Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Alex Traum

Alex Traum


Alex Traum

Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m a global financial crimes risk manager. I’ve been into family genealogy since I was a child and am interested in history and politics.

How long have you been a member of the Tenement Museum?
Since August 2023

What was your first interaction with the Tenement Museum?
My eighth-grade social studies teacher told us we would receive extra credit if we visited the Tenement Museum. I went in 2005 on the Meet Victoria tour.

Does the Museum make you reflect on any of your own family stories?
Yes, it does. It shows that history is progress. We’ve come a long way from our immigrant roots as a nation. My family has come to the United States over long period of time. Part of my family are German Jews that came over here in 1851 and 1856, and the latest members of my family came over from what is now Ukraine in 1922. The latest immigrants included my grandfather, who came here as one and a half-year old. While only one of my relatives lived in lower Manhattan (the majority lived in Brooklyn), I feel a connection with my ancestors when visiting the Museum.

Do you have a favorite Tenement tour or program (virtual or in-person)?
100 Years Apart

What does the Tenement Museum mean to you?
It represents the progression of America’s history as a nation of immigrants. It’s the story of grit and courage. While immigrants can be viewed in a negative connotation, they are really an important source of strength In American society.

What are some other cultural institutions that you frequent/support?
Lincoln Center Theater and Ellis Island (where my grandfather actually went through)

Anything else you’d like to add?
The Tenement Museum’s story is the American story, continuing as long as we have immigrants arriving. The story never ends.

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