend of narrative and visual portraits illuminate a third center of New York Jewish culture, religion, and commerce that bloomed in the late nineteenth century alongside oft-spotlighted Manhattan's Harlem and Lower East Side." — Shira D. Epstein, Dean, William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education and Assistant Professor, Jewish Theological Seminary