East Flatbush & Brownsville

Home Forums Local & Neighborhood Issues East Flatbush & Brownsville

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #604681
    shmoel
    Member

    Anyone here have any nostalgic memories to share from the great former Jewish neighborhoods of East Flatbush or Brownsville?

    (For the real old timers of the former Jewish neighborhood’s in the Bronx, Harlem and other places, feel free to chime in too.)

    #895983
    computerbagels
    Participant

    I have very fond memories of the once illustrious neighborhood of East Flatbush. We lived in the section known as Remsen Village, and there were quite a number of shuls that i can think of offhand (Rabbi Zimmerman’s Young Israel of Remsen, Young Israel of East Flatbush[Rabbi Lazar on E 89th St.], the Ave A Shul, Gerrer Shteeble on Ave A, Rav Rottenberg’s shul[with mikvah],Mizrachi, Yeshiva Rabbi David Liebowitz, Nachlas Haleveiim, Cong Yodei Binah, Nusach Ari [Brownstien on 89th],and a few in the east 50’s -Rabbi Hecht, Rabbi Booket, Rabbi Teitelbaum).

    The yearly Remsen Village Street Fair , Which I remember being on Remsen between B and Ditmas, was a highlight of the year. That block, incidentally, was packed with frum yidden. We used to call it the “Succah Block”, due to the great number of succos that were visible during that time of the year.

    Ah, the good ole days……

    #895984
    lesschumras
    Participant

    Frum Jews learned a valuable lesson from East Flatbush. They allowed themselves to be panicked by unscrupulous real estate agents who blockbusted the neighborhood. Within 2 years everyone ran, abandoning everything. Unlike Brownsville, which was poor, East Flatbush was middle class. Only Remsen Village tried to hold out but they are gone too.

    #895985
    twisted
    Participant

    I remember trips to visit Grandma, but very foggy about the neighborhood. I do remember they moved from a walk up (3 story wood building) to someplace with an ornate iron filigreed elevator, and I remember my siblings counting the light poles on the belt and S.S. parkway on the trip back to Long Island. Grandma was nifteres when I was eight, after seventy five years of not seeing a doctor. She, and the grandfather I never knew were members of Adath Israel of Brownsville and E. NY, those people I only knew from the chelek in Beth David. As a young tradesman, I went back there to work (Snyder, Clarkson ) and I was astounded to see the street names of my granparents’ world, but all razed to grasslands, the only buildings remaining were those made of brick, some one story former shuls. I also taught one year at the ill fated Bais Sholom, on Remsen, and ? also an old shul. And I once on a commute sort of got stuck on Herkimer street as the NYPD and a drug op were having a shoot out.

    #895986
    oomis
    Participant

    I grew up in East New York, very cloe to Brownsville. I davened either at the Williams Avenue Shul (Rabbi Lowy’s shul), sitting quietly next to my Dad O”H until I was a “big girl” and needed to go upstairs to the Ezras Nashim, or later on at the Pennsylvania Avenue Shul, because they had Shabbos groups.

    We lived around the corner from Baum’s grocery (his son Abe opened his own branch in Queens, many years later, I think), and around the corner from Red’s toy Store and the local ice cream place. There was a barber shop on the corner down the block and across the street, and we had to wait near it for our school bus to Crown Heights Yeshivah.

    We used to walk to Fortunoff’s and Blake Avenue. Wow, I am really getting flooded with memories right now. Life was SO good.

    #895987
    Fast Forward
    Member

    Wow, Oomis, you just gave me chills. I don’t know if we were there at the same time, but my family also davened at the Williams Avenue shul and we lived right near Red’s. The barber shop was one off the corner on New Lots Avenue and the bakery was on the corner next to it. There was also a butcher across from Red’s. Yes we also walked to Fortunoffs. Do you remember the New Lots library? Abe Baum did open a store in Queens and I was very good friends with one of his daughters. Yes, I agree, life was SO good there. Ah very sweet memories.

    #895988
    shein
    Member

    Are there still any minyanim in E. Flatbush and Brownsville?

    #895989
    Health
    Participant

    computerbagels – I davened in the Gerrer Shteeble on Ave A, Rav Rottenberg’s shul, Nachlas Haleveiim & Cong Yodei Binah. I’m not from there, but I had relatives there.

    #895990
    oomis
    Participant

    ” Wow, Oomis, you just gave me chills. I don’t know if we were there at the same time, but my family also davened at the Williams Avenue shul and we lived right near Red’s. The barber shop was one off the corner on New Lots Avenue and the bakery was on the corner next to it. There was also a butcher across from Red’s. Yes we also walked to Fortunoffs. Do you remember the New Lots library? Abe Baum did open a store in Queens and I was very good friends with one of his daughters. Yes, I agree, life was SO good there. Ah very sweet memories. “

    Fast Forward, we moved out of the neighborhood in December of 1962, so if you were there prior to that, we must have known each other. My dad O”H often davened for the omud, and when I was very little, I sat with him at his table (the first one on the left side, as we came into the Shul.

    The butcher shop would be Lehrman’s. We bought from him for all the years we lived on Hinsdale Street. I recall so vividly the night we got the terrible news that his daughter Paula O”H had perished as a result of an electric fire in their home over Shabbos. It was my very first shiva visit to someone, and I was devastated, because Paula was my good friend from Shul, and her last Friday on this earth was especially sad to her, because someone had stolen her brand new wallet. As a child it hurt me that she had cried all day the day before she was nifteres.

    They were very fine people.

    I frequently went to the library and it was safe for young children to go there by themselves. I was no more than 9 years old at the time.

    Did you know Abe Baum’s daughter Henia? If memory serves, we were friends (mostly she and my sister, but I was always included). I cannot for certain recall Abe’s wife’s name,though Rita comes to mind, so maybe that was it.

    Rabby Lowy’s children were also my good friends, and often came to my house to play. The only one whose name I recall was Pinchas Elya (as a child I thought it was one long name, “Pinchasellya”). We lived in a home that had a long enclosed, gated alley between my house and the next door neighbors. As a result, we could play outdoors every single day of the year rain or shine, snowy or clear, because the alley ran the entire length of the house. We played handball against that wall all the time, or roller skated down the alley in the dead of winter. As you can imagine, our house was THE meeting house for the entire block of children. And in those days, everyone played together,frum, not frum. They all knew that they could eat in my home, but I would not even take a drink of water in theirs, so it was just best if they played by me. We also had a nice big backyard with a swingset, and lots of room to run around. We had fig trees and a green grape vine, but somehow the grapes never tasted too good to me. I so miss that life.

    #895991
    lesschumras
    Participant

    Oomis. If it was so wonderful why did you move?

    #895992
    Fast Forward
    Member

    Oomis, I’m sure our families knew each other; we moved away in 1963. We were very good friends with the Lehrmans and it was a terrible tragedy. I was just thinking of Paula A”H, because her birthday was a few weeks ago. I did not know about her losing her wallet, and that makes me even sadder. Are your parents A”H in the shul’s chelek in Beth David? I had to laugh at Pinchas Elya, because I thought the same thing. Didn’t he also have sisters named Kreindel and Shprintzi? I was friends with Henna (her mother was called Rita or Rifka.) Although our families knew each other, I didn’t become friends with Henna until we moved to East Flatbush. Where did you move to after ENY? Sigh, I wish we could email each other for more walks down memory lane.

    #895993
    iced
    Member

    Are East Flatbush and East New York two different former Jewish neighborhoods?

    #895994
    abcd2
    Participant

    re fast forward oomis: The Lehramn’s are very fine people. Mrs. Lehrman Hashem should give her Koach is alive and well.R’ Dovid ZTL is buried in Beth David.

    Iced a brief humble synopsis of former very Jewish Neighborhoods in Brooklyn: East Flatbush: lasted till late 1970’s Jewish Population completely dwindled down late 1980’s

    East NY, Brownsville,were done in the 1960’s minyanim still remained 1970’s

    Canarsie had full Shules till 1990 Jewish population dwindled down in 2000, but two minyanim remain and some shules are rented out to chasidic outfits who bus in from BP everyday.

    While crown Heights is a Lubavitch stronghold it pales in comparison to the total number of Jews that were there till the 1970’s

    Unbelievably,each of the above neighborhoods had between 25-50,000 Jews. Now what happened to all those Jews and their children? What happened to a vast amount of them? Should there not be by now due to natural population growth a few hundred thousand more Jews in the tristate area?

    The answer:Sadly,many of the children who grew up in the above neighborhoods were not afforded a proper jewish education and assimilated.

    #895995
    Fast Forward
    Member

    Yes, they are two different neighborhoods.

    #895996
    nostalgia
    Member

    I have wonderful memories growing up in East Flatbush. Chaim Berlin was on my corner. We used to go to Jewish Chronic Disease on Shabbos.

    Rabbi Zimmerman first lived in East Flatbush before moving to Remson Village.

    #895997
    iced
    Member

    Is there good reason to hope that what happened to East Flatbush, East NY, Brownsville, the Bronx, etc. won’t reoccur in Flatbush, Boro Park, Williamsburg, etc.?

    #895998
    americaisover
    Participant

    ICED:It is already happening, all the young people are moving to Lakewood and Flatbush is basically a post middle age place nowadays. It has a large and growing Muslim, Chinese and Latino population. Boro Park is literally sorrounded by Muslims (Church Ave), Chinese both in Bensonhurst and Sunset Park and Latinos as well. Williamsburg can only grow straight but not across there is Latinos and believe or not white young Americans. Canarsie like E. Flatbush was taken over by Caribbeans by 2030 we will be talking about Flatbush like we are talking about E. Flatbush how WAS Jewish. this is what happens when there is no coordination and we have unlimited immigration.

    #895999
    iced
    Member

    America: What you are describing is very different than what occured in East Flatbush and Brownsville. You are basicly saying there is no room to grow in Flatbush, so the young couples are moving out. Nevertheless, Flatbush is not becoming less of a frum neighborhood. The current residents are staying put, and whenever a current resident does move, it is quickly filled by another frum family. The homes, when sold by a frum family, is being sold to another frum family. And Marine Park, which for all intents and purposes is an extension of frum Flatbush, is indeed growing by leaps and bounds with young couples. (Albeit a somewhat more modern crowd than Flatbush proper.)

    Same with Boro Park and Williamsburg. There may, physically, be no room for growth. But the frum neighborhoods aren’t contracting (shrinking). And in both those neighborhoods, especially Williamsburg, there is in fact growth among the crowd of younger couples.

    #896000
    americaisover
    Participant

    Iced, give it time, demographics are not on the frum yiddens side in this country, you have growing so called “minority” populations who are getting more and more levers in government (ever heard of Obama) they dont care for frum peoples concerns and frum people have more costs than any other community in the US. Tuition, kosher food, shul membership, expensive neighborhoods. Flatbush WILL BE A GOYISH neighborhood soon. I guess lakewood will get EVEN MORE crowded.

    #896001
    oomis
    Participant

    FF – my parents Z”L are indeed buried in Beth David, but in a family plot, not Shul chelek. Yes, Henna’s mom was Rita Baum. I do remember that for sure. She was a lovely lady, as I recall. I don’t remember Kreindel or Shprintzi Lowy for some reason, only Pinchas Elya. Paula O”H was part of our chevra, a little quieter and shyer than the others, but a beautiful and sweet girl, with wonderful middos. That made her tragic petirah even more of a klop to us. I remember my mother O”H weeping like she had lost a family member. It is amazing the memories that come to mind, unbidden.

    Less Chumras – I didn’t want to move. My family was one of the last families to move off a block that had become increasingly nisht unzerer, however. We really were the last holdouts and eventually moved to Long Island. I was sad to leave, because I was only just turned 11 (now that I think about it), and my perspective of life was very different from what it really was. It was time to move to a growing Jewish neighborhood, and that’s what we did. My parents had very close friends in the area that they chose, or its immediate environs, and the price of homes was phenomenal in those days. I think they paid 25K for the house, which is now selling for 800K, the last I heard (too bad I am not the one selling it) 🙁 .

    Fastforward, perhaps the MODs can e-mail our respective e-mail addresses to each other. I am maskim. I have already re-connected with one close friend through the CR, and would love to re-meet another possible one. MODS, that would be a nice improvement in the CR, to allow people to privately contact each other, if both parties request same.

    #896002
    yaakov doe
    Participant

    FYI While Williamsburg is being limited on the North and East by the “hipsters” it has spread South into what was considered to be Bed Stuy. There are now chassidim around Dekalb and Layayette and a little further down. Only a matter of time until they reach Crown Heights!

    #896003
    bubka
    Participant

    Parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant is becoming frum (Chasidish) again, as the Williamsburg community is bulging into Bed-Stuy.

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.