Friday, July 13, 2012

Egg Rolls and Egg Creams Festival Unites Jewish and Chinese Communities on New York's Lower East Side


Last month the crowds came out to celebrate the 12th annual Egg Rolls and Egg Creams Festival centered around the Eldridge Street Synagogue and Museum on New York's Lower East Side.

As the Bowery Boogie reported:
On the street, a number of tables were serving up the egg rolls and egg creams, with all proceeds from sales benefiting the Eldridge Street Synagogue. The Pickle Guys and Zaro's Bakery, who were event co-sponsors, also had representation.  Not everything was food-oriented, though.  There were more child-friendly stations dedicated to face painting, arts and crafts, and yarmulka design.  All the while, various traditional groups provided a unique soundtrack.

Inside the synagogue proper, the scene was a bit more bustling.  A few tables were squeezed into a tiny area behind the pews.  One had a sofer (scribe) writing out Hebrew names for people on construction paper.  His was the most popular.  There was also a place for Chinese paintings, calligraphy, and rather intricate origami.

Museum hands told the story of the ornate structure (est. 1887) and a cantor sang some Hebrew hymns.  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was also in attendance, and delivered a speech about his connections to the house of worship.  How is brother had his Bar Mitzvah there; how his family was involved in its leadership in the 1930s through the 1950s.
The Jewish Daily Forward (Der Forverts) was also there, with Yiddish reporter Shmuel Perlin delivering a running narrative of the event, interspersed with historical observations on the establishment of the two communities, their differences and similarities, and the ways they cooperate to maintain one of New York's most colorful neighborhoods.

Here is his video report, in Yiddish with English subtitles.  Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)