The late nineteenth and early twentieth century witnessed a rise in organized crime in New York City. Pickpockets, extortionists, armed robbers, bootleggers, gamblers and contract killers were commonplace not only in the notorious Five Points neighborhood, but also in the growing Jewish ghetto of the Lower East Side. As more Orthodox Jews settled in the area, so did unscrupulous and vicious gangs of Jewish Gangsters! These not so nice Jewish boys who loved their mothers and grew up attending Synagogue, also poisoned horses, robbed and torched pushcarts, sold illegal whiskey and drugs and were some of the best hit men in organized crime.
Your guide, Bradley Shaw will shed light and fill you in on the Jews of this dark aspect of New York’s past, including such notorious gangsters such as Arnold Rothstein, Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel, whose criminal activities extended to Atlantic City, Miami, Cuba and Las Vegas. All of their stories began on the Lower East Side of New York. We will examine where these leaders of the Jewish underworld began their nefarious activities. Along the way we will analyze questions of morality, power and assimilation.