Help Restore the ‘Yiddish Walk of Fame’ on 2nd Avenue
Local preservationists have their work cut out for them. Or walk.
The Yiddish Walk of Fame, a notable piece of of Lower Manhattan’s cultural history, has fallen into a significant state of disrepair. The walkway, located on Second Avenue near East 10th, lays claim to the famed thespians within the Jewish community from the 1890s through the 1930s. In 1984, the late Abe Lebewohl installed the plaques in front of his famed Second Avenue Deli to commemorate the stars of this bygone era. He was later shot and killed in 1996, during a robbery while delivering the day’s deposits to a nearby bank.
The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation is rallying the troops to help find ways to preserve and maintain this literal star studded sidewalk. They’ve created a coalition dubbed the “Friends of the Abe Lebewohl Yiddish Theatre Walk of Fame.” Its mission is to “preserve, educate, inspire and reinstall a recreation of the historic plaque tiles in the area of cultural relevance and with long term stewardship.” They also have plans to show the originals as part of a permanent or traveling exhibition, which fits into their overall objective of providing local programming that commemorates both Yiddish Theatre and the neighborhood.
Sharon Lebewohl, the daughter of Abe Lebewohl shared her optimism for this initiative with the NY Post. “It’s so great,” Lebewohl said. “The Yiddish theatre was so important to my father, and I know he would have been so happy to see this.”
Tomorrow evening (August 9), from 4:30 to 5:30PM, folks are encouraged to meet at the Walk of Fame to give out fliers and get signatures for a petition to support the Walk. More information on preservation efforts can be found here.
Additionally, the GVSHP will host a screening of The Golden Age of 2nd Avenue on September 6 at the Third Street Music School. It’s a film by Morton Silverstein, and there will be introductory remarks by his wife, Rita Silverstein, as well as Sharon Lebewohl. Keep your eyes peeled for more information and RSVP details here.