Daniel J. Gorman, Jr., University of Rochester | Newberry

Daniel J. Gorman, Jr., University of Rochester

Friday, February 2, 2018


Religion and Culture in the Americas Seminar

Sarah Fenster’s Neighborhood: Demography, Community, and One Child’s Life in 1900 Jewish Philadelphia

This paper blends quantitative and qualitative methods to tell the story of the Russian Fenster family, their daughter Sarah, and one block of Philadelphia’s Jewish Quarter in the summer of 1900. What sorts of people, places, and cultural forces shaped Jewish Philadelphia? How did children perceive the Quarter’s impoverished living conditions, vibrant culture, and diverse inhabitants? Using the 1900 census, death records, benevolent society archives, city atlases, and city directories, I recreate Sarah’s life cycle and show that her neighborhood was not a mere slum, but rather a vibrant refuge, reflecting the United States in miniature.

Respondent: Tony Michels, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Cost and Registration Information 

Newberry Scholarly Seminars are pre-circulated. For a copy of the paper, email scholarlyseminars@newberry.org. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.