Apartment Tours, Experiences

History Hunters: A Kid’s Life at Home

1890s-1910s

*Family Friendly Tour!

Join the Tenement Museum in partnership with the Museum at Eldridge Street for the final event of the History Hunters series that explores life for Lower East Side kids at the turn-of-the-20th Century. We’ll step into two tenement apartments to learn what life was like for kids in the Levine and Rogarshevsky families. What work did kids do? Where did they find space to play? How did they help their families get by? We’ll also get creative by making objects out of recycled material, just like kids did one hundred years ago.

This event made possible through a grant from PJ Library, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

History Hunters: A Kid’s Life at Home is only available on June 2nd at 10:00 am.

Apartment Tours, Experiences

History Hunters: A Kid’s Life at Home

1890s-1910s

*Family Friendly Tour!

Join the Tenement Museum in partnership with the Museum at Eldridge Street for the final event of the History Hunters series that explores life for Lower East Side kids at the turn-of-the-20th Century. We’ll step into two tenement apartments to learn what life was like for kids in the Levine and Rogarshevsky families. What work did kids do? Where did they find space to play? How did they help their families get by? We’ll also get creative by making objects out of recycled material, just like kids did one hundred years ago.

This event made possible through a grant from PJ Library, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

History Hunters: A Kid’s Life at Home is only available on June 2nd at 10:00 am.

Tour type
Apartment Tours, Experiences
Tour Location
97 Orchard Street, 3rd Floor
Tour Duration
1.5 Hours
Recommended ages
Ages 5 + Permitted

Tickets are available at the Visitor Center on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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The Rogarshevsky Family

When Abram and Zipe Heller immigrated to the United States from Lithuania in 1901, they not only left behind their home but also their names. By the time they reached New York, the Hellers had become Abraham and Fanny Rogarshevsky. The Rogarshevskys moved to 97 Orchard Street in 1908 with their six children.

Squeezing everyone into a modest three-room apartment took great creativity. At bedtime, the kitchen was transformed into a bedroom for the girls, while a couch in the front room became a makeshift bed for the boys.

The Levine Family

One-third of Eastern European Jews left their homeland between 1880 and 1924, with the majority finding new homes in New York City. Harris and Jennie Levine arrived in New York from Poland in 1890. They moved into 97 Orchard Street along with their first child sometime around 1892. The Levines added four children to their family over the 13 years they resided on Orchard Street.

The Levines lived and worked with as many as ten people at a time in the apartment. Although space was limited, Harris and Jennie found room in the apartment to raise their children, manage the workers and compete with the other garment shops in the neighborhood. By 1905, the Levines saved enough money to move the family to Brooklyn. They settled in the borough, eventually making their home in Bensonhurst, where Harris passed away in 1929.

Accessibility Information

  • This tour takes place on the third floor of 97 Orchard Street in a series of small, low lit apartments. There are 38 steps to enter and 31 steps to exit. See building diagram.
  • This tour uses an outdoor stairwell with an open stair.
  • Limited seating will be available during the tour.
  • Additional handling objects and braille materials are available if requested.
  • Assistive listening devices are available if requested.
  • Printed tour summaries are available in English, French, Spanish, and Italian  if requested.

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