The year is 1902 and the streets of the Lower East Side are alight with the protests of thousands of Jewish women. A hike in the price of kosher meat threatened the families of working-class mothers who, outraged, took matters into their own hands. Compelled to boycott Kosher butchers and march in the streets, they stood in opposition to the shop owners in their own community who were neighbors, friends, and fellow Jewish immigrants.
Explore two sides of the same story and learn about the original “trustbusters”: immigrant women strikers. Visit Jennie Levine’s tenement apartment, where she managed the home and oversaw the household finances while her husband ran a garment factory in their front room, and would’ve sought to keep her growing family fed in the wake of the rising meat costs. Then, explore the story of Goldie Lustgarten, her family’s kosher butcher shop in the basement of 97 Orchard Street, the role they played in the Kosher Meat Boycott of 1902, led by women like Jennie, which both divided and united Jewish Lower East Siders.
How were women asserting their rights as consumers before they had rights as citizens? How does this event help us understand the American Dream for immigrant women? How did the Kosher Meat Boycott inspire future generations and movements?