Jews Without Money Essay

573 Words3 Pages
Tenements were the first home for several immigrant families across the nation. Initially beginning their lives in America in New York caused them to suffer severe conditions such as a high risk of fire, dirty and stuffy rooms, and limited access to the necessary supplies to live. The Tenement Museum at 97 Orchard Street in New York’s lower East side represented the lives of these immigrants and accurately portrayed several encounters seen in the book Jews without Money by Mike Gold.
A notable idea represented in both the museum and the book is how life goes on no matter what is occurring around you. In the museum Rogarshevsky family experienced a detrimental loss when the head of the house hold, Abraham, died of tuberculosis. The tour stated
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In the museum most of the families had women who worked. During this time period it was usually a sign of poverty and source of shame if a woman worked in the family. But, families such as the Gumpertz, who was a family of all girls, and Rogarshevsky had no choice but to go to work. These families did not have the privilege of embarrassment; this idea was also represented in Jews without Money when Katie began to work. Initially, it was a huge issue with Herman and became only worse when he was finally unable to work at all. He feared there would be no one to maintain the house and take care of the children if she was working. It also threatened his masculinity, but similar to the families in the museum, they had no choice. If he wanted his children to eat and have a home he had to allow Katie to work. Several other ideas also overlapped between the Tenement Museum and Jews without Money.
Subsequently, these families had no choice other than to rely on each other for help. In the museum one of the children of the Baldizzi family speaks of how she assisted her Jewish neighbors during the Sabbath. Katie in Jews without Money also often helped her neighbors when they were in dire need. She often collected donations, provided comfort, and initiated methods to gain better living standards. In the tenements, you had no choice but to ask for
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