Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


The Jewish Objects of New York

Highlighting the Jewish impact on New York City

Print Email
Singer Sewing Machine(Wikipedia)

If you’ve been spending too much time online in the past week, you might have seen the widely-circulated New York Times feature listing the 50 objects that explain the history of New York City.

Of the 50 listed, dating all the way back to a Mastadon Tusk from 11,000 B.C. (no doubt to become an item for purchase at the Brooklyn Flea in the coming months), roughly seven of the items (with some wiggle room for interpretation) are either Jewish or were created by Jews.

They are:
The Bagel
The Singer Sewing Machine
‘New Colossus’ by Emma Lazarus (which you can read more about in this fantastic book)
Levittown House (designed by William Levitt)
Greek Coffee Cup (designed by Leslie Buck, a Holocaust survivor)
Leonard Bernstein’s Baton
The MetroCard (theoretically made possible by the Richard Ravitch)

This led me to think two things:
1. This is pretty impressive.
2. If there are seven definitively Jewish items that have helped leave their mark on New York (and a friggin’ Munsee Arrowhead is one of the non-Jewish ones) then it would be easy to come up with another 43 of Jewish objects.

So commenters, I leave it to you. Help us brainstorm another set to fill out the list.

I’ll post what we come up with later this week.

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Alan Greenspan, made in NY –
Polaroid Camera

Get back to me if you need another 41

one for starters: A W-4 form. Beardsley Ruml, Jewish chairman of R.H. Macy and Co. and the Federal
Reserve Bank of New York, invented the federal income tax withholding

Peter Hercky says:

The original Knicks basketball team had 5 Jewish starters but never had them start together for fear.

2 more:

A syringe symbolizing Jonas Salk’s development of polio vaccine. The research was in done in Pittsburgh but Salk was born and raised in New York.
A copy of The New York Times, transformed into America’s paper of record by Adolph Ochs.

Sweet’n Low sugar substitute created by the Eisenstadt family in Brooklyn

The potato knish and Nathan’s hot dogs ! Coney Island specials

I don’t think IM singer was Jewish, even if the name sound’s Jewish to contemporary ears.

Lauren Deutsch says:

Public school closure on Yom Kippur.

Wasn’t SW Farber Jewish? He made Farberware, famous for its Classic line of cookware, and also the Farberware stove top percolator.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

The Jewish Objects of New York

Highlighting the Jewish impact on New York City

More on Tablet:

Wolf Blitzer Explores His Jewish Roots

By David Meir Grossman — CNN host visits Yad Vashem and Auschwitz for the network’s ‘Roots’ series