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NY Trivia: The Jewish Gourmet

Q: What is Russ and Daughters?

A: This Jewish-owned original “appetizing store” on Houston Street on New York’s Lower East Side pioneered the gourmet food emporium concept.

Since 1914, this landmark New York institution has been continuously owned and operated by four generations of the Russ family. Joel Russ, an Eastern European immigrant who arrived in America in 1907, started the business from a pushcart to cater to the throngs of Jewish immigrants settling in New York’s Lower East Side. He began by schlepping Polish Mushrooms on his shoulders to support his family, and save enough money to purchase a pushcart. In the true spirit that defines the early 20th Century immigrants, Joel Russ soon was able to buy a pushcart, and expanded his operation and sold pickled herring and Polish Mushrooms. Then in 1914, Joel Russ opened J Russ International Appetizers, a storefront around the corner from the current location, thus the beginning of what would become the landmark Russ and Daughters is today.

Join Menorah for a celebration of Jewish New York, honoring Professor David Shneer. Sunday, September 18, 5:30 pm at the Avalon Ballroom.  To register for “New York, New York” click here. Questions?  contact Kathryn@boulderjcc.org or visit www.boulderjcc.org.

About Kathryn Bernheimer

Director of Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education at the Boulder JCC. The former film and theater critic for the Boulder Daily Camera, Kathryn is the author of "The Fifty Greatest Jewish Movies" and "The Fifty Funniest Films of All Time."

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