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Gangsters of the Lower East Side

The sites and stories of the rise of organized crime in NYC

  • 2 hr 30 min
  • 200 US dollars
  • Ottendorfer Library, 135 2nd Avenue, New York NY

Service Description

The late nineteenth and early twentieth century witnessed a rise in organized crime in New York City. Pickpockets, extortionists, armed robbers, bootleggers, gamblers and contract killers were commonplace not only in the notorious Five Points neighborhood, but also in the growing Jewish ghetto of the Lower East Side. And as more Orthodox Jews settled in the area, so did unscrupulous and vicious gangs of Jewish Gangsters! These not so nice Jewish boys who loved their mothers and grew up attending Synagogue, also poisoned horses, robbed and torched pushcarts, sold illegal whiskey and drugs and were some of the best hit men in organized crime. Join urban historian and educator Bradley Shaw on a walking tour of the Lower East Side as we visit where these Yiddish-a Gangstas lived and did their illicit business. We will not only not only profile the very famous like Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel and Arnold Rothstein, but meet the less known and quirky like “Dopey” Benny Fein, “Big” Jack Zelig, “Lepke” Buchalter and the Shomer Shabbos hit man Samuel “Red” Levine.

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