The United States Postal Service recently produced a new Statue of Liberty stamp, but made a small error. The New York Times reported yesterday “...the statue it features is not the one in the harbor, but the replica at the New York-New York casino in Las Vegas.” Hey, these things happen!
It reminded us, did you know Emma Lazarus, who penned “The New Colossus,” (you know, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses...") in 1883 and later added to the base of the Statue of Liberty, taught English to Russian immigrants that same year, at what was then our “downtown outpost” located on the Lower East Side?
Here’s a little more info from a December 28, 1883 newspaper clipping we dug up in The American Israelite newspaper:
Miss Emma Lazarus had consented to devote her Sunday afternoons to instructing young Russian Jewesses in the English language at the Down-town branch of the Y. M. H. A. Hereafter the Russian classes as well as the Saturday night will be held at 206 East Broadway instead of the Five Points Chapel.
Now, 128 years later, we continue to provide English language classes to interested New Yorkers, as well as programming for Russian interests.
[92Y Jewish Life]