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The St. Louis Republic. (St. Louis, Mo.) 1888-1919, August 19, 1900, Magazine Section, Image 28

Image and text provided by State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020274/1900-08-19/ed-1/seq-28/

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trange City
Within a
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A Foreign Quarter in St. Louis
-. That Bs Rich in Atmosphere.
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juiA.c lu urone 01 a. sawmill, nr trip hii--,!.. i i i. , . ..
... i , .... -. ....& ui uCr, is me aounu or me sowing
machine in Little Jerusalem.
All day and far Into the night the swift-flying feet of her .sons pedal In toll
, e.1D0Jlnia f sa-nrdust & tllc e ends and cuttings; like honey In Uio
-,w ., fcw imw ui. iicr auiis lauors.
1 A .SOTsT rV OA-RT3.T X.fV-.arrTTTTTZ
.TVRITTEN TOR THCSUNDAT.KEPDnUa
Uttle Jtrusalem. that Indefinite city
within a city, whose boundaries no man
can -with exactitude define, is generally
conceded to embrace tho locality lying
west or Sbtth street, south of Cass avenue,
ast of Eleventh street and north of Lu
cas avenue. But here and there, like the
riprap of a. Jetty, Little Jerusalem shoots
cut an arm into the great sea of St. Louis
life around her. and St. Ixmis, in her turn,
keeps -washing in upon her coves and bays.
So, -while the shore line is ever changing,
the approiimate confines of Little Jerusa
lem survie pretty much tho same from
one year's end to another.
Among the hundreds and thousands of
Jewish residents of the little city within
the big: city, none am deserving of greater
Interest than the group of patriarchs "w ho
daily assemble at the little store Just south
of the Sluelds School on North Seventh
Btreet. Seated on benches and chairs, or
along the stone coping of tho schoolyaid
fence, they settle grave questions of Jew
ish law. while the younger clement, stand
ing respectfully around, drink In their
words of wisdom.
Artists" models arc those patriarchs for
the prophets of old.
Beneath xhe black skull cap of the eld
est is contained the knowledge of years.
Those cherished temple locks, the flowing
beard, now white with age, the solemn,
sonorous valce In which he speaks pro
claim the man the Elder. His life is now
one peacefrl period of Sabbatlsm. Barter
and trade .-ire things of the past to him.
Soon his life's sands will hae run, and
he will be fathered to his fathers, ripe in
wisdom and full of years.
View with more speculative eye that
group of curly-headed youngsters playing
In the pink wagon near by. "Watch the
Imaginary business transactions going on.
That boy with the ethereal whip, lambast
ing: a horso which is not there, will somo
day live to drive a real horse or bargains.
See with what pride his old grandmoth
er sh of the red-brown toupee, sitting
with hands folded across her lap there In j
w .ww .v.v. .... mc wifclJiehL J
5lay of her daughter's children. For it is I
In earnest the children of Little Jerusalem '
J)lay, dreactlully in earnest.
,.nie old grandmother may never live to
see the day when "Ikey and Ieie" r(w to
prominence, and then, again, she may. For
of the daughters of Judah many are tenaci
ous of life, and their children's children rise
rapidly.
JIany and diversified arc the lives of busi
ness and the paths- of toil pursued In Little
Jerusalem. Bakeries, butcher shops and
grocery stores supply the residents with the
necessities of life. Steamship agencies at
tend to their ocean tr.iv 1. In their markets
the flesh of goose vies w ith the flesh of goat.
Sausages are made and sold in stores ivhow
signs are in Hebrew. There are teachers
of music, physicians and mtn or letters in
their ranks- There are merchants', shop
keepers, pedants and peddlers. There are
candj--makurs and apothecaries. There are
tlntihops and Vienna kitchens, but oer and
above all sounds the constant whirr and
num anil drone of the garment-maker's
sewing machine
Every doorway and every window of
many a house boasts" its machine. Cutting,
fitting, sponging, pressing, bent men in un
dershirts go about their tasks. And, as if
there were not enough houses to go around,
whole buildings, such as schoolhouses and
orpnan asylums, have been given over to
the machine.
The contractor, he who works a gang, or
gangs, of operators, goes to the manufact
urer and bids for work. When a baIs of
settlement, a price for the work to be done,
has been agreed upon, the contractor takes
the manufacturer's cloth, buttons, linings,
trimmings and all. and carries it up into
Little Jerusalem, where it Is apportioned
out and effectually lost to all hut him who
gives it out and those who receive It.
From every quarter of Europe these peo
ple have come: from Bust-ln. nniicin am.
tria, Italy, Hungary, Roumanla, Germany
and England-yes, even England. Weighted
down with hardships encountered in their
European struggle for existence, they have
in past years flocked to the United States
in the hope of materially bettering their
condition. Of those who have settled in
Little Jerusalem some have prospered, and
some have waxed rich! manv have found :i
fair living, and still others, who keep
drifting in from day to day, find the same
old stmgglef'or existence that they have
left behind. henv In Europe, Vv"henwltli
hopes set high, they have cast in their lot
with thtlr St. Ixniis brethren, they find
that certain men control the various lines
of trade, tho giving out of work is in the
hands of the contractors, there are nlteady
enough peddlers, and the struggle, if not
quite so severe, they find, Is still ever pres
ent. But work must be had at any price, and
if the English-speaking garment-maker
finds h'msrlf witho'-t work he can rnei
ally attribute It to a lower bid nut in bj
one of his own rare who has not yet mas
tered tho language of the t'nited States
When work is slack, which sometimes
happens, the man of family, and the un
married as well, finds himself under the
painful necessity of underbidding his usurp
ing Europe.if cousin
Hut the Jew is persevering. baing. In-diistriou-s,
nn.i .somehow or other the inhab
itants of Ultlu Jeius.ilem all seem to get
along.
To the end of helping the immigrant
Hebrew in St Louis many prominent Jew
ish citizens h.nc combined. A notable fea
ture of the work has been the conducting
gBWErgJHn.-JflLJUJi.ll II mil I !-1-Ui. --.,. .iilii in . . . j. ..!.. ..ijui..MXLjxJjujml'
j HOW MUD IS REMOVED FROM THE LEVEE.
As the river recedes great quantities of mod is left on the stone facing. This is removed by powerful streams
of water, .which sends the mud into the rfmand cleans the stones until they shine in their native color.
of night schools. For this purpose the
Jefferson School, at Ninth and Wash
streets, has been used for six months in
eacli of the late years.
Emil Mayer, a lawjer. with 0fllce3 in
the Oriel buildintr. for two vears mt Vii
filled the position of superintendent of the
Jewish Alliance night schools. Ellas
.Mirhaels of Rice. Stix & Co. is president.
"Our next bchool session begins in Octo
ber," said Mr. Mayer to The Republic, "and
we expect a large attendance this fall. At
the ciOFe of our last term there were nearly
400 pupils in regular attendance.
"The pupils range in age from 11 tr, rn
although In two Instances we have admitted
girlp of 13, who, on account of household
duties in their homes, have been unable to
attend the public schools. We only take
pulpils who are emplojed during the day,
jou know. Of these about one-third are
females, the remainder males.
"The course of study Is a five-year course.
Arithmetic, geography. United States rii.
tory, reading, writing and grammar; in
fact, a good common-school education is
what we teach. Bookkeeping Is also en
tered into, and it Is no uncommon sight to
sec huband and wife, child ami irr,i
father, enter our school together, with
books and slate under the arm."
The first clas-o is composed of those who
can neither read nor write, and, says Mr.
Mayer, It is a regrettable fact and a sad
commentary on the European educational
system that there come many of such to our
shores.
But It is surprising the avidity with which
the mmd of the young Immigrant reaches
out after information and learning. Once
in a while, but only once in a while, how
ever, there have entered youths whose minds
ran more to folly and pranks than to the
earnest getting of knowledge. Such have
been speedily weeded out.
There is no such thing as punishment rn
Infraction of rules at the Jewish Alliance
night schools. Life ls too serious, nnfl ,
acquirement of learning of too great mo
ment, to rik suspension and possible ex
pulsion. That its educational benefits are produc
tive of results is attested by the instance of
one pupil who last term completed his
course. The boy Is now conducting a shirt
factory, with his father, who cannot speak
English, for a partner. Another 15-year-old
youth has- already shown strong evidences'
of histrionic talent and his teachers see in
him an embryo Possart.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thurs-'
day nights durlns six months In the year
the schools are conducted, beginning by 7
o'clock anii dismissing by 9. Each Tuesday 1
Right there 13 a lecture, and among thotse
who have addressed the pupils has bet
Judge Spencer of the St. Louis Cirouit
Court, who spoke on "Municipal Govern
ment " Attorney Fred W. Lehmann, li
brarian F. M. Crunden, the four leading
St. Louis rabbis Doctors Harrison, Sale,
Spitz and Messing have lectured, and
Father Brennan and Francis E. Cook, prin
cipal of Crow School, have also spoken.
That the parents and friends of the pupils
evinco great interest and no little pride In
their progress is evidenced by their crush
ing attendance on "the last night C
school," when, as It happened at tha clos
ing exercises of last term, manv wer
unable to get inside tho school building;
A stroll through Little Jerusalem one day
last week with The Republic's camera
developed tho accompanying Interesting
photographs of the little city within a city,
and its people.
At a point on N'orth Seventh street, be
tween Carr and Wash streets, gasollns
stove?, chairs, bedsteads, ice boxes, bi
cycles and odds and ends piled in profusion
and confusion, told a talo of disrupted
homes and discontinued Jaunts awheel.
In the same neighborhood were encoun
tered two splendid specimens of tha older
and younger generations. The inscrutable
profile of the older man. clear cut against
tho light, left no doubt of his race, and
gave no clew tr his thoughts. Thoat-homs
air of ids younger companion bespoke an
extensive acquaintance with American cus
toms and wu3
A littlo further along could be seen th
son or Rabbi Welscmann approaching, hl
thin coat and heavy beard blown back by
the south breeze.
On the next corner stood a group of garment-workers'
wives discussing, possibly,
seme bit of goip, or the prico of peaches.
In front or Xovack'3 place, while the
keeper slumbered, a group of boys took pos
session of the open window, sitting therein
to eat their penny ice cream and drink, their
penny "pop."
In Tront of a secondhand store sat tlwf
dealer and his wife. In the mother's arms
repesed the inevitable baby, while ranged
before the door v. ere four steps In the fam
ily stairs, one with a drum.
On Carr street the camera caught two
scowling men. and at Riddle Market "some
body's, grandmaw" lent herself unconscious
ly to the art elusive, while haggling over
tho price of a hen with the chicken man.
Some day home artist will go up into
Little Jerusalem and there will be a new
"Madonna" painted. If he happens to go
Into a certain little grocery on Tenth street
his picture will make him famous.
Still, no artist should find difficulty in se
lecting a Madcnna head from nmone the
daughters of Littla Jerusalem. There ara
many, there.
PICKOOD
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