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Brownsville: The Birth, Development and Passing of a Jewish Community in New York (Alter F. Landesman)
In 1886, when the first Jewish property owner took title to his parcel of land in the then village of Brownsville, the area was a cluster of cottages and tiny shops in the midst of dairy farmlands. Woods covered what were to become the main thoroughfares of Pitkin and Hopkinson Avenues. Less than forty years later, Brownsville was a tumultuous, thoroughly urban center some 400,000 people-75% of them Jewish. Brownsville in 1925 was the largest center of Jewish population in all of New York City - larger even than the Lower East Side of Manhattan, from which many of its inhabitants had come in the search for a cleaner, healthier, more spacious living. Here now is the story of that teeming, colorful, close-knit community, known at its height as "the Jerusalem of America."