The Hebrew Actors Union and Second Avenue
Museum at Eldridge Street (12 Eldridge St., Manhattan)
During the 1920s and 30s, Second Avenue south of 14th Street was the spine of Manhattan’s Jewish cultural life and the living artery of Yiddish theater in the United States. Take a virtual tour of the neighborhood’s surviving cultural landmarks from the site of the Cafe Royal, known as the “Sardi’s of Second Avenue,” to the Hebrew Actor’s Union (HAU) on East 7th Street. Admired and feared, the HAU controlled every aspect of the Yiddish Theater in the U.S. and made pioneering negotiations still valued by performers today. The lecture will conclude with a discussion of the forces that destroyed commercial Yiddish Theater and a visual tour of the HAU’s interior, decayed but filled with artifacts.